The Monday Memo
November 23, 2015 PITT DPT STUDENTS
The Importance of Reflecting
The biopsychosocial approach to healthcare is something we learn about on a daily basis at the University of Pittsburgh. This model hit close to home over the past couple weeks as the first year DPT students completed their coursework on the ligaments of the knee. I have torn both my right and left ACL during my time as a student athlete, and have watched at least five other teammates tear their ACL during my high school and college careers. My fellow classmates were very interested in my personal experience with this injury and I was struck by my emotional response to this attention. I began to realize the complexity of my psychological and social experience of this particular physical diagnosis. Every aspect of our lecture, from mechanism of injury to intervention protocols, was filled with memories of my own rehabilitation or a teammate’s experience.
The physiological and tissue healing aspects of a post-operative protocol are immensely important to understand, but the support and encouragement we as therapists provide during a patient-PT interaction are also imperative in the process of rehabilitation. As I reflected on my experience, my teammates desire to return to the field beside the friends we loved were as much a part of each therapy session as were the inflammation and quad atrophy they presented with post-operatively. The internal frustration and perception of failure I experienced during plateaus in the lengthy rehab was as much of a barrier in my progression as was the persisting effusion in my knees. The dreams each of us had of continuing our sports at the collegiate level were just as motivating as were objective reports of increases in our range of motion and strength measurements.
I challenge myself and my fellow classmates to look at our patients in a holistic way, recognizing the complex impact of injuries on the entire person – physically, psychologically, and socially. There is power in relating our own experiences of injury and pain with that of our patients and empathizing with their situation on a day to day basis. We as patient-centered heath care providers should seek to engage the whole person, treating any physical impairments but also encouraging our patients through all aspects of the journey of restoration.
-Audrey Eisentrout, DPT Class of 2018
Thank you to Mike Reeves, Anthony Sinacore, and Jeff Moorehead for representing Physical Therapy at the Interprofessionalism case studies this past week. And a big shout out to those who attended the PT/OT/Speech Pathology mixer to raise $680 for The Alliance for Infants and Toddlers, Inc.
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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 9,500 students have already joined!
- Our own page! Pitt Physical Therapy, thanks to the Social Media Team, has created an official PittPT Facebook page!
- #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST)