By Kay Mastrocola (Class of 2022)
My clinical experience was supportive and well-rounded. My clinical instructor, Claire Gatchallian, offered exceptional compassion and empathy to both myself and our patients but also a fair amount of "tough love" and realism when it was needed. Her knowledge was unmatched, and she was always there to assist and educate. She took everything under the mantra of "it is what it is", and it resonated. Often as a physical therapist, there is a lot we can't control, but being able to recognize the things we can help with and improve and offer that to patients is something I will forever carry with me.
Thank you for being the true meaning of "dura mater". Tough but with love and compassion. You allowed me safe boundaries to grow and allowed me to be creative while also rounding out my edges and fine-tuning my new skills as a physical therapist. I was never afraid to ask questions and knew I could always count on you for help, even a year later. The time with you solidified my desire to be a physical therapist and I enjoyed every single day working alongside you and I'm so grateful to continue sharing my successes with you (and European travel stories).
This is one of a series of posts by the Saint Louis University Program in Physical Therapy students featuring their clinical site and their clinical instructors. The number, quality, and diversity of clinical instruction are major assets for the SLU PT Program.