Tuesday, February 20, 2018

SLU PT Alumni Spotlight - Timothy J. Nolan, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT

SLU PT Alumni Spotlight - Timothy J. Nolan, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT

Staff Physical Therapist, NorthShore University HealthSystem
Faculty in the Fellowship of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Program,
University of Illinois at Chicago

Hometown: Palatine, IL
Current Town/City: Chicago, IL

SLU DPT Class of 2012
Interests, Activities, Clubs, and Professional Organizations

Personal interests: traveling, running, espresso, and English bulldogs.
Professional Interests: Clinical assessment of strength performance in athletes suffering from shoulder and knee injuries prior to return to sport in the absence of isokinetic equipment. Member of APTA and American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT)

If you could come back to SLU and teach a class, which class would you like to teach?

The Patient Management courses.
The focus on clinical reasoning and the differential diagnosis process made these courses intellectually stimulating, and I would enjoy the opportunity to teach such a fundamental component of our profession to DPT students.

What was the most valuable lesson — inside or outside the classroom — you learned at SLU?

Be comfortable with the gray. - nothing is black and white. As a PT student, I received the "it depends" answer given by the instructors, even though exam testing with multiple-choice options seemed more black and white. This valuable lesson has been instrumental in my clinical practice. As an ortho PT, I saw there were multiple ways to treat, which all arrived at the same end point: achieving the patient's goals.  Additionally, by communicating with my patients that uncertainty exists both in PT and the medical field (i.e. diagnoses or effectiveness of interventions), I build a stronger rapport with the patient, and ultimately, am better positioned to advocate for the individual's desires and goals.

What is your greatest professional accomplishment?

Shaping the minds and skills of novice and skilled practitioners.

What advice do you have for students getting ready to graduate with their DPT?

Always remain teachable. Surround yourself with people who are seeking constant self improvement. In the work environment, find individuals who are attempting to advance their clinical reasoning skills and challenging their own biases. Don't conform to the notion that this is how we do it here - find your own path as a clinician and bring others, who may be stuck in their ways, with you.

This is one of several posts featuring SLU PT Alumni experiences. The Saint Louis University Program in Physical Therapy wants to recognize the exciting and innovative things our alumni are doing, here in St. Louis and around the world. For more information for and about SLU alumni experiences go to: http://www.slu.edu/alumni-and-donors/.

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