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Hi everyone,

I’m back again, signing in for the last time. Now that I’ve graduated over a month ago, I’ve enjoyed reflecting over the past 3 years of PT school and how much I’ve grown as a person during that time. I hope you’ve enjoyed getting a small glimpse of life during PT school, and continue to pursue your goals of becoming a Doctor of Physical Therapy.

Here’s a little motivational moment for you- after you graduate and pass the board exam, you’ll be able to help people in a way that only a small percentage of trained professionals can. I’m looking forward to that!

Also- you might be as fortunate as I was to get to take a real vacation after tossing that graduation cap. That is something I highly recommend, if you’re able. My husband, Miles, and I had an amazing post-graduation / overdue honeymoon trip to Australia. We spent two weeks there and had an incredible time, especially without the weight of any schoolwork or tests looming over our minds. The scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef is unparalleled! There is so much I could tell you, but it’s probably best if I just say you should definitely go yourself if you have the opportunity. And try the vegemite.

After the “real” vacation, we went to see Miles’s family in Missouri for a few days, before heading back to Denver. Miles started full-time work as a mechanical engineer on June 4. I have been meeting with classmates to study in coffee shops since that day. My plan for the summer is to study for the rest of the month, leaving weekends off since I have weddings to attend and my family is visiting. Then, board exam July 2. Then, apply and interview for jobs. And get one.

As I mentioned before, I am excited about getting to help people for work. I think it will be a ton of fun. I wish you the very best in your endeavors and have no doubt you’ll become a great physical therapist. Thank you for letting me share my experiences with you. I hope you’ve learned something and been encouraged along the way.

Best,

M

P.S.

Here are a few iconic pictures from Australia. G’day!

 

 

Hello, hello!

I am writing you quite cheerfully, because I am now officially a Doctor of Physical Therapy! We had convocation on May 4, where we received our doctoral hoods, and commencement on May 5, where we received our empty diploma folders. Let me break down the past few weeks for you.

Everyone came back after their 4th clinical rotation and we had about two weeks of final assignments and reflection sessions to attend. The most important assignment was our capstone portfolio defense. We had to compile an online portfolio including pieces of evidence that we had met Regis criteria for being an evidence-based practitioner, autonomous doctor, and advocate of furthering our profession through research, business, and public policy. Then, we had to create a 20 minute presentation and defend our accomplishments, also speaking about how we’ve grown personally over the past three years. This was presented to our faculty advisor and one other faculty member, along with up to two guests we could invite. The assignment pass, fail, or no decision. If we wanted to graduate, we had to pass. Thankfully, I had no problem with my defense on Monday and could continue on with the culminating week of PT school.

Thursday was convocation practice as well as the induction ceremony into Alpha Sigma Nu. I was honored to be invited into the prestigious Jesuit honor society along with 9 other classmates, who were selected for scholarship as well as dedication to service and the Jesuit values. Everyone had a little something said about them at the ceremony, and we were allowed to wear our medal and pin at convocation and commencement.

Top L to R: John, Jon, David, Peter; Bottom L to R: Olivia, Kate, Amanda, Nadia, me; Not pictured: Jenna

Friday was convocation for the DPT and DNP students. The evening was especially nice because we got to hear about the historical meaning of the regalia and colors (teal for physical therapy), our class president spoke, and the faculty presented awards to my classmates (Excellence in Research, Clinical Practice, Service, and such). I was asked to give the Benediction, for which I felt overwhelmingly honored. My parents and my husband’s parents were able to come into town and made it to the ceremony. Then we went to Café Colore for dinner and Cheesecake Factory for dessert.

This was my Regis family! David and Jon and their spouses and little Brock. The hoods are velvet, 4 foot long, teal. You’ll hear why at your own hooding.

Saturday was commencement. We participated along with all of the graduate-level students, so it was much larger. This was where our names were called and we walked across the stage to shake hands with the president and receive our diploma. I didn’t know this, but the convocation ceremony is considered a bigger deal than commencement, since convocation is when you receive your doctoral hood. You are officially a doctor after convocation.

My family and me

We had a class graduation party that afternoon at Red Rocks, which was a perfect venue and the weather held up nicely. It was great to just celebrate with our classmates and faculty without a single assignment about which to worry! For dinner, my family and in-laws went to Buckhorn Exchange- a must try for Denver visitors! Look it up.

Miles and me at the top of Red Rocks glad to be celebrating the end of my DPT schooling!

Miles graduates on May 12, and then we leave for Australia for our honeymoon/graduation trip. We’ll be gone for 3 weeks! I’ll send you an update after I get back. I’m trying to study the week before we go, since my board exam is scheduled for July 2.

Adios!

M

Hello readers,

Well, this may be my last blog entry. Maybe one more. Thing is, I have one more week of this clinical rotation, then I only have to present my research and defend my portfolio… then I’m done! I’ve enjoyed sharing my experiences with you and I hope my input has been helpful.

To catch you up over the past few weeks, we had a little party at my clinic and, if you’ve been following along since 2 years ago, you’ll understand I had to bring a cake. Well, I made a gluten-free mint chocolate cake and here’s what happened:

Crash onto the floor! The carpet needed two cleaning jobs before the icing came up entirely.

My friend Tiffany delivered her baby girl, Lillian, on Mar. 27.

Healthy and beautiful!

And I’ve been putting a lot of time into planning our honeymoon/graduation trip to Australia! Can. Not. Wait! We’ll be there for two weeks, then it’s time to study for my licensure exam. The exams are held 5 days a year, so I’m taking mine July 2.

Hope you have a great week and get to go on a hike or have a play day in the park. That’s what I have planned after my rotation ends on Thursday!

Best,

Meredith

Hi there,

It’s exciting to report that we 3rd years are only 3 weeks away from the end of our clinical rotations. Only 7 more weeks until graduation!! I’m seeing between 9 and 11 patients/day now at the clinic. I’m wholeheartedly looking forward to taking those board exams and being a licensed PT.

I’ve been working on a few assignments in the meantime. Each of us has to give an in-service presentation at our clinics. Mine is this coming Wednesday. I chose to do mine on ballet, because it seems all the PTs at my clinic know about tennis, golf, lacrosse, soccer, basketball, football, swimming… but very little excepting stereotypes about dance, gymnastics, figure skating. So I’m gonna change that.

Here’s a picture of me from 2004 when I danced with the Ballet Memphis corps de ballet as a snowflake in The Nutcracker. Don’t judge me, it’s stage make-up. Regrettably, I didn’t take many dance photos in college.

I’ve also been finishing up my final portfolio (we have to present it to be recommended for receiving our doctorate) as well as some things on my personal research project. Yep, I wrote last time that I was gonna do those statistics but I just haven’t made myself start that yet. Not too surprising. We’ve had sunshine outside! And, both my cousins and my sister-in-law have visited on their spring breaks. So naturally, I had to join them skiing.

At Breckenridge with my friends Katie, Josh, Crystal, and Miles. Josh is a PT and Crystal is a PT student at CU. This is my kind of networking.

Things are warming up in Denver. We had the first grill-out with some classmates on St. Patty’s Day. We don’t have a spring break, but man it feels good to be in clinical, no exams to study for, and freedom to enjoy the Colorado outdoors.

Here’s to sunshine and spring time.

M

Hi friends,

Checking in for a quick update!

I just had a midterm review last Thursday in my clinical rotation, which was encouraging and invigorating. It’s hard to believe that we’re practically professionals, minus a license.  I’m treating or examining about 7 patients a day independently now, which represents a pace I appreciate- about an hour for an initial evaluation and 45 minutes per session. I went to a PT student networking event a few nights ago at Blake St. Tavern, which was put on by the Student Special Interest Group of the APTA. I got to meet a few PT’s as well as hear their advice to new grads. I feel like the pace is changing now that the clinical is halfway over, as we are beginning to gear up for graduation. I am going to start calling PT clinics soon to see who’s hiring for July.

In other news, I hosted a baby shower last Sunday, for my dear friend Tiffany. I had no idea how many baby shower games exist! We had a fun girls’ party, and I loved the excuse to use the china sets I’d received as wedding gifts. Thanks to Pinterest, I was also able to make “dirty diapers” –nutella truffles wrapped in pastry puff- and a diaper cake.

These turned out a little messier than anticipated. My mother-in-law said, “That’s the way it happens in real life, too- especially when you are somewhere nice or in a hurry!”

 

This is an easy way for students on budgets to combine a gift with a centerpiece. I kept my cake stands, but Tiff got to take the diapers and giraffe home for Lilly.

This shower was after I came back from Nederland and competed in the 2nd annual Mountain Winter Olympics. The MWO was set up and organized by a church friend. We competed in teams of 4, representing different countries. We were judged on costume, speech, relay (snowshoe race, pull yourself up a hill with a rope, paintball gun challenge, and ski or snowboard jump), tug-of-war (while everyone else threw snowballs at you), synchronized ice skating, and speed skating. It was an all-day, laugh-til-your-sides-hurt, lose-your-voice-because-you’re-screaming-so-much type of event. Total blast.

Game faces

We’ve also been skiing and out for a few different friends’ birthdays. I just learned what a “Golden Birthday” is! With all these fun happenings, you can imagine it’s been tough to wrap my mind around needing to network and job search. I even have a research project I need to wrap up. Statistical analysis. Yuck.

Hope you are doing well and enjoying life.

M

Hi everyone,

Checking in again. This blog is making me aware of a trend in my life- I can’t believe how quickly time has flown! It’s already been 4 weeks since I started my ortho rotation, and I have loved every minute of it. I am learning about a paradigm, if you will, called the Selective Functional Movement Assessment and Functional Movement Systems. It is a method of identifying movement dysfunctions and addressing them through improving motor control. It’s taking me a little while, but I think I’m slowly getting it.

Last weekend, I went to Chicago- along with 12,000 other PT’s. It was the APTA’s Combined Sections Meeting, which is basically a huge conference where you go to network and hear the latest in PT research. Each “Section” is just a group of PT’s focused on the same area: Women’s Health, Pediatrics, Sports, Orthopedics, Research, Political Action, and a few more I can’t recall. I went to lectures from the Sports and Ortho sections. My favorites were put on by the Performing Arts Special Interest Group, which is a subsection of the Ortho section. I left inspired to get a Pilates certification in order to tailor my PT skills to the dancer/gymnast/figure skater population. Speaking of networking, if you know any dancers/gymnasts/figure skaters who needs PT after this July, please send them my way!

Here I am with Kate, Ali, Megan, Mimi, and Alicia at a party Regis hosted for its alumni. We were at Palmer House- not shabby in the least!

Miles came with me to Chicago, and we stayed with an old college friend and his wife. Jeff and Nicol showed us around town and took us out to the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower). We waited for about 2 hours to stand on the SkyLedge, 103 stories above the streets. They also took us out with their friends, who are all futures and options traders… hanging around with them almost, but not quite, made me rethink my profession!

Here we are on the SkyLedge of Willis (Sears) Tower.

How can you find a PT in a crowded city?

Look for the guys wearing tennis shoes with khakis or athletic coats with dress clothes.

Am I right, or what??

 

M

Hello dear readers,

Chances are you just had an interview for PT schools and are waiting to hear (or have already heard!) if you’ve been accepted. If you didn’t get the news you were hoping for, I’d encourage you not to give up. One of my classmates applied to Regis three times before he was accepted! He admits now that he needed a few years off, which he filled with international service trips, to figure out what he truly wanted from life and determine how he was going to get there. If you have the opposite problem and are torn between your pick of schools, congratulations! Go where you’ll be happiest. And where you’ll get out with the least school debt.

I have been having the greatest time in this clinical rotation. I’m at an outpatient orthopedic clinic. There are 5 PT’s and a handful of athletic trainers and PTA’s. My CI and I see 19-20 patients a day, so it’s fast paced and I am stinking at keeping up with documentation. I’m really enjoying learning from the different PT’s though, since each one has different treatment methods. I’ve been reviewing anatomy and biomechanics daily so I’m sure to have a rationale for whatever way I pick to treat a patient. I definitely missed having my brain stimulated with challenging conversations while I was in the pediatric setting. I even missed having lay conversations. 1-year olds don’t really talk back to you.

I’ve been learning a lot abut intramuscular stimulation a.k.a. trigger point dry needling. I’m really impressed with the results. Patients have instant symptomatic improvement, seen by increases in strength or range of motion. In Colorado, you can’t perform dry needling until you’ve practiced as a PT for at least 2 years, which is a bummer for me since dry needling brings results much more quickly and easily for the PT. Here’s a picture of the needles.

The needles would be inserted deeper, into the muscle rather than fascia, setting the technique apart from acupuncture.

I’ve been thinking about jobs lately. I think this clinical rotation has shown me how important it is to work in a place where the PTs are passionate about their profession. It creates an environment where learning is encouraged and praised, since the common goal is to best treat the patients. I hadn’t experienced a place like that until this rotation.

On another note, it snowed about 12” today (Feb 3rd) in Denver. Regis was closed due to the weather. I am heading up to the mountains tonight with some girlfriends to spend the night and ski tomorrow. Here’s a pic of Keystone I took last week. I’m standing at the site where Miles and I were married last August.

Looks totally different, huh?

That’s all the update I have for now.  Hope you have an outstanding week.

M

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