Monday, October 13, 2014

First Impressions - Melissa Waltos (Class of 2020)

Melissa Waltos (Class of 2020) started the Program in Physical Therapy this August. She is from a western suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. We asked Melissa to write some of her first impressions of Saint Louis University and the Program in Physical Therapy:    

Coming from over 600 miles away to attend SLU’s PT Program just a few months ago, I had high hopes for what it had to offer me.  This program was well known in my hometown because of the interactions with SLU PT and the Cleveland Clinic, and the professionals I had shadowed and volunteered with throughout high school urged me to take full advantage of it.  Within the first few weeks of school, I took this advice, threw myself right in, and received nothing less than what I expected: hard work and hospitality.

Even as a freshman two months into the program, I already began to realize SLU PT is more than just one of the best academic programs at Saint Louis University.  It really is sort of like a family.  From DPT class field games and bonding to volunteering with PT Student Council miles out of the city, I have been able to meet so many students, faculty, and staff in the program who have been nothing but welcoming.  I have met other PT students both in and out of the classroom, and once we share our majors  with each other, an instant bond forms.  That’s what I think is very unique about this program.  While it is extremely competitive and labor intensive, there is a strong sense of comradery between the students.  This assures me that when I’m preparing for an exam and needing someone to study with or to go over techniques for a practical, someone will be more than willing.  For example, as I was sitting working on some documents for the PT office in Fresh Gatherings the other week, a large group of PYIIIs were waiting for their practicals.  All the professional students were helping each other, taking turns as the PT and as the patient.

Observing this only made me more excited for what these next six years would bring me!  And although it has only been a few months, I can already see this spark in my own PT class.  All of the PT freshman I have met are extremely dedicated to this program and are trying to do as much as they can to get involved.  I’d say we have some pretty spirited, aspiring DPTs from my class, and each and every one of them truly inspire me to bring pride to SLU PT’s Class of 2020.  I am very excited to see what these next six years will have in store for me!

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