Dr. Jamal Cort is a 2019 graduate from the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program at USAHS and currently works as the Assistant Athletic Trainer for the Utah Jazz NBA basketball team and head athletic trainer for the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz G-league affiliated team.
Like many physical therapists, Dr. Cort is dedicated to providing quality, evidence-based care to his patients, but he attributes his success to the professional connections he’s made along the way.
In 2014, Dr. Jamal Cort received his master’s degree in Athletic Training and started working in professional sports. He did two internships with the Minnesota Vikings and worked as a seasonal Assistant Athletic Trainer for the New York Knicks.
“During my time with the Knicks, I was mentored by a graduate of USAHS,” Dr. Cort said. “Being under him for a year really motivated me to take that next step to learn more and be able to do more.”
Continuing his education at USAHS opened many doors for Dr. Cort. The program’s focus on manual therapy and in-depth evaluations made him a desirable candidate for employers after graduation. The clinic where Dr. Cort interned during graduate school ended up hiring him. While working at the clinic, he got a call from an old coworker at the Minnesota Vikings.
“This was the opportunity for me to do what I ultimately wanted to do, which is be in professional sports,” Dr. Cort said. “So, I went to Las Vegas to help out with the NBA summer league.”
While working in the summer league, Dr. Cort interviewed for four different positions at four different teams. He consulted with his mentors on the opportunities and decided that the Jazz would be the best fit for him.
“My mentors chose the Jazz for me because I would be able to learn the most with that team and grow clinically,” Dr. Cort said.
Since the beginning of his career in health sciences and sports therapy, Dr. Cort has made professional, lasting connections. He’s stayed in touch with mentors and checked in with old employers and coworkers. This consistency and professionalism resonated with these professionals and helped him pursue his dream job.
“By doing a bunch of internships, meeting the right people and leaving the right impression, I showed that people could trust me,” Dr. Cort said.
He’s excited to start the season with the Utah Jazz. The team has infinite resources for Dr. Cort – access to doctors, different modalities, new technologies and teachers/trainings in new and upcoming techniques. His mentors led him in the right direction to a professional and unlimited learning environment. Dr. Cort is also excited to start the season with this staff and team.
“This organization has a history of hiring people with really high character and high standards,” he said. “The team has a proactive approach to the athletes’ health, which helps the team get better, helps the individuals and their families and home life.”
Dr. Cort’s advice to young, aspiring physical therapists and athletic trainers is to have the same personable and professional attitude and continue to network with other therapists in your field to build meaningful connections.
“Whether you’re a student, you’re an intern, you’ve been there 10 years, you’ve been there 30 years, it doesn’t matter, you are always leaving an impression,” Dr. Cort said. “So, it’s important to maintain professionalism and try your best every time you step in the door.”