PT, DPT ‘16
USC/RLANRC Neurologic PT Resident
Why UE DPT?
The University of Evansville DPT program is unique. The academic caseload is all encompassing and prepares students for clinical practice. There are countless extra-curricular activities, such as pro-bono work and research, to be involved in and multiple ways to serve the community. On top of all this, and most important to me, at UE you are truly part of a family. From the faculty to the students, there is an undeniable community atmosphere. The small class size truly allows for students to get to know one-another and their professors on a deeper level. I felt that this was one of the most important aspects of my education at UE. The atmosphere helped to keep me grounded as I took on a stressful academic career.
The atmosphere also encouraged me to self-reflect and identify my goals. The faculty and my fellow classmates pushed me to challenge myself and offered support when I aspired to try something new. For me, this was most evident as my classmates, Mary Kessler, and I took on ACErcise. Also, when faced with the complicated decisions as to “what happens next?”, my professors were always available as mentors and sound boards. Countless times professors made time for me to work through my plans. Professors even made themselves available by phone to help coach me through stressful interviews and offer their support. At UE, I can guarantee that you will be pushed to achieve your best potential, both in and outside the classroom. You will make amazing friends and find life-long mentors in the faculty.
Advice for a 1st year PT student
GET INVOLVED! There are so many outside of the classroom opportunities to become involved in as a student of the UE DPT program, and you need to take advantage! You will have the opportunity to collaborate with classmates and faculty to be a part of a student run pro-bono PT clinic and group exercise program. There are also different clubs and peer mentor opportunities available. In addition, students can assist professors in research and can serve as tutors and teacher’s assistants for numerous courses.
My experiences outside the classroom are truly what took my education to the next level. I also found so much passion and joy from engaging in them. Getting involved allowed me to supplement my education, but, most importantly, it served as a constant reminder for my purpose in PT school. Never forget WHY you want to be a physical therapist. Never forget your mission. Despite the stress or challenges you may face, let that “why” be your fuel to drive you.
In the future, I aspire to have my NCS. I aim to work in an outpatient neurologic PT clinic while working as an adjunct professor for the nearest DPT program. Due to my love for pro-bono work, I also plan to volunteer at pro-bono clinics where I live and/or work to help develop pro-bono programs in areas of need. I am passionate about the field of neurologic physical therapy and about serving that patient population. I aim to be involved in multiple aspects of care and to help ignite this passion in future students.
What Am I up to now?
Currently, I am working as a resident in the University of Southern California and Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency. As a resident, I stay busy and get vast exposure to my field! I am working as a physical therapist at Rancho Los Amigos in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. I am able to practice at this nationally renowned facility and receive one-on-one mentorship from the best in this field. I am also assisting the lead researchers of the ICARE trial in the development and writing of a follow-up piece of literature. I serve as a resident teacher for the neuroanatomy and electrophysiology courses in the University of Southern California’s DPT program curriculum. Once a week, I work in Keck Medical Center’s Neurology physician clinic, where I sit in on the neurologist’s appointments performing movement analyses, educating patients over the importance of staying active, and referring appropriate patients to physical therapy. Lastly, I volunteer as a physical therapy supervisor for Fit Families, a student run pro-bono community wellness program.
I love every second of this chapter in my life! I am learning every day, and continuing to grow as a clinician. I hope one day to be able to make a large impact in this field, but most importantly in the lives of the patients and families I serve.