Catching Up: Dr. Gerald Dolce, School of Physical Therapy, Class of 2017
Despite a successful four-year career as a linebacker at Allegheny College, Dr. Gerald Dolce knew physical therapy was his first love.
“I went into college knowing it was what I wanted to do,” said the native of Western New York. “From the time I was 17, I knew I would work in physical therapy.”
Dolce majored in Biology at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania where he also played outside linebacker. The long hours required of his playing commitment, from practicing to studying game film of his opponents, made it difficult to complete his studies in a timely manner.
“That was the hardest part for me,” he admitted.
With such a familiar background in athletics, Dolce thought he would pursue sports physical therapy as a career. After his first year at Touro University Nevada, he admitted, his priorities quickly changed.
“It was enticing being able to get these elite athletes back to their form, but then I realized that they were still going to be elite athletes at the end,” he said. “I also loved working with the general population, from the very young to the elderly. When they’re in a ton of pain, it’s nice to see them get better.”
Coming from a smaller Division-III school like Allegheny College, Dolce was fascinated by the thought of attending Touro’s School of Physical Therapy.
“At Touro, I was part of a cohort of 40 students who all wanted the same thing,” he said. “It was such an easy transition for me and really helped me succeed in the classroom. It was everything I wanted in a school.”
Dolce admitted how hard his first year of physical therapy school was, but the open-door policy helped him connect with faculty who were always there when he needed help.
“Every time I had a question, I knew they’d be able to help me,” he said. “We were always encouraged to reach out to them for guidance.”
Since graduating from the School of Physical Therapy in 2017, Dolce has worked at ATI Physical Therapy in Southern Nevada. As a board-certified orthopedic specialist and director for ATI, Dolce is adamant about earning more certifications to strengthen his skills as a physical therapist. Expanding his education and receiving more certifications helped him quickly ascend to a director-level position less than a few years after graduation.
“You have to be motivated to want to continue your education. Having that mindset of wanting to keep growing has helped me so much,” he said.
Dolce is learning more about the business side of physical therapy and also helps train physical therapy students. He’s also inquired about working as an adjunct faculty in Touro’s School of Physical Therapy so he can help educate the future generations of physical therapists.
“My goal is to get into a fellowship program within the next two years and hopefully become a professor,” he said. “I love to teach, and I’d love to serve in more of a teaching role very soon.”Learn More About Touro Nevada's PT Program