Word always wants to tell me that selectives is misspelled….I guess it’s thinking I’m trying to talk about electives. Segue! The Elon DPT Class of 2016 is currently making our way through the Selectives module, which is basically electives for PT school (happy now Word??). Before we head out onto our final clinical rotation in a few short weeks, this module provides us with a lot of very helpful options such as having the chance to build more skills in a practice area of interest and getting opportunities to review skills/knowledge that we’ve gathered in the past few years. Currently we’ve got students in the ortho selective, the neuro selective, the pediatric selective, as well as five students learning about PT in Belgium, three students learning the ways of the Australian PT, two students fending off grizzly bears while learning at a PT clinic in Alaska, and a few students doing independent studies in other specialty areas! There are MANY strengths of our program, but I truly believe that this Selectives module is one of the best. Not only is it a great time to learn and review, but it’s also a really sweet time for us to reflect on how far we’ve come and how we’ve all developed our own specific passions.
While I know we’re all very excited to get started with our final clinical, it’s also bittersweet to think that our classroom days together are coming to an end. Luckily though, many of us will be close enough to visit each other, and I’m already excited to hear about all the awesome things we’ll do during our final rotation!
For much of my undergraduate experience I often felt like a lone wolf tackling my academic endeavors. From time to time I’d seek the company and advice of others, but primarily I preferred solitude. In hindsight, I realize each individual in my undergrad experience had a different path down which they sought their own unique goal. The DPT program provides a stark contrast to that environment; we are all here with a common goal to achieve the all mighty ‘knighting’ of the DPT degree. We no longer see unfamiliar faces from class to class but rather the same faces every day in every class. You end up spending more time with your classmates than you will by yourself. While during the first few weeks of the program I felt aloof to my classmates, each day we grew closer. Over the past four months our class has created a strong bond as we’ve conquered our first round of midterms, practicals and cumulative finals.
Although with this bond I can’t say I know every detail of all my classmates’ lives. However, I can say that I know each member is willing to help another whether it is academically or emotionally. We have come to understand that alone, many of the academic challenges we face are daunting and often elicit a fairly intense sympathetic response (especially midterm and finals week). However, together, the countless hours of studying and practicing wheelchair transfers (and bed mobility and gait training and proper guarding) all work out.
The beauty of your class community is that what knowledge one individual may lack, another will have and vice versa. Being part of the ‘pack’ will become your greatest resource. It becomes your support system, your motivation, and where you find life-long friendships.