The Monday Memo
May 30, 2017 PITT DPT STUDENTS
Welcome to Graduate School
The new class of future physical therapists will arrive at Bridgeside Point 1 this Friday for the very first time as Pitt DPT students. Looking back on my own orientation session nearly one year ago, I remember how excited I was to start my own journey, especially at a university as highly regarded as Pittsburgh. I had spent the past 4 years preparing for school: Working stints as a rehab aide, a strength coach, a personal trainer, and volunteering weekly at a therapeutic riding center. These experiences were instrumental in creating the student I am today.
However, with personal experience comes bias. This is even more true while you’re developing as an individual, a professional, and a clinician. Early on in your career, you have a very limited sample size to work with which means every experience holds a greater degree of influence over your perspectives, thoughts, and beliefs. As you begin your educational journey as an SPT, these beliefs will shape the way you view your classes, the experiences you have in clinic, and the research you perform in an effort to improve as a clinician.
It’s vitally important to maintain perspective, understand that the science and research is ever evolving, and nobody, including yourself, has all the answers. That being said, with any profession or skill there is a major theme that you must follow to reach the highest level of achievement: Keep an open mind and master the basics. “But the basics are boring, they’re dry”. It may take memorization and repetition day in and day out, but in the end this is where the master clinicians are made.
Keep this in mind over your next three years in Pittsburgh. Check your bias at the door when you walk into your first Anatomy class and start fresh. Relearn muscular origins, insertions, and actions. Keep an open mind to new ideas, new treatment methods, and continuously challenge your pre-existing beliefs. Pittsburgh will arm you with the tools to critically appraise EVERYTHING in the field of physical rehabilitation and determine the application to clinical practice. It’s up to you whether or not you want to use them. You’ll likely be a much more effective therapist if you do.
- Charles Badawy, SPT, CSCS, USAW,
Pitt DPT Class of 2019