The Monday Memo: 12/17/12

The Monday Memo

December 17, 2012                                                                                       PITT DPT FACULTY

#PrayForNewtown

 

When I volunteered to write a guest post for our community, I couldn’t have known the unimaginable sorrow our nation as a whole would be experiencing. The tragedy that befell Newtown Connecticut is truly a nightmare come to life. Please pray for the children, teachers, and school officials who lost their lives in this inexplicable act of violence and those who continue to grieve. We can all sympathize with those who’ve lost loved ones but we can never truly empathize with someone who has lost a loved one to random violence, especially a child. #PrayForNewtown

 

While listening to the President mourn with those in the community two quotes really struck home:

“To end these tragedies we must change…”

“Surely we can do better than this…”

 

I’m going to take a few liberties but stay with me and give me a little latitude. The first quote had a number of interpretations, gun control not being the least, but, after more reflection, I realized this could be interpreted as personal change as well. What can we change? Well, isolation is one thing. Our nation is drifting apart in ideology and our communities and relationships are the casualties. Can you tell me the names and birthdays of more than 3 of your neighbors? Likes and dislikes? Their occupation? In the past the street or block you lived on was an extension of your family. I remember my mother caring for the neighbor who had a stroke while his wife was in the hospital. Now, I’m not sure I’d even know if my neighbor was in the hospital. But let’s increase the magnification and look at our student body. How much you know about your classmates. Can you name them all, first and last? What about undergraduate schooling? How about that non-traditional student, what makes them tick? If we take a critical look at this the reality is we know less than we think we do about the people with whom we spend much of our time. How can we expect to get to know our patients if we can’t get to know our colleagues? This lack of knowledge is one of the precursors to our own isolation and has the potential to limit or effectiveness as clinicians.

 

The second quote “surely we can do better than this” needs only a single word response: Amen. We have to do better than this. As physical therapists we have a closer relationship with patients than many other medical professionals. Our sometimes daily contact with patients puts us in a unique position to recognize those who feel isolated and engage them in a community. We’ll never know who truly feels socially isolated but creating an environment where someone cares can change lives. The psychological effect we can have as physical therapists is undeniable. The difficult part is extending our own personal boundaries to carry the burden with a patient in need. Sometimes the most effective therapy is the ear that listens while the patient is exercising. In my life, it’s only when I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone that I’ve seen true change in others and myself.

 

In closing, during this holiday season remember there is always someone in need. Reach out to them, even if you don’t get a response. Sometimes it’s enough to know that someone else is thinking of you.  The Physical Therapy community has experienced a surge in conversation, attention, and potential collaboration via social media. Let’s use this to our advantage. Engage those lurking and assist those not involved in the conversation. Social Media is an excellent medium to engage those who would otherwise be lost in the margins. Finally, consider change… What kind of change can we affect? As the nation becomes increasingly polarized and these events cause an internal “contraction reaction” I would encourage you to resist this. Each time you feel this, reach out to someone and engage them. You can never know the true effect of your ripples but I can guarantee you’ll make no waves if you never throw the rock.

 

It’s been a privilege having the student voice of PittPT. Please have a happy and safe holiday and continue to pray for those who can’t pray for themselves right now. #PrayforNewtown.

 

 

 

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 3,500 students have already joined!
  • Our own page! Pitt Physical Therapy, thanks to the Social Media Team, has create an official PittPT Facebook page!
  • #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST) 
  • Log ‘N Blog – Please ‘Like’ the Facebook page and tell your friends about the effort!


December 17, 2012 |

TED – Video of the Week – “Body Language”

Amy Cuddy – “Fake It Until You Become It”

Amazing Story and Lesson in Body Language

 

[From TED.com]

Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.

 

Amy Cuddy’s research on body language reveals that we can change other people’s perceptions — and even our own body chemistry — simply by changing body positions.

 

December 14, 2012 |

Dec. 12th – #DPTstudent Chat on Mentorship

Student Mentorship

During School

On Wednesday night at 9PM EST, the students of physical therapy once again convened to discuss the topic of the week- Student Mentorship. Some questions raised were ‘does your DPT program have an organized mentorship/buddy program?’ and ‘how has this helped you? Are you a mentor to someone in a class below you? What do you do help them and motivate them?’ Looks like many schools engage in a structured mentorship program with 1st and 2nd year students, much like we have at the University of Pittsburgh. Like us, those ‘upper classmen’ can assist incoming grad students with everything from housing and book recommendations to test strategies and clinical advice. Without question, all who experienced this mentorship during the transition from undergrad to graduate studies were very appreciative of having the guiding hand from those who have been there before. Considering this, it raises an interesting question regarding the next step in mentorship- after graduation!

From 3rd Year to Real-World

The conversation quickly evolved into mentorship during the next transition we’ll all experience, from 3rd year to licensed practitioner. Of course, we’ve all developed meaningful and lasting relationships between some of the upper classmen and faculty, but nearly all who participated in the #DPTstudent chat claimed their university lacked a formal mentorship program for new grads. This is surprising considering the value we place in having this experience while starting school; why the lack of mentorship upon finishing? Many students also reported being coached into formally incorporating mentorship into their first jobs with blocked hours set aside to discuss difficult patients with seasoned clinicians. However, there were also stories about promises left unkept and facilities lacking time to provide the guidance to new hires.

Start of Something New?

What might be a good solution is to start compiling an alumni database that contains information regarding the graduating classes from the past 5 years. Then, when graduates from the University of Pittsburgh seek advice in a particular area of practice or region of the United States, the faculty can pair them with an appropriate mentor. This would strengthen our alumni network and 3rd year experience- hopefully bettering the practice of both in the process. Who knows, maybe this #DPTstudent chat has led to the start of something new?

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The Monday Memo: 12/3/12

The Monday Memo

December 3, 2012                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS

#DPTstudent Chat: A Huge Success!

 

Last Wednesday was the inaugural Twitter #DPTstudent chat. With a phenomenal turnout, students from across the country discussed the reason they were inspired to join the PT community in the first place. From great mentorship to Body World exhibitions, I was impressed by the expanse of catalysts that have encouraged our national student body into this field. Following this discussion, the enthusiasm of the group was almost palpable. The residual Twitter buzz spoke only of the excitement for the next prompt for our #DPTstudents to tackle.

 

The support that has since been generated between students, faculty, and PTs around the country has also made me look forward to the Combined Sections Meeting in January. Since there was such a strong response to #DPTstudent chat, I can only anticipate the positive reaction to our next project: Log n’ Blog. ‘Tis the season for New Years Resolutions and school spirit, and Log n’ Blog is the perfect combination of both. The Foundation for PT is inviting students (faculty and family members!) to participate in a student-driven fundraiser.

 

Log N’ Blog – Click here for more info

 

 

Also consider this…

 

 

And Hail to Pitt!

 

 

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 3,500 students have already joined!
  • Our own page! Pitt Physical Therapy, thanks to the Social Media Team, has create an official PittPT Facebook page!
  • #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST) 
  • Log ‘N Blog – Please ‘Like’ the Facebook page and tell your friends about the effort!


December 3, 2012 |