The Monday Memo: 5/9/2016

The Monday Memo

May 9, 2016                                                                           PITT DPT STUDENTS

Becoming a Second Year DPT Student

A classroom full of 56 driven, caffeine infused, furiously scribbling Doctor of Physical Therapy students is daunting. They wiggle in their seats as they are taught the physiology of ischemic tissue, frantically look to their neighbor as the professor asks a question and curse their decidedly expensive and florescent pen which has just run out of ink after only two weeks of use. Every student leaps from their mildly cushioned chair, dashes outside, and gasps for 5 minutes of fresh air as their professor declares a break. The days are long and material dense. The nights are longer and material becomes more dense. Eyes strain to decipher tiny black Times New Roman characters dancing across the screen taunting the students who are not yet able to comprehend the artistically choreographed minuet.

As the hours, days, weeks and months carry on, these students weave their studies together in a tapestry of cranial nerves, grades of manual therapy mobilizations and ICU monitor readings. Slowly, the scenes come to life. The thread, previously standing alone, now plays a grander role in the tapestry. What was once a source of anxiety, stress and frustration, begins to transition into a source of confidence. The tapestry boldly encompasses the students as they enter the clinical setting. Embracing them, supporting them. And as they fumble underneath the weight of its magnitude and reach out in desperation for the Clinical Instructor, the students regain their footing. Meditating on the “Mantra,” the threads haunt their dreams until they become an innate part of their everyday existence. Passers-by become subjects of intensely studied gait patterns. Their significant others are the test dummies of goniometry readings, supine lumbo-pelvic rolls and are grilled with an exceedingly endless list of questions probing their every move in the past six months in attempts to determine their source of pain.

The semester climaxes with a crescendo of lab practicals, one hundred question exams, little food because their financial aid has run low, miserably gray April rains, self-evaluations and clinical evaluations, meetings with professors! . . . . . And suddenly there is silence. A still calm. It is the end of first year. The students rejoice in the empty space and await the fresh start of a second year. New books, new faces, new skills . . . . and new artistic scenes woven into their tapestry.

– Molly Bachmann, Class of 2018 President

 

Spotlight: Congratulations to all of our 2015/2016 Scholarship winners!

Dorothy Bradley Brown Endowed Scholarship (PT): Samantha Abbott, Nicole Dresden, Kaitlin Dunn, Shanna Gayer, Michael Turnwald

Mary Behling Browne Physical Therapy Scholarship (PT): Rebecca Russell, Bethany Trotter

Pat Croce Scholarship (PT): Kelson Coddington, Shannon Lee

Mary K. Daly-Crum Student Award (PT): Jaclyn Morino

David Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Center / Joseph M. David Endowed Scholarship (PT): Gabrielle Plesniak, John Anthony Sinacore

Anthony Delitto Endowed Fund in Physical Therapy (PT): Olivia Hart, Rebecca Mason

Victoria Green Memorial Student Resource Award (PT): Cory Bauer, Ellen Teasley

Patricia Leahy Memorial Scholarship (PT): Katharine Siegel

Pearl Cricco Mann Scholarship (PT): Margaret Anzalone, Anjali Kunnel

Alice Chagnot Oulette Endowment Award (PT): Alexander Kauffman, Allison Morrison

PT Class of 2009 Student Award (PT): Amanda Church

Paul and Judy Rockar Scholarship (PT): Bethany Trotter

D.T. Watson Alumni Scholarship (PT): Danielle Demarco, Brandon Rodgers

*Information regarding scholarship opportunities may be found on the SHRS PT website: https://www.shrs.pitt.edu/PT/DPT.aspx?id=5011

 

Check the Calendar for Class Schedules and Events

 

Social Media Updates
  • #DPTstudent –  WEDNESDAYS , 9-10pm EST!   Check out #DPTstudent page for details!
  • Unite Physical Therapy Students – If you haven’t yet, please check out the “Doctor of Physical Therapy Students” Facebook page. More than 9,500 students have already joined!
  • Our own page! Pitt Physical Therapy, thanks to the Social Media Team, has created an official PittPT Facebook page!
  • #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST)
May 10, 2016 |

The Monday Memo: 3/28/2016

The Monday Memo

March 28, 2016                                                                           PITT DPT STUDENTS

Ducks Revisited

As we near finals season, it can be difficult at times to remember why we do what we do.  When we can only plan a few days into the future and our next examination or practical, it is easy to forget the bigger picture.  Allow this memo to provide a little bit of perspective before getting lost in the last push towards semester’s end.

 

“Back in 1992, a cargo ship accidentally lost a container holding nearly 30,000 Friendly Floatees rubber ducks.  The container spilt the friendly bath toys into the Pacific Ocean where they were left to drift wherever the rolling waves would take them.  Scientists quickly discovered that they could track the ducks, using them to study ocean currents.

 

“Twenty-three years later, the ducks are still turning up on shores around the world.  Some have travelled over 17,000 miles.  Ducks have been found from Hawaii, to Hong Kong, to Argentina, Alaska, New York, and even the UK.  Some ducks have even been found frozen in Arctic Ice and have crossed through the Arctic Circle to reach the expanses of the Atlantic.  Twenty-three years later, and they are still washing ashore, sometimes halfway around the world, continents away.

 

“Everything we do in life is a lot like these rubber ducks.  Each action we take, hopefully for the better but occasionally for the worse, is a drop in the great expanses of our world.  They send ripples throughout time and space, carrying our words and actions to people we may never meet and places that we may never even dream of.  And yet though we may never know it, our actions can alter paths, they can shape minds, they can change the lives of those countless masses that will never know our names.

 

“And we as therapists do this daily, without giving a thought.

 

“We as therapists and physicians carry great weight with our actions.  By getting a father out of the hospital bed he had resigned himself the lie in the rest of his life, we may improve his health and quality of life so that his grandchildren have memories with him.  Controlling a woman’s low back pain could allow her to get back to work, so that she can send her daughter to a better school and a better life.  These ripples can turn to waves that you personally may never see, because you only witnessed the drop in the water, the time that you brought about a change in someone’s life.  So set some rubber ducks adrift.  Who knows what they will do.”

 

– Michael Turnwald

 

SPOTLIGHT: Congratulations to the Pitt-Marquette Challenge Reps on another successful continuing education course and best of luck on the upcoming weekend course regarding clinical decision-making.  Also, special thanks to Gina Kennedy, Ali Zeleznik, Jeff Moorehead, Mike Reeves, and Anthony Sinacore for representing the PT program and facilitating the interdisciplinary case studies!

 

Check the Calendar for Class Schedules and Events

Social Media Updates
  • #DPTstudent –  WEDNESDAYS , 9-10pm EST!   Check out #DPTstudent page for details!
  • Unite Physical Therapy Students – If you haven’t yet, please check out the “Doctor of Physical Therapy Students” Facebook page. More than 9,500 students have already joined!
  • Our own page! Pitt Physical Therapy, thanks to the Social Media Team, has created an official PittPT Facebook page!
  • #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST)
March 28, 2016 |

Pitt PT Named as a #1 Physical Therapy Program

It is with excitement that we announce the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Pittsburgh is ranked #1 in the nation according to the newly released 2016 rankings of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Programs in Physical Therapy. Pitt shares the 1st place recognition with 3 other institutions – University of Delaware, University of Southern California, and Washington University in St. Louis. For the past 10 years the Pitt PT program has been ranked among the top 3 PT programs in the country.  Since its founding in the 1930’s, the Physical Therapy education program at Pitt has continued to be a leader in education, research, leadership and innovation. The DPT program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), and recently received ‘re-accreditation with commendation’ through 2025.

 We are grateful to be learning from our incredible faculty and staff members, who continue to uphold and build upon Pitt PT’s reputation as a physical therapy program, and to those alumni who carry that reputation out into their practices. Hail to Pitt!

 Click here to see the full PT Program rankings from U.S. News & World Report.

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Class of 2018 DPT Students celebrating our #1 ranking!

March 17, 2016 |

The Monday Memo: 2/29/16

The Monday Memo

February 29, 2016                                                                           PITT DPT STUDENTS

APTA CSM 2016

APTA’s Combined Sections Meeting (CSM)…welcome to the world of physical therapy. Held in Anaheim, this is a place where – as Walt Disney would say – anything can happen. It’s meeting the vice president of JOSPT at 6 am in the hotel lobby over breakfast when you’re still half asleep and worried you still have toothpaste on the corner of your mouth. It’s crying during a lecture session when you hear a story that changes your perspective on your future as a physical therapist. It’s dancing like a crazy person for the sole purpose of earning a t-shirt at an exhibition booth while scanning your name tag at every other booth in hopes of being the winner of a new Fitbit. Unfortunately, I cannot say that I am the next dancing queen PT idol or that I won even one of the twelve Fitbit drawings. CSM is what you make of it. What I made of it was one of the most fulfilling, enjoyable weeks of my PT career.

 

The night before the start of conference chaos, ten Pitt students crowded into a hotel room and did what all college students do when given an opportunity to travel to sunny California on a trip of a lifetime – hovered over the sessions schedule trying to decide which ones to attend or which sessions we were assigned as volunteers. Some of us who pursue a passion for running attended every session regarding rehab and posture optimization for runners. Others attended sessions on areas of therapy we never considered, such as dry needling. Days ended with which talks were interesting, or which ones blew over our heads. Some sessions even reminded us as Pitt students how well of an education we are being given by the university – with three of us gaping in disbelief that an article we had just analyzed for an exam was used to show supporting evidence in ACL rehab. The learning benefits from attending CSM came from both familiar concepts and engrossing ourselves in completely foreign concepts.

 

CSM is an optimal chance for students to understand their roles as physical therapists and what we want to eventually achieve as future clinicians. We believe all PT students should attend CSM at least once during their graduate school experience.

 

– Sam Gladnick, DPT Class of 2018

 

SPOTLIGHT: Shout out to our current students who helped out at Preview Pitt day! And another shout out to those who helped out the Mighty Penguins – way to represent Pitt! 

 

Check the Calendar for Class Schedules and Events

Social Media Updates
  • #DPTstudent –  WEDNESDAYS , 9-10pm EST!   Check out #DPTstudent page for details!
  • Unite Physical Therapy Students – If you haven’t yet, please check out the “Doctor of Physical Therapy Students” Facebook page. More than 9,500 students have already joined!
  • Our own page! Pitt Physical Therapy, thanks to the Social Media Team, has created an official PittPT Facebook page!
  • #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST)
February 29, 2016 |

The Monday Memo: 1/25/2016

The Monday Memo

January 25, 2016                                                                            PITT DPT STUDENTS

Faculty Highlight: Dr. Patrick Sparto, PhD, PT

 

As students, we spend long hours in the classroom and lab with many of our faculty. But some faculty we do not get the chance to see as often because their presence is essential to their research. This only makes the chance to hear about their groundbreaking research from them all the more special. For this week, we spoke with Dr. Patrick Sparto, PhD, PT. The mechanical engineer/physical therapist is a member of Pitt’s Departments of Physical Therapy, Otolaryngology, and Bioengineering, and always keeps his lectures light with a mix of thorough coverage of material and his witty brand of humor.

 

What courses are you involved with, both within and outside of the PT program?
Physiology of Exercise
Musculoskeletal PT 3 (Ergonomics Module)
Neuromuscular PT (Vestibular PT)
Various lectures and instruction for PhD program

 

What is your title and what certifications do you have?
Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy
Secondary appointments in the Department of Otolaryngology and Bioengineering

My PhD is in Biomedical Engineering, and I have a Master of Physical Therapy degree from Pitt in 1999

 

What led you to pursue your field of research?
My doctoral degree is in Biomedical Engineering, specializing in biomechanics and human movement analysis. When I was looking for a position after completing PT school, there was an open position in the Department of Otolaryngology and Physical Therapy to study postural control. This was a perfect fit for the skills I had learned in graduate research training, so I was able to apply the engineering techniques to problems related to balance and vestibular disorders. I also have an interest in working with older adults, who of course have many balance disorders.

 

How did you make your way to the University of Pittsburgh?
My wife and I were looking at universities that had outstanding programs in our fields of study, and luckily Pitt had top-ranked programs in PT and psychology. Then we were both able to transition into faculty positions.

 

What type of research and/or projects are you working on that you would like to share with us?
I am co-director of the DPT-PhD in Bioengineering program, which is just in its first year.  I am also involved in several research studies related to studying the control of balance in older adults, individuals with vestibular disorders, and individuals after concussion. Our studies examine the neuroimaging of balance, quantifying balance intensity, studying balance in long term care environments, and recovery after concussion.

 

Thank you Dr. Sparto for your time and input!

 

SPOTLIGHT: Shout out to Shayna Spano for representing the Physical Therapy Department at the Working Group on Interprofessional Education’s patient case in which students from all of the health professions collaborated on in treating a unique hypothetical patient transitioning through the transgender process.

 

Check the Calendar for Class Schedules and Events

Social Media Updates
  • #DPTstudent –  WEDNESDAYS , 9-10pm EST!   Check out #DPTstudent page for details!
  • Unite Physical Therapy Students – If you haven’t yet, please check out the “Doctor of Physical Therapy Students” Facebook page. More than 9,500 students have already joined!
  • Our own page! Pitt Physical Therapy, thanks to the Social Media Team, has created an official PittPT Facebook page!
  • #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST)
January 25, 2016 |