Thursday, May 31, 2012

PT Student AJ Van Alstyne Reflects on her Clinical Rotation in Belize

          Only one clinical rotation in Belize and I have an immense amount to reflect upon in my return to the fast paced egocentric US.  The unknowns of diving into the first Physical Therapy student rotation in a structured program with a vision of sustainable care alongside an already well established interdisciplinary health care team at Hillside proved to be anxiety producing as I disembarked from Saint Louis.  The only known fact I could anticipate was the work load.  Belize is no vacation for medical tourists.


I am certain at least one individual reading this spontaneous blog has been to Belize.  You have seen the clear blue water of the Caribbean, maybe you snorkeled or dove off the reef, maybe you even spent one day with a guide inland to see a Mayan Ruin or some other tourist attraction.  Did you truly see the country though?  Did you take in the culture beyond the color of the buildings in Belize City or the thatch huts nestled along the highway in the Mayan Mountains? 
            Wherever you may travel in this small country of roughly 180 miles north to south and maybe 70 miles east to west the diversity in culture should catch your eye.  The various groups of Maya who were pushed out of the highlands of Guatemala, the Garifuna originally of African descent, the East Indian, the Kriol, the Mennonites, and even the Chinese work to sustain their families within this so called developing country.  So within the beauty of the rainforest, the mountains, and the people, I arrived searching for my place as a white American student.  Are the intentions of flying to a developing country to offer therapy where it is not currently understood or recognized as a necessity appropriate?  How could I convince myself that I was not going to be imposing my white American ideology of health care in working under the first US trained Rehab Director in the remote villages of the Toledo District where therapy was scarcely introduced previously?

The Toledo District (the encatchement area of Hillside Health Care) is often referred to as the “forgotten land”.  It is the southern most district of Belize and comparatively sparsely populated from the rest of the country.  Punta Gorda is the largest town in the district and the rest of the residents live in villages not easily accessible by vehicle despite the small size of the country as a whole.  The family and cultural traditions of each village were evident as we set up our daily mobile clinics and examination by a PT as I found out was not always a desirable one within these traditions.  I soon discovered that lack of an exam table or even the language barrier was not going to provide me the only adversity.  In fact, the whole idea of a semi-manual examination or simple exercise prescription was at times sufficient to have my patient bolt to the door.  The influx of musculoskeletal problems treatable by therapy was immense, but so to was the desire to be treated with familiar medicine my colleagues carried.
            Overall, the reception of our treatments was better than anticipated and despite the difficulty of patient follow-up, I did begin to see progress being made and appreciation expressed in the outpatient and home health populations I saw throughout the rotation.  My fellow PT student and I also attempted to learn and utilize Kekchi (a Mayan dialect often spoken in the villages) which enabled an increased understanding and reception in some of the villages.  Perhaps the most pertinent time I shared though was in education of my patients and the primary schools. 

 Disability is often viewed as taboo and a result of a curse.  While validating the spiritual beliefs of each community, we introduced the capabilities of those with disabilities through the story of Emmanuel’s Gift.  The fact that a young boy with a congenital malformation is capable of going to school, playing futbol, fetching water from the river, and eventually climbing his way to running for an elected office is unheard of in Belize.  The simple exposure to adaptive devices like crutches or wheelchairs opened eyes.  This is the type of education my CI had been working diligently to provide since her arrival in fall 2011.  Without a more common understanding of disability whether congenital, caused by illness, or a result of trauma PT would not have a foundation in which to treat appropriately. 
            A community based approach in which the people recognize the need for therapy and we collaborate to provide education and management tools is an optimal delivery method of care and assistance.  The vision of the department is sustainability and continuity of care in the plan to send an interested Belizean trainee at the clinic to university to become a licensed therapist and return as a clinician to Hillside.  In this I have found more peace with my intentions of helping rehabilitation grow as a field of recognition in Belize.  Only time will tell whether the foundations being built will evolve into a sustainable program long term.

-AJ Van Alstyne

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Why did you choose SLU? Michael Manning's Story

Why did you choose SLU? And why SLU PT? This question almost always has an interesting answer. Michael Manning shared his exceptional story in which, as he writes it, a hardworking sister and a blown out knee are the recipe for a second home – SLU PT.

My story of how I got to Saint Louis University really begins with my sister, Nicole, who is four years older than me. I grew up in Missouri City, Texas, a suburb about 40 minutes outside of Houston. If you ask anyone around my area, they will probably tell you that they have no idea what or where Saint Louis University is. My sister Nicole is the golden child in my family, graduating top of her high school class with many honors and awards. She had the option of going to any school in Texas, but decided to take a leap of faith when Saint Louis University offered her a substantial scholarship. Without even visiting the school, Nicole decided to go to Saint Louis University and ended up loving her decision. I always laughed at the idea of my sister going to a no-name school called Saint Louis University. That was until I visited her at SLU for the first time. My eyes were amazed by the scenery of the school - an oasis in the middle of an urban city. Spending a weekend there always gave me the idea that SLU was an option for me when it was my turn to apply to college. 

  My junior year of high school, two years after this first visit, I tore my ACL and my meniscus in my knee playing soccer. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life at this time, but after spending 6 months doing physical therapy, I realized I would  love to work with patients as a physical therapist. When it came to be my turn to apply to college, I noticed SLU had one of the top physical therapy programs in the country, and even an accelerated one. With my sister already there, I realized SLU could be a golden opportunity for me. When I found out I got a scholarship as well as into the PT program, my decision to come to SLU was easy. 

Without a hardworking sister and a blown knee, I would have never come to place I call a second home - SLU. To this day, my sister and I are very close, and I have to thank her for many things in my life, SLU being one of them.

Student Spotlight Chris Sorgani

Our next Student Spotlight is Chris Sorgani. Read Chris’s interview to learn about his unique PT experience touching on his interest in research.

Where were you born/raised?
I was born in Arlington Heights, Illinois, and was raised in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. Both are northwest suburbs of Chicago.

How many siblings do you have?
I have two younger brothers. One is 17 and is attending SLU next year, and the other is 13 and in seventh grade.

What after school activities did you do as a child?
Growing up I had a chance to play a lot of different sports, including baseball, basketball, football, swimming, and cross country. In high school I primarily ran cross country and track, but also playedball and swam.

Where did you go to high school?
I went to Buffalo Grove High School, located in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. My favorite class was probably AP Biology, mostly because there were a lot of interesting labs and the material was pretty interesting.

Have you worked in a physical therapy clinic, hospital, home health etc.?
As a sophomore I don’t have any clinical experience. However, I work in the Gait Lab for Dr. Wagner and have observed and participated in a few studies and programs that were mostly involved with Multiple Sclerosis. I also assist with data entry and analysis.

Can you talk about an experience in the lab or in a clinical that struck you? What is it that you enjoy about being in the lab or the clinic?
I don’t know if there has been a single lab experience that strikes me, but it is always very interesting to observe and assist in the lab. The past couple months I have been helping with a fall prevention program, and I think it’s great to be able to work with people in a lab setting. It’s something I haven’t had a lot of in class and I really enjoy it. I like learning new information and being able to apply it to patients that I get to actually work with.

What area of physical therapy are you currently interested in?
I am trying to keep an open mind, but I am most interested in sports, neurology, and orthopedic physical therapy.

How did you become interested in physical therapy in general? How did you become interested in the specific area that you are interested in?
I have sustained several injuries in the past and have needed to go to physical therapy for a few of them. I found it all very interesting and exciting and the PTs that worked with me were really smart and helpful. I have always wanted to do something in the science/healthcare field and something to help others, so physical therapy fits perfectly. It is also a relatively active profession, which is another thing I like.

What types of service activities have you organized or participated in with regards to Saint Louis University?
Since coming to SLU the majority of my service has been in helping out at Campus Kitchen, mostly with delivering food to people in the community. I have also helped out with a couple of multiple sclerosis events.

If you were not a physical therapy student what would you be?
I would most likely be a spy if I wasn’t a physical therapy student. It was either that or PT, and I decided physical therapy is probably the better choice in the long run.

Fun Facts:
-My favorite sport to play and watch is hockey.
-I’m a huge Chicago Blackhawks fan.
-My favorite movie is probably The Lion King.
-Some places I would really like to travel to include Italy and Australia.
-I have always wanted to go SCUBA diving and spearfishing.

What is something you would like to do in the next ten years?
I eventually want to have my own physical therapy clinic and right now my goal is to get started with it in about 10 years.

What would your advice be to incoming freshmen?
Some advice for incoming freshmen would be to not stress out about everything. Take school and other activities one at a time and slow down. Also, studying a little every day really does help, especially in more intensive courses.

Why did you choose SLU?
I chose SLU mainly because there is a great physical therapy program. I also really like the campus and faculty and was given a pretty good scholarship.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A PT Student's Habitat for Humanity Experience

What do PT students do in their free time? We asked PYI student Molly Gries to share about something she is involved in outside of the PT program. She decided to write about her experience with Habitat for Humanity, which she said is still connected to a lot  she does to prepare to be a physical therapist. Read on to find out why.

Contrary to what most people believe, Habitat for Humanity helps give a hand up, not a hand out. Habitat does not give away houses, instead it helps give an affordable house with an affordable mortgage to a family in need that has proven they are willing to work for a house and really keep it up. How do the homeowners show they want their house? They have to put in 500 hours of “sweat equity.” Which basically means that they have to build on a house, maybe not their own, for 500 hours in addition to attending life improvement classes and oh yeah, work at the same time. If you are willing to do that, you are pretty committed to getting that house.

But Habitat would not work without its volunteers and sponsors. This is where I come in. I started working with Habitat my freshman year of high school and have enjoyed every moment that I have been able to help out. I started with going on a trip through my church to Twin Cities, Minnesota. There I got to learn the joys of doing anything to help out, even if it meant digging through a dumpster or moving a pile or dirt. However, I was still hooked and kept volunteering. When entering SLU, I immediately signed up for SLU Habitat, the Habitat club on campus and have been involved ever since. In SLU Habitat, I have not only attended numerous builds and spring break trips but I served on the executive board for 2 years, as well.

SLU Habitat not only sends volunteers to help the St. Louis affiliate of Habitat, but we are also one of their sponsors, donating $10,000 to Habitat for Humanity International this year. We do this through various events that are student run and planned in order to raise awareness about homelessness and Habitat in general. Our typical events include: Cardboard City, Build a House For.., Reindeer Rooftop 5K Run, Habitat Dance, restaurant nights, trick or treat for change and more. By being a sponsor, we further help the affiliate and organization, along with getting a chance to inform our fellow students about an issue that isn’t too far away from them. Especially since build sites are only about 15 minutes away from campus.

During the years I have been involved in Habitat, I have learned many important skills if I ever wanted to build my own house. I have learned I have an affinity for roofing and framing a house, along with enjoying anything that involves using a saw. I also have a knack for a getting the attention of a roomful of people and coming up with ideas for new and interesting events, along with being a great observer to figure out areas of improvement and mediating between various groups of people.

     Since I have been involved in Habitat for so many years, it has affected my view of the world. During conversations with homeowners, I have gotten to know their stories and the importance of someone’s story. This a very important part of Physical Therapy because knowing the story and taking time to listen to your patient’s story makes all the difference when you are treating them and gaining their trust. I have also learned that you surprise yourself a lot. When I started working with Habitat, I never would have thought I could build a roof or really make a difference. However, I ended up leading a group in roofing a house a few years ago and every time I step on a work site I am challenged by a new opportunity and task. Knowing that I can surprise myself allows me not to limit myself in my life and what I want to do. I let myself step out of my box, my comfort zone, and try something new because I know that if I do not give it a try, I will never know if I could do it or learn something else from it. In addition, I have learned the importance of observation and taking a step back. This is a vital trait for a PT. In PT, you are constantly observing, reassessing and taking in everything about your patient in order to best treat them. So being able to take a step back and really look at a situation helps reassess and give you a new way to approach a problem.


My Habitat experience has not only been a great outlet (who doesn’t love to hammer numerous nails into a board of wood when stressed out?), but also an opportunity to grow and learn to trust in myself. It also means a lot to me that an organization is truly working to help educate and house people in need. That is something that I am proud to be a part of.

 -Molly Gries

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Student Spotlight Cait Hayes

Since the last Student Spotlight, Lauren Zwikelmaier, was received so well we have decided to post previous student spotlights so that you can see them all!

Read this 10 Question & Answer Interview with Caitlin Hayes to learn about her background, clinical experience, and more!

1. Where are you from? What do you love best about that place where would you like to be in 2 years? Where would you like to travel?
I am from Homer Glen, IL, a southwest suburb of Chicago. My town is about 40 minutes from the city, so I am able to experience both the exciting city life and quiet suburban life. I love that there is always something new and exciting to experience there. I hope to be back in Chicago in after graduation, with an amazing job downtown, yet still close to my family. If I could travel any place in the world, it would be France. I would like to see Paris, but I would love to travel in the French countryside and see all of the castles in the Loire Valley.

2. What is your family like? If you have siblings can you describe them?My family is wonderful. I have a younger brother, Jeff, who is currently a sophomore at St Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin. He plays on the D3 soccer team, is an accounting major, and is (unfortunately) turning into a Packers fan! My parents are amazing, loving, dedicated people. They have always worked extremely hard in order for my brother and I to receive Catholic educations and to go to the colleges of our choice. Their hard work has shown me to never give anything any less than my best.

3. When did you first become interested in physical therapy?Within a two-year period, my brother had three knee surgeries and an ankle fracture, so he was in physical therapy for a long time. I was the one responsible for taking him to every therapy session after school, so I would stay and watch what he would do. It amazed me to see how well he recovered and I was intrigued to learn more.

4. How do you manage the work load as a physical therapy student?It is so important to have time management skills and a planner to help keep you organized. I feel so much more relaxed when I don’t procrastinate, and I like to work on assignments as soon as they are assigned rather than at the last minute. Paying attention in class and taking lots of notes also makes the workload a little easier and less time is needed to study. But I couldn’t get through the program without my friends. Having something to look forward to always helps me to push to get things done.

5. Can you describe an experience in a lab that deeply impacted you? Do you have a clinical experience that has had a deep impact on you?I really enjoyed a lab where we met and worked with patients with spinal cord injuries. I learned so much; it is amazing how working with patients takes all of the knowledge we have learned in the classroom and makes it real. I had a similar experience on my first clinical rotation. One of my patients had an incomplete spinal cord injury and we helped him walk for the first time in two years. He and his mother started crying and taking pictures.  It is such an amazing feeling to know that we are able to impact someone’s life so significantly as physical therapists.

6. What were you involved in during your undergraduate education?As an undergrad, I was involved in Campus Kitchen, Women’s Ultimate Frisbee, and the Alpha Eta Honor Society. I was a peer instructor for DPT 108, a teaching assistant for Gross Anatomy, and I am currently a Basic Anatomy and Exercise Physiology tutor. Junior year, I had a SLU Geriatrics Medicine Internship through the pre-med program, in which students interacted with physicians, physical therapists and patients at Beauvais Manor, a skilled nursing facility and rehab center on South Grand.

7. Do you know what you would like to specialize in?I am not sure yet, but I am so interested to learn more about pediatrics. But, I am also extremely interested in working with athletes and in the home health setting. I enjoy almost everything we have learned in school so far, and it is hard to narrow down what interests me most. I think I have some deciding to do!

8. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
I would choose to be able to go back in time. I have always been curious to see what my parents or grandparents were like at my age. Plus, I could find out some juicy information to tease them about!

9. If money were no object, what would you do?Travel. I did not have the opportunity to study abroad in undergrad, but I have heard about so many great experiences from friends who did go abroad. It would be fascinating to immerse myself in foreign cultures to see how others around the world live.

 10. Can you list some favorites?

What is your favorite movie: Billy Madison and Love Actually
What is your favorite book:
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith
Favorite Artist:
Duran Duran
Place to eat in St Louis:
Pi and The Cup
Sport and team:
Basketball, Chicago Bulls
Dessert: Molten Chocolate Cake from Chili’s


"My grandmother is my best friend and inspires me everyday. She is 90 years old, blind and suffers from Alzheimer's Disease, but she is the strongest person I know by far. Ever since I can remember, she has always put 100% into everything she does. Even now, when every day is a struggle, she wakes up and makes the most of what she can do that day. She reminds me of how much I have to be thankful for, and that every day is a new day and a new beginning. In the summer of 2009, I lived with her as her full-time caregiver, and I will forever be grateful for the time I was able to spend with her."

Friday, May 11, 2012

Student Spotlight Lauren Zwikelmaier

Lauren Zwikelmaier

In case you are unfamiliar with the tradition, the Program in Physical Therapy puts a Student Spotlight on one of our bulletin boards about once a month. Every month our students respond with a depth that we find pretty inspiring and a beautiful outlook on Physical Therapy, the human condition, the path they have taken thus far, their mentors, and life in general.

Read Lauren’s interview below to get a taste of it.

Lauren’s dog

Lauren and her husband at the game

Lauren and her husband on their wedding day!

1.  Where are you from? What do you love best about that place? Where would you like to be in 2 years? Where would you like to travel?
I’m from Rolla, Missouri, which is a small college town about 100 miles southwest of St. Louis.  My house is just outside the city limits, surrounded by rolling hills and cattle farms.  My favorite thing about Rolla is that you can see the stars at night.  

2. What is your family like? If you have siblings can you     describe them? Is anyone in your family already involved in medicine or science?
My husband, Will, is a band director in Hermann MO.  He directs their middle and high school bands.  My parents both have their degrees in Metallurgical Engineering from Missouri S&T, the University at Rolla.  My dad taught there for a number of years and now owns his own consulting firm.  My mom has done a number of things: she’s worked in managerial positions at foundries, steel companies, even Coors (yes, the one that makes the beer).  Now, she’s a director of advancement there.  I have one sister, Kate.  She’s a sophomore at Missouri S&T and is majoring in (you guessed it) metallurgical engineering.  Science has always been a big thing in my family, but I’m the only one to do anything in medicine/healthcare.  I took the road less traveled.  

3. When did you first become interested in physical therapy?
I started seriously thinking about physical therapy as a career when I was 16, after I had surgery to correct spinal stenosis.  My physical therapist was the one that figured out that something wasn’t right and referred me back to my doctor before I had a very serious injury.  After the surgery, she helped me get back to my life.  I saw the dramatic influence she had on me, and I wanted to help people in the same way.  

4. What do you find inspirational about physical therapy? Is there someone in the field who inspires you now?
Physical therapy is inspiring because it is a marriage of science and humanism.  We have a very high level of knowledge and we use it to fix broken body parts.  We are also taught to attend to the needs of the person who belongs to those broken body parts, and that both are essential in the healing process.  

5. How do you manage the work load as a physical therapy student?
I approach school with the attitude that it’s my job and I have to devote a lot of time to it.  I plan ahead, start studying for tests early.   I also take care of myself.  I eat right (mostly), make myself get sleep, and try to laugh out loud at least once a day.  

6. What interests do you have outside of physical therapy? Can you see any connections between those interests and your studies?
I love swimming and running, and I recently got into cycling.  I also love to play racquetball with my husband, even though I’m really bad at it.  Anything where I’m moving my body makes me happy, another reason I think I was born to be a PT.  I also really like National Geographic and pretty much any nature show on the planet, but that doesn’t really relate to PT.  

7. Can you describe an experience in a lab that deeply impacted you? A type of lecture/course that you love? Do you have a clinical experience that has had a deep impact on you?
We were talking about debrieding wounds in multi-system management one day.  Kim was telling us that we needed to find a way to get our patients to relax during painful procedures like these.  She told us a story about how she found out that one of her patient’s favorite songs was “Amazing Grace,” so she would sing it to him during debridement to get him to relax.  I found that very moving.  It reminded me of when I was in the hospital after my surgery and I was in quite a bit of pain.  To distract me, my mom would read my favorite book aloud.  Such simple acts like these can make all the difference.  

8. Can you talk about a person who has supported you a lot in your life? In your decision to go into PT?
My family has always encouraged me to utilize my strengths and follow my passions.  There was never any pressure to be an engineer or to go into engineering.  They made it clear that whatever I decided to commit to, they would support me in it.  So when I told my mom I wanted to be a physical therapist and that I wanted to go to SLU, she was like “Ok. Let’s figure out how to do this.”  She helped me research schools, fill out applications, drove me to visits and interviews.  For the past five years, my parents and my husband have been there for me every step of the way and I would not be who I am today without them.  

9. What was something that you struggled with in your first couple of years of PT school? How did you work through it? What is something that came more naturally to you? What is something that you are working through now and how are getting through it?
I struggled with gross anatomy.  I’ve never been good at rote memorization and that class just killed me.  I found the amount of information overwhelming.  To get through it, I spent a lot of time drawing and writing things out.  It was time consuming, but it was the only way I could find to organize all the material in my brain.  Cardiopulm, neuro, and the musculoskeletal courses came much easier to me because you don’t have to memorize everything.  This semester, patient management has been a whole new challenge.  I really struggled in the beginning because it challenges us to transition to a more mature level of thinking.  After a semester of practicing and learning from my mistakes, I know that I have improved a lot and that is very rewarding to me.   

10. What would your advice be to next freshman class? What would your advice be to the class just beneath you for their next year?
I have two pieces of advice to the next freshman class.  The first: find what you love to do and get your hands all over it!  Whether that be a club/organization, volunteering, or getting involved in your minor.  I loved my psychology courses, so I got very involved in the psych department.  I made some great friends and found some great mentors.  Those experiences are what made my undergraduate experience valuable.  The second: develop good study habits early.  Have fun, but learn how to study and how to work hard.  For the seniors on the brink of PYI: Yes, it is hard.  It’s supposed to be.  Realize that you already have all the tools you need to get through it.  So stay organized.  Study hard.  Eat and sleep.  You’ll be fine.  

11. What are some activities that you are involved in both inside and outside the PT department right now?
I work part time as a PT tech for Advanced Training and Rehab, the place I did my CRI.  I also work from time to time as an attendant for an incredible young man with cerebral palsy.  

12. Do you know what you would like to specialize in? Why do you feel that way?
I’m not too sure at the moment.  My last clinical was at an outpatient orthopedics clinic and I loved it because you got to do a lot of problem solving.  Then again, I’ve always been really interested in the inpatient rehab and acute care side of things.   My plan at the moment is to keep an open mind and take in everything my clinicals have to offer.  

13. How have your classmates helped you so far?
My friends have become my family and I don’t know what I’d do without them.  Everyone is so supportive of each other and there’s a lot of camaraderie.  Having people to lean on during tough times and people to celebrate triumphs with is one of the special things about this program.  

14. Fun facts:
A. What is your favorite movie?
B. Favorite artist?
    Trace Bundy.  John Denver.  Will Zwikelmaier
C. Something that your classmates wouldn’t know about you?
    I’m a card carrying Native American (Choctaw).  My dad even considered giving me a Native American name: Wathohuck.  It means “the lighted path.”  
D. What was your first job?
    I worked as an attendant for a man with quadraplegia.  
E. Hidden talents?
    Ear wiggling.
F. Something that you have done lately that has made you feel alive?
    Whenever I go running or cycling through tower grove park.  I’m pretty easy to please.  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Dinah Hayes's Inspiring Story

Follow the link below to read Dinah Hayes's inspiring story. Doctor Hayes is both a graduate of the transitional DPT Program at Saint Louis University and a member of the Program in Physical Therapy's Advisory Board. Read her story to learn how she came to be a physical therapist and what she is doing today at St. Luke for the health of women:

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Where Physical Therapy and the Theatre meet...

Last Friday, April 27th was the opeing of the Saint Louis University Theatre production of Vinegar Tom, a play featuring the witchcraft trials of 17th century England. The Program in Physical Therapy is proud to have one of our students, Kyle Powell, acting in the production!

Read Kyle’s testimony below to find out more about how he began acting, what projects he will work on this summer, and how he views his dedication to both physical therapy and the theatre.

 Also - there is still time to see Kyle perform Vinegar Tom with the rest of the Saint Louis University Theatre! The productions will run May 4th, 5th, and 6th, Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm.  

Program in Physical Therapy student Kyle Powell, third from left, in the Saint Louis University Theatre’s production of Vinegar Tom
 I have been doing plays for most of my life but I didn’t really dive into it until my senior year of high school when I played Travis in Footloose, Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Prince Charming in When Fairy Tale's Go Bad. After I came to Saint Louis University and we were told as PT's we had to get a minor, it was no question that mine was going to be theatre. I've been in tons of productions since then such as Antigone, Almost Maine, Anything Goes, Much Ado About Nothing, and most recently Bat Boy: The Musical and Vinegar Tom. I've also done a commercial. This summer I will be doing Activated Marketing, I will be in an independent film, and I will be appearing in St. Louis Shakespeare's production of Coriolanus.

I think that as an actor I bring something to PT that no one else does. After you've been in front of hundreds of people and try to make a story come to life, it becomes easy to be comfortable and at ease in front of a patient. You can articulate, think on your feet, and relate and empathize in an entirely different way. I don't think this makes me any better equipped or at an advantage from anyone else, but it certainly does set me apart. In the future I hope to be able to meld physical therapy and acting into one. Until then, I will continue to hope that the skills I've acquired through performance continue to make me a better PT.

-Kyle Powell

Program in Physical Therapy student Kyle Powell, farthest on the left, in the Saint Louis University Theatre’s production of Vinegar Tom

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May is ALS Awareness Month

May is ALS Awareness Month! Click here to find out more about what ALS is, to find a calendar that lists 31 Ways to Fight ALS in the 31 days of May, to read stories about those fighting ALS all across the country, to register, and to advocate for those with ALS.