The Monday Memo
October 7, 2019 PITT DPT STUDENTS
Most, if not all PT students chose this career path because they discovered a symbiotic relationship working with patients during their shadowing experience or otherwise: We help them cure their physical ailments while giving ourselves a sense of altruism by helping others. In fact, I remember a few weeks ago taking the popular “Color Personality Test”. For those who are unfamiliar, the “blue” personality is described by compassion, empathy, and being social. Around 8% of the world’s population fits into this category, while 40% of our class alone had blue as their dominant personality type.
Getting into PT school is one thing. But once we are in, how do we know which setting within the PT realm fits our personality the best? Many people know exactly what they want when they apply for school and I applaud them. But most of us are just trying to survive and figure out this thing called graduate school. The ultimate example that immediately comes to my mind are previous athletes. Many previous athletes are attracted to the ortho/sports route because they can relate from their own personal rehab for their injuries sustained during their playing career. But through clinical experiences and volunteering opportunities in different settings, they also find enjoyment in settings they never really considered. Personally, upon entering PT school, I was dead set on neuro. Something about the brain and its intricate circuits sparked an interest in me. But after a few ortho rotations and even an inpatient one has me pondering which setting I will thrive in the best.
So, a few personal words of advice to prospective PT students or 1st years who are somewhat lost from a current 2nd year who is still somewhat lost.
- Come into PT school with an open mind – pick a setting you think you would never see yourself doing and see where the road leads to; you may find a passion you never knew you had. We grow the most from learning in uncomfortable/challenging situations
- Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer! – Get involved! This helps you discover new things as well as making a positive impact within your community.
- Be a sponge – absorb as much knowledge as you can while in school and trust the process. Don’t just memorize for exams but apply your knowledge clinically to any setting you are in and I promise, you will come out a better clinician from it.
-Sam Yip, SPT