The Monday Memo
September 1, 2014 PITT DPT STUDENTS
“The Alex Kimp: Journey to the Land Down Under and Back Again”
Study Abroad Opportunity
In the DPT program, the first summer full-time clinical rotation allows for the opportunity to study abroad which is unique to the University of Pittsburgh Physical Therapy Program. My 6-week clinical rotation was in Melbourne, Australia and it was the experience of a lifetime. The opportunity has allowed me to develop professionally, clinically, and personally. The possibility of the rotation was due to the Dorothy Bradley Brown Nationality Room Scholarship.
Dorothy Bradley Brown Nationality Room Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded to a DPT student in good academic standing who wishes to study abroad. The scholarship is awarded by the Nationality Rooms scholarship committee.
The purpose of the international study is to:
• Gain exposure to healthcare system(s) outside the United States of America;
• Observe physical therapy practice in other countries
Students interested in exploring the Dorothy Bradley Brown Scholarship should notify the Chair of the PT Department so that planning and coordination of this experience can be done efficiently. The student may be asked to present at PT Clinical Rounds after completing the independent study abroad.
For more information: http://www.nationalityrooms.pitt.edu/content/dorothy-bradley-brown-award
The Clinical Experience
My clinical placement was with the Peninsula Sports Medicine Group at their Langwarrin Sports Medicine Centre location. The outpatient facility provided services to patients with a variety of health professionals including a sports doctor, myotherapists, psychologists, exercise physiologists, podiatrists, and a hypnotherapist. The patients that were seen consisted of individuals presenting with sports injuries, workplace injuries, motor vehicle accidents, etc.
As a student, I rotated around all of the physiotherapists so that I could gain some insight into the different evaluation and treatment methods used within the clinic. Australia has direct access to physiotherapy and the physiotherapists have the ability to refer individuals for imaging, which was an aspect of the profession that I really admired and thought was truly efficient. It was exciting to see all of the physiotherapists using the manual therapy that was taught during my first year in the Pitt DPT program. Also I got the opportunity to observe a clinical Pilate’s session that was instructed by physiotherapists. A lot of clinics in Australia offered clinical Pilates and it was exciting to see the session first hand and how much the physiotherapists were able to use their clinical judgment to individualize the session for each patient. I also managed to find an opportunity to observe a Melbourne City Football Club training session and observed the physiotherapist’s role in the professional sports setting in Australia.
The experience has allowed me to grow as a clinician by introducing me to a new health care system, where physiotherapists are trained to think in different ways than those in the U.S., specifically due to policy differences regarding physiotherapy. I have gained new skills to add to my clinical toolbox and learned different approaches that have affected my clinical thought processing. I now have an expanded view of physical therapy and will continue to use my newly acquired skills and network to grow and develop as I finish my education.
Life Abroad Experience
I loved my time in Australia. Melbourne is an amazing city with too much to offer. I went to the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) to experience my first Australian Rules football match and explored some of the city’s attractions such as Flinders Street Station as well as grab a bite from DeGraves Street. I also made time during a weekend to head over to Hobart, Tasmania to explore Mount Wellington, the Salamanca Markets, Port Arthur, and the Museum of Old and New Art. I made my way up to Sydney eventually and got to see the iconic Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. While I was in Gold Coast, I experienced some beautiful beaches and hiked up Mount Warning. I finished my trip up in Cairns and got to experience the Great Barrier Reef, which was among one of the most amazing things that I have ever seen in my life.
I am truly thankful for the University of Pittsburgh and the Nationality Rooms and Intercultural Exchange Program for the experience. The Pitt DPT program provided me a sound foundation in my first year prior to the rotation that allowed me to fully navigate the unfamiliarity of a new system. The experience was life changing and I have now developed an understanding of what happens in the field of physical therapy internationally.
– Alex Kimp
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