Archives—September 2018

Pre-Physical Therapy Alumni Lindsay Winter at Central Michigan

Lindsay WinterMy name is Lindsay Winter, and I currently a first-year student at Central Michigan University’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy (PT) program. At Michigan Tech, my undergrad degree was in exercise science with a minor in psychology. I felt my undergrad education provided me with a well-rounded foundation to begin PT school. Between my exercise science and psychology courses, I feel I graduated from Michigan Tech with a firm background in physical, mental, and social health.

Throughout my undergrad, a variety of experiences and resources helped prepare me for PT school. The courses that were included in my undergrad really emphasized the importance of having hands-on experience with the technology in our Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology (KIP) labs. I found it helpful that we were able to actually work with some of the equipment that would be used in physical therapy research and have an understanding of what the technology would be used for. Second, Michigan Tech has really made an effort to bring in speakers and create classes that are helpful for prospective physical therapy students.

A KIP Seminar Series was created to bring researchers to campus and have them present on their current and past research projects. Also, I was able to take a PT Seminar class that was taught by a physical therapist that graduated from Michigan Tech! I found all of these to be very helpful in providing me with extra information related to physical therapy and made me more interested in the recent topics related to my field.

Another important aspect of my success at Michigan Tech was the KIP department and Pre-Health staff. They were always so helpful throughout my time at Michigan Tech and in my PT school application process. Even though applying to PT school can be stressful, they always made sure our concerns were heard and made an extra effort to address any areas of the application we were struggling with.

Central Michigan University has been a great fit for me so far. It’s obvious that all of the professors are passionate about their profession and want to see us become successful physical therapists in the future. They do a great job of challenging us to learn beyond what is taught in the classroom and make sure we are provided with the resources to do so. Finally, I really enjoy how the program stresses the importance of building relationships with our classmates and staff both in and out of the classroom.

A tip that I would give to future students would be to do as much shadowing as possible.

In addition, I would tell them to shadow in multiple different areas of physical therapy. The more experience you have coming into PT school, the better understanding you will have for how each area of physical therapy works. Many students are content with just shadowing outpatient clinics, but I would recommend that they try to gain experience in pediatrics, women’s health, inpatient care, neuro, etc. You never know where your passion may be!

In my undergrad, I was on the women’s basketball team at Michigan Tech. Being involved in athletics and experiencing the injuries that go along with them is what drew me to become interested in physical therapy. Also, being apart of the team really allowed me to be extremely involved in the community. I was able to be a volunteer for numerous events throughout Houghton, which I found very enjoyable and a great learning opportunity. These events helped me realize that I wanted to work in a profession that allowed me to positively impact the lives of others and improve someone’s quality of life as well.

 


Nick Carlson’s Advice To Get To Chiropractic School

Nick Carlson
Nowadays, most aspects of the medical field are moving from treating the disease/problem/injury/etc. after it happens to prevent the disease/problem/injury/etc. from happening in the first place through the use of things like exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle choices in general. The chiropractic field isn’t really any different, rather than just adjusting joints every time they go out of alignment, many chiropractors look to prevent this from happening in the first place. The field of chiropractic medicine is also gaining ground every year, allowing chiropractors to do more with each passing year. It’s not just about adjusting and manipulating the spine anymore, it’s about nutrition and disease and muscle function and looking at disease, injury, and the entire human body holistically.
The Exercise Science program, in which I’m pursuing an undergrad, and curriculum at Michigan Tech embodies the transition both in the medical field as a whole and in the field of chiropractic medicine. It teaches you about the anatomy and physiology of the human body while also teaching you about nutrition and exercise and other aspects of preventative medicine. Also the “capstone” of the Exercise Science Program is the internship. It’s a three-credit class, where you spend 126 (or more) hours working with a professional in a field of your choosing (whatever you’re planning on going into). Honestly, my experience was by far more rewarding than pretty much any other experience I had at Tech.  I did my internship with a local chiropractor, and my patient interaction skills and my knowledge of treatments and holistic medicine grew so much, I can’t even begin to explain it.
I had almost limitless resources to use at Michigan Tech. The ones that I feel helped the most were Career Services and the Pavlis Honors College (PHC). I first went to career services during like my second week at Michigan Tech to revamp my resume from my “high school/college application” to my “college/real life” version. Not only did it give me a good outline for what my resume should look like, but it also opened up my eyes to what opportunities and experiences I was lacking in and what I should be looking for. The PHC was also huge for my development from a high school student to a graduate-school ready adult. It helped me to learn how to talk about myself and reflect on the experiences that I’ve had and the things that I’ve done (one of their big things is reflections). It also pushed me to do more and get more out of my time at Michigan Tech.
Michigan Tech, whether you’re in an engineering program or not, develops your analytical thinking skills and teaches you to ask questions and solve problems.
I will be attending the College of Chiropractic at Northwestern Health Sciences University (NWHSU) beginning in January of 2019. The Chiropractic program at NWHSU is based on scientific evidence rather than tradition and is designed to integrate basic knowledge and chiropractic technique throughout the program. These two programs meshed well for someone like me, who approaches problems from an analytical perspective. NWHSU also has programs for Massage Therapy, Acupuncture, Nutrition, and Chinese Medicine, allowing for tons of opportunity to learn about other aspects of holistic medicine. NWHSU was also the closest chiropractic school to my home (Mohawk, Michigan), so that was an added bonus.
My best advice is to not worry about it too much. I spent months worrying about doing the application before I actually submitted it. In reality, the thought of doing it is worse than actually doing it. I don’t know what the official stance is, but from my perspective application to chiropractic school is not very similar to applying to other graduate schools. While it is more competitive than most undergraduate programs, it’s not like trying to get into medical school or physical therapy school. Your GPA doesn’t need to be perfect and you don’t have to have a resume full of awards and clubs and achievements and projects.
My feeling was that the process was a lot more personal than what your resume and grades say about you. It’s about who you are as a person, about your commitment and effort and interest.
Don’t get me wrong, any chiropractic program is still intense and takes years of hard work and, to use one of Michigan Tech’s favorite words, tenacity to make it through; it’s not a cakewalk, and it shouldn’t be. Basically, take the process and schooling seriously because it’s not a joke, but remember that you’re going into a field that’s about the person, not about the numbers and definitions.
I was pretty heavily involved in the Student Athletic Training Internship program. Basically, it’s just an option for students with an interest in athletic training and sports medicine to get hands-on experience assisting the athletic trainers during practices and games. I learned a lot from this program, including how to tape and how to perform treatments like ultrasound. It allowed me to get more experience with handling people in a more professional setting. It’s also something that looks great on a resume. Also they’ve recently restructured the program so that it’s a series of classes, each with different goals and milestones, like how to fit crutches or do ultrasounds. It sounds like it’s going to be a great program. The goal by the end of the program is for the students to basically be able to handle the basic needs of an athletic team on their own, at least that’s what I gathered.

Stephanie Dietrich’s Physical Therapy Experience

Stephanie Dietrich 201703010012When I first decided to pursue a career in physical therapy (PT) I had no clue how to go about the application process or what steps were involved. Being clueless is OK. There’s a lot of people in the same boat. Start by talking to your advisor and developing a plan. Current PT students are also an excellent resource because they’ve “been there”.  In addition, Michigan Technological University provides many other resources to support students on this path (the writing center was one I highly recommend using for essays).

Many of the courses required for my major overlapped the requirements for PT school which made the application process much smoother. In addition to that, additional requirements for my major, such as biomechanics, exercise physiology, and sports nutrition, have given me a stronger background to tackle my current PT courses. The knowledge base I gained in my undergraduate studies at Michigan Tech has made the shift to graduate school much easier due to exposure to many of the concepts I am currently studying.

I am currently attending PT school at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. This PT program really appealed to me due to the focus on research here, which was the highlight of my undergraduate studies. In addition to that, La Crosse has this amazing opportunity to participate in EXPAND (Exercise Program for Adults with Neurologic Disorders) where PT students get the chance to apply classroom knowledge while giving back to the community. The number of clinical rotations was also instrumental in my decision; in total, I will be exposed to five unique settings.

I owe much of my success to my strong support group at Michigan Tech which consisted of my advisors, professors, a research team, volleyball team, and coaching staff. My advisor, Kathy Carter, was instrumental in my dream to pursue PT from day one. She directed me to all the resources I needed and more. I also had engaging professors that kept me excited to continue down this path. My involvement with undergraduate research, examining the differences in subjective and objective measurements of sleep in collegiate athletes with Dr. Jason Carter, was definitely the highlight of my undergraduate studies and influenced my decision in PT school seeing as La Crosse stresses research involvement. Ultimately, my experiences at Tech prepared me well for PT school not only through coursework, but through developing lasting skills in communication, leadership, and problem-solving. Below are some of the wonderful experiences and extracurricular activities I was involved in during my time at Tech:

Michigan Tech volleyball

  • Student-athlete
  •  Assistant coach for youth camps

Undergraduate Research Assistant

  • Kinesiology & Integrative Physiology Lab (Advisor: Dr. Jason Carter) Determine differences in subjective and objective assessments of sleep in collegiate athletes
  • Clinical Observation – Inpatient and outpatient settings in Michigan and Minnesota

Community service

  • Bounce-O-Rama Event Volunteer
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation Sales Attendant
  • Athletic Event Parking Attendant
  • Chuck-A-Puck Sales Attendant

Pony Power and Performance Instructor – Summer strength and conditioning program for middle and high school athletes