The Monday Memo: 9/24/2012

The Monday Memo

September 24, 2012                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS


Get More Sleep!

Social Media Updates


Mark Your Calendars!

(2nd year students – also check the Calendar) Please keep checking this calendar for upcoming deadlines, syllabus changes and events!

  • Tuesday, Sept. 25 – Neuromuscular PT II – Homework #4 due at 1:00pm
  • Thursday, Sept. 27 – MMSK III – Movement Analysis Written Exam (and yes, we have class afterward)
  • Thursday, Sept. 27 – Health Promotion – Please dress in business casual for our guest speaker, Dr. Davis
  • Friday, Sept. 28 – Neuromuscular II – Written Exam starts at 9am
  • Friday, Sept. 28 – PT Rounds – First half of alphabet
  • Monday. Oct. 1  – Final Day to order Pitt PT Gear!


  • October 27 – Pumpkin Picking! Should be about ~$10. More details to come!
  • November 2 – 4 – National Student Conclave! Register here by Oct. 10 for the best rates! Also, people have begun buddying up for hotel rooms! Please refer to an earlier e-mail from the PTGSA regarding cost. It’s been estimated that the PTGSA will be able to reimburse up to $150 per person! Keep those receipts! 
September 24, 2012 |

TED – Video of the Week – “Regenerative Medicine”

Realization of Alan Russell’s Vision

Update 5 Years Later

Exciting things have been coming out of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. Over the past few years, the physical therapy students have enjoyed amazing lectures and instruction given by Dr. Fabrisia AmbrosioDr. Jessie VanSwearingen, and others from the Institute.


In case you missed the wildly successful Inaugural Symposium on Regenerative Rehabilitation, they’re holding another! The Second Annual Symposium on Regenerative Rehabilitation will be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on November 12-13, 2012. To find out more regarding programming and registration by visiting the Symposium’s website. If you’re still not convinced or have heard very little regarding the potential of stem cells, check out our TED Video of the Week given by Dr. Alan Russell. What might be a future physical therapists’s role in providing specific stresses to tissues injected with stem cells? We know that just infusing a joint with stem cells isn’t enough to magically repair damaged tissue. Might they be the true experts who specialize in applying the appropriate forces to help change those undifferentiated cells into a meniscus? Pretty intriguing!


[Bio from]


Alan Russell is a professor of surgery — and of chemical engineering. In crossing the two fields, he is expanding our palette of treatments for disease, injury and congenital defects. We can treat symptoms, he says, or we can replace our damaged parts with bioengineered tissue. As he puts it: “If newts can regenerate a lost limb, why can’t we?”


The founding director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, at the University of Pittsburgh, Russell leads an ambitious biomedicine program that explores tissue engineering, stem cell research, biosurgery and artificial and biohybrid organs. They’ve also started testing a new kind of heart pump, figured out that Botox can help with enlarged prostate, and identified human adipose cells as having the possibility to repair skeletal muscle. In his own Russell Lab, his team has studied antimicrobial surfaces and helping to develop a therapy to reduce scarring on muscle after injury. Lately, his lab is involved in biotechnology studies in relation to chemical and biological weapons defense.


September 12, 2012 |

The Monday Memo: 8/13/2012

The Monday Memo

August 13, 2012                                                                                            PITT DPT STUDENTS

Outside the Box

After spending a few days reflecting on the (now completed) summer semester, it occurred to me that most of what is embedded in the curriculum of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of Pittsburgh is evidence-based and current. However, there must be even MORE information that leads even FURTHER outside-the-box thinking. Searching for such frontier thought, I found myself once again at  Here are two outside-the-box presentations that are applicable to physical therapy- each utilize an invention by Alexander Graham Bell, the telephone.


Max Little: A test for Parkinson’s with a phone call

Parkinson’s disease affects 6.3 million people worldwide, causing weakness and tremors, but there’s no objective way to detect it early on. Yet. Applied mathematician and TED Fellow Max Little is testing a simple, cheap tool that in trials is able to detect Parkinson’s with 99 percent accuracy — in a 30-second phone call.


Eric Dishman: Take health care off the mainframe

At TEDMED, Eric Dishman makes a bold argument: The US health care system is like computing circa 1959, tethered to big, unwieldy central systems: hospitals, doctors, nursing homes. As our aging population booms, it’s imperative, he says, to create personal, networked, home-based health care for all.


Mark Your Calendars!!
  • ASPA – Renew your APTA Memberships
  • ASAP  Registration Open  for National Student Conclave in Arlington, VA (Nov 2-4,2012) REGISTER NOW!
August 13, 2012 |

TED – Video of the Week – “Everyday Leadership”

Drew Dudley’s Everyday Leadership


The Power of Lollipop Moments


[Intro from]

We have all changed someone’s life — usually without even realizing it. In this funny talk from TEDxToronto, Drew Dudley calls on all of us to celebrate leadership as the everyday act of improving each other’s lives. Drew Dudley believes leadership is not a characteristic reserved for the extraordinary. He works to help people discover the leader within themselves.


Leadership in Physical Therapy


Physical therapy needs leadership. We’re not talking about the kind that gives speeches, can recite ‘core values’ on command or that even knows by-laws and legislation like the back of their hand. Actually, we’re talking about the same everyday leadership that Dudley explains in his TED talk. He has an incredible message for aspiring physical therapists at the University of Pittsburgh. Each of us are afforded a daily opportunity to be leaders in our families, group of friends and of course, our profession. Whether we’re in the classroom or clinic, ‘Lollipop Moments’ might occur without us ever being fully aware of them existing. Embracing our ability and capacity to be everyday leaders is the first step. The next, is to acknowledge and thank those who have been leaders in our lives. Many times, they’re the same people in the audience who choose not to raise their hands! Give them credit and encourage them to continue to inspire others with their actions. Step up and lead!

July 26, 2012 |

TED – Video of the Week – “Stroke of Insight”

Jill Bolte Taylor’s Stroke of Insight


Her Incredible Experience


[Intro from]

One morning, a blood vessel in Jill Bolte Taylor’s brain exploded. As a brain scientist, she realized she had a ringside seat to her own stroke. She watched as her brain functions shut down one by one: motion, speech, memory, self-awareness …


Amazed to find herself alive, Taylor spent eight years recovering her ability to think, walk and talk. She has become a spokesperson for stroke recovery and for the possibility of coming back from brain injury stronger than before. In her case, although the stroke damaged the left side of her brain, her recovery unleashed a torrent of creative energy from her right. From her home base in Indiana, she now travels the country on behalf of the Harvard Brain Bank as the “Singin’ Scientist.”



“How many brain scientists have been able to study the brain from the inside out? I’ve gotten as much out of this experience of losing my left mind as I have in my entire academic career.” – Jill Bolte Taylor

July 20, 2012 |