Last Friday, March 10 at 9 a.m. the Department of Physical Therapy welcomed the general public to its Class of 2017 Doctor of Physical Therapy Research Presentations. Those in attendance were then prompted to vote for the Best Capstone Presentation on a 10-point scale. After the presentation, faculty and students socialized over light refreshments.
The students who are finishing their Doctor of Physical Therapy degrees had their finals on Monday, March 11. As a farewell to the students, the Department of Physical Therapy offered them ice cream as they shared thoughts about their final research and graduation.
When asked about the importance of research in advancing one’s physical therapy major, Ben Weakley (Doctor of Physical Therapy, third year) said, “It helps us treat our patients in an ever increasing advanced manner.”
Weakley said that that the research he accumulated for his project gave him insight into how he is able to care for future patients more in-depth.
Another student, Caroline Rybicki (Doctor of Physical Therapy, third year) also commented on the importance of research in advancing one’s career, and said, “Research is important to continue advancing our field and support treatment techniques that are effective in order to provide our patients with optimal care.”
Rybicki said that she chose her topic of research because of her interest in therapy for musicians. Rybicki alluded to assistance musicians may seek if either their vocal cords become injured or if neuromuscular disorders develop from playing instruments.
“I think musicians are an underserved population within therapy and I want to raise awareness about physical therapists can do for musicians as well as educate musicians about how we can serve them,” Rybicki said.
Weakley said that interacting with patients was the part he enjoyed most about research.
Rybicki said that her favorite part of conducting research was, “Going out into the musician community to symphonies and orchestras to collect data because it allowed me to interact with musicians and understand the injuries or pain they experience, as well as educate them on how physical therapy can help.”
Chantal Williams (Doctor of Physical Therapy, third year) said that her favorite part of the research was collecting the data.
“We were able to work with patients and apply what we learned in class,” Williams said. “I really enjoyed being creative with neuro treatment in the safety harness.”
When asked to provide advice for students at the undergraduate and graduate level, Weakley advised students to enjoying the time spent with fellow classmates, because they become family in the end.
Weakley added, “Exercise no matter the time constraints. Keep growing outside of schoolwork. Things will work out, eventually.”
Rybicki advised, “Don’t get so caught in the journey that you don’t enjoy it.”