Experiences: By Dr. Jasmine Marcus, PT, DPT
I would like to thank Dr. Jasmine Marcus, PT, DPT who is a recent graduate of Columbia University’s program in physical therapy and is currently working as a Physical Therapist in Upstate New York. You can follow her on Twitter @JasDPT15 and check out her PT blog: http://pt2b15.tumblr.com/
I actually focused on journalism until the year after I graduated college. I love reading, writing and reporting, but I wanted a more stable career where I could help people more directly. I had physical therapy in the back of my mind ever since seeing one for a high school cross-country injury, so eventually I decided to take the plunge and go back to school. Now I am so glad I made the switch. I love getting to know all of my patients, trying to solve the mystery of what’s bothering them, and helping them get back to living their lives.
- What do you like about physical therapy/why did you choose physical therapy?
Since I knew I wanted to work in an outpatient orthopedics facility, I had three clinical affiliations in this setting and one in a skilled nursing facility since I enjoy seeing geriatric patients. Two of my internships were in New Jersey, near where I’m from, at places recommended by my school, and two were in upstate New York, where I have moved since graduating, and which I set up myself. I was lucky that Columbia let us pick our own internships and was very helpful in helping us set up our own.
- What type of facility were you in, where was it located, and a brief background?
I think the biggest learning curve was figuring out how to apply all the things I learned in school to real people. A classmate can pretend to have had a stroke during a practical, but transferring someone who has actually had a CVA is a different story. And no patient presents as simply as a case history from class. However, I was able to learn so much from applying my skills to real patients, and working alongside four great clinical instructors.
- What was your biggest surprise/learning curve at your internship?
During my first internship, I worked up to treating about half of my CI’s caseload. In my second and third, I’d see almost all of the caseload, except I would have assistance for dealing with more “complicated” cases. By my last internship, I was flying solo. My CI would be around to chat with patients and answer my questions, but mostly I tried to pretend that he wasn’t there because I knew in a few weeks I’d be on my own. Instead, after I had already formed a plan, I would use him as a resource from which to get suggestions.
Treat each internship like a it is a long job interview. If you make a good impression, you can be a great asset for any company. You will already know their philosophy, policies, staff members and other details, and they will know whether you would make a good fit. All four of my internships ended up discussing hiring me, and I am lucky to be starting a job (June 15th) at the site of my third internship!
- What was your case/work load like during your internship?
Again a huge thanks to Dr. Jasmine Marcus for sharing her experiences and words of wisdom. She has an awesome blog; check it out at: http://pt2b15.tumblr.com/
If you are a PT and are interested in sharing your experiences/wisdom please contact me at email@example.com. Check out the Experience Series where therapists have shared their experiences and advice for pre-PTs, SPT, and PTs.
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