Temple's Doctor of Athletic Training program has been a perfect fit for Angelica Davison McCarthy. She works to help keep performers physically healthy in stage productions and music events, like Katy Perry's 2017 global concert tour. As a certified athletic trainer with a master's degree, she was looking to grow further in the profession.
"One of the biggest perks of Temple’s program is that it was 100 percent online," she says. "I was touring and traveling, so to have that flexibility, knowing that I could keep moving, was a huge thing."
McCarthy will receive her degree in August 2020, but she already has expanded her professional repertoire during her time at Temple. She began her career in a traditional athletic training role, working with college and high school sports programs, but she wanted more.
"I had grown up performing in musicals and playing music, and it was always a passion of mine, but I never really saw myself going that route," she says. With diligent networking, she transitioned into performing arts, where she has flourished, working on Broadway shows such as Hamilton and Frozen. "I've worked on shows that are very dance-heavy, or very acrobatic and movement-heavy. You do regular maintenance with folks to make sure their body moves efficiently. That ranges from providing education to being hands on and making sure that they can actually move correctly. Some days are easy, and other times I can be slammed. There have been times where the show has stopped for me to assess someone who is either on stage or who has come off stage."
McCarthy has expanded more recently into industrial work, including employee injury-prevention education. At a large aircraft engine manufacturer, she saw how repetitive handling of parts can lead to injury risk.
"All industrial settings are not created equally. Some ATs may provide more hands-on care depending on their state and the job setting," she says. "Our biggest mission was to fit the job to the person, whether they were on the shop floor or in the office."
Temple's doctoral program has offered her the flexibility to pursue diverse career options while strengthening her knowledge of the latest research literature, boosting her clinical skills, and enabling collaboration with professors and fellow students.
"The professors have great backgrounds themselves, so we're benefiting from their experience. And my classmates are all around the U.S., so we're always bouncing ideas off each other," she says. "You get to see the kind of education that athletic trainers can provide. Temple has been great for diving deeper into who I am as a clinician and applying the tools that they've given me."