I started my residency in August of 2022. My experiences in the first 2 months have already made in impact on how I present myself as a physical therapist. Being a resident is a unique, explorative, humbling, but rewarding experience. It has allowed me to discover where my passions lie within the field of PT. It has fostered curiosity and allowed for me to focus on my role as a lifelong learner. It has also opened up different opportunities as a PT besides direct patient care that I had not considered at this point in my career.
It can be overwhelming going into a 16-month residency program, and now with only 14 months left I can say that it is still a little overwhelming. I have learned a lot about myself in the few short months I have been involved with the program. I have learned that I enjoy being an educator, where my passions within PT lie, and that I have so much room to grow as a clinician. Being in a Women's Health Residency Program already puts me in such a niche area of PT, but within that niche there are so many routes to go and so much to learn, which I love. The field of women's and pelvic health is constantly evolving with the new research coming out. The program has worked with me to create an environment where I am able to explore my interests and help me to figure out what I want to do with my career.
The term "lifelong learner" is heavily applied to my experiences as a resident. I have learned so much from mentors and from students that I have interacted with in these first few months. I have learned to stay curious and continue to ask questions.
The learning environment in residency is much different from PT school as it is more collaborative, allows for open discussion, and challenges my own views on different topics within the field of PT. Being a TA for the first year PT students at SLU has taught me how much I have truly learned in all my education up to this point in my career.
I have learned to have grace with myself, like I do with the students as they are learning new things. That is why I think it is so humbling to be a resident. Transitioning from a full time clinician to a resident made me realize how much there is to learn and how important education is, at any point in one's life. This realization has also helped me discover a passion for educating others, be it the community, students, or colleagues.