Devyn Moore recently graduated from SLU's Program in Physical Therapy with her DPT in May. Since then she's been pretty busy with the Carnegie Mellon football team and prepping for the Steelers! Read Devyn's reflections below.
A month has gone by being the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Sports Resident, although it feels like I was just walking across the stage during graduation. Then I look at all the opportunities I’ve had in this short month and it all gets put into perspective. The third day of my employment, I started football camp at Carnegie Mellon. I was in the training room taping athletes, treating acute injuries, referring to physicians for imaging, advising the athletic training students, conversing with the trainers regarding treatment, technique, and prognoses during the two short weeks of camp. I was sideline during practices responding to on-field injuries and deciding next steps. I had discussions with coaches about the player’s statuses and even advised them on practice structure in order to best keep the players healthy. This was truly an amazing opportunity that as physical therapists we don’t get very often.
After football camp, my schedule became even busier, but with it brought more great opportunities. My weekly schedule consists of about 30 hours in the sports medicine orthopedic clinic treating side by side with renowned physical therapists that are available to discuss patients and advise when needed. In fact, mentoring is part of the residency with 150 hours over the year devoted it. I am also a lab instructor at the University of Pittsburgh for 1st year Musculoskeletal DPT students. It’s crazy to think that less than a year ago I was anxious for competencies and now I am proctoring them. Other aspects of the residency are injury clinics. I hold an injury clinic for Pitt club sports to evaluate acute injuries then decide to refer to a physician, advise formal PT, or give them a HEP. I never thought I would have this responsibility in the sports world so soon after graduating, especially without being dual-credentialed (PT/ATC). The other injury clinic is for high school athletes that need imaging. In collaboration with an orthopedic doctor and radiology techs, we see athletes from initial screening through the imaging process and are able to access the images and discuss treatment plans all in a few hours. I am also able to collaborate with the orthopedic surgeons during a weekly sports conference I attend and during rounds at the local colleges where I observe screenings and evaluations.
Although I am still adjusting to my schedule, I find myself looking forward to the opportunities ahead of me. Some of these include: being a junior faculty member during the University of Pittsburgh’s PT grand rounds, presenting during the sports conference, attending Team Concept Conference with emphasis on the ACL, attending CSM, administering physicals for professional sports, and being sideline with the Steelers throughout the 2015-2016 season.
I am not sure how other residencies are structured, but I am extremely fortunate to get one that fits me so well and offers so many wonderful opportunities to expand my professional career. If anyone is interested in specializing and getting a head start in your profession, I highly suggest the residency route. Some advice to those of you considering it: start early. Become involved in whatever field you want to get into outside of class by volunteering or shadowing. Show initiative and reach out to people that may be able to help you. For me, this included contacting athletic directors for colleges and high schools throughout St. Louis and participating in any ways they would allow, volunteering at TASK, getting a certification separate from the standard curriculum (CSCS), and teaching health and wellness at a local school. All of these helped to broaden my skill set while also helping set me apart from the other candidates. Decide why you want to specialize or do a residency and have passion about it. The time commitment in a residency is tough; it takes a determined person and someone who really wants the whole experience, not just one aspect. For anyone interested, I would be glad to speak with you further! I look forward to continue to share my experiences as they occur!
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