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Founders Day alumni spotlight: Dr. Michael Braitsch

Man in black outfit showing students a fighting stance
Dr. Braitsch leads a class at UT Southwestern’s Adaptive Sports Expo in 2019.

Michael Braitsch, PT, D.P.T, Class of 2016

  • Doctor of Physical Therapy, School of Health Professions
  • Founder/Director of Tribe Wellness LLC
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Recipient, 2016

What were some of your most memorable experiences while you were a student?

I remember three important experiences as a graduate student in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, which involved practical application of skills acquired in the classroom while using my own previous experiences: leading a research study on noncontact boxing for people with Parkinson’s disease; leading tai chi and mindfulness classes at Calvert Place Men's Shelter in their Smoking Cessation and Wellness program; and serving at Camp John Marc as a counselor for kids with muscular dystrophy. These experiences would not have been possible without the relationships that UT Southwestern fosters in the community.

Two men in suits looking at a folder
Dr. Michael Braitsch is photographed with Dr. Drew Alexander, Assistant Dean for Community Engagement, during the Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration in 2016. Dr. Braitsch was the scholarship recipient for that year’s program.

I feel fortunate to have received mentorship from so many faculty members, but most notably receiving constant encouragement, guidance, and support from two people: My faculty adviser, Dr. Julie DeVahl, Associate Professor, School of Health Professions, and Director of Clinical Education, was always there to illuminate the path to success for me. Additionally, Dr. Drew Alexander, Assistant Dean for Community Engagement and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, connected with me in my pursuit of the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship, and he has served as a trusted adviser in my personal and professional development.

What excites you most about the future of medicine and science?  

Interdisciplinary collaboration gives us so many opportunities to find new ways to improve the lives of our patients. In partnering with other disciplines, we gain a broader perspective and share new ideas that make a unique and lasting impact. UT Southwestern instilled a passionate curiosity in me and a persistence in seeking new ways to help others to lead healthier lives. 

Two men, both posing in a boxing stance
Dr. Braitsch poses with one of his research study participants, Winston McAden. Dr. Braitsch studies the impact boxing has on the physical symptoms of Parkinson’s disease patients.

What makes UT Southwestern special? 

So many great minds continue to come together here to find ways to cross disciplinary boundaries. An outstanding example is the work being done by the UT Southwestern Adaptive Sports Coalition, which is made up of people from a variety of backgrounds and organizations. Due to their singular purpose of improving lives regardless of physical abilities or limitations, these volunteers share resources, forge community connections, and give people access to programming and ideas that change patients’ lives long after their discharge from the hospital.

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