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Journey of a DPT Student

PT on the Mind

Published August 22, 2011 2:38 PM by Lauren Rosso

It's been a week since classes ended, and even though I hate to admit it, I can't stop thinking about PT-related things. Is this a glimpse into the rest of my life? Our last anatomy lecture covered the pelvic floor and related therapy techniques, so today when I found out my friend was going in to labor, I couldn't help but recall some of the potential therapy she could have in the next few months. The most frustrating part is that while I remember some information, I can't recall everything, so I find myself going crazy trying to remember the small details and eventually accepting that it's not going to happen.

By far the most annoying example of this has been a constant analysis of people's gait (with only very rudimentary knowledge). Everywhere I go, I find myself staring at people and wondering if they have any abnormal gait patterns. I've even started to analyze myself. I think I supinate. From there, I've been trying to figure out if I compensate in strange ways. It's a never-ending cycle and I hope it stops.


Hey Lauren,

nice to meet a fellow Lauren PT who finds herself analyzing people's gaits at random!

I am a first year DPT student and I was having the same problem at the end of last semester in which we took our first MPT class. I was sitting outside the cafeteria at the hospital one day waiting to have lunch with my mentor and found myself analyzing the gait of nearly every person who passed by. I was amazed at how many gait deviations I saw among even the hospital personnel; that is until I realized that I was actually analyzing gait in my idle time. It was a bit unsettling, but then I thought, gait and motion are kind of like the language we as physical therapists speak. Language teachers always say that a sure sign of becoming fluent in a language is dreaming in that language. I think our subconscious gait analysis can be analagous to dreaming in a foreign language, thus demonstrating our "fluency" or knowledge as budding PTs.

I have noticed over time, as this spring semester has passed that I've been analyzing less gait subconsciously, and if I do it tends to be runners' gaits. Thus, reading a national geographic the other night on Cheetahs with a huge frame by frame spread of a 100m dash, I found myself analyzing their stride with all the components of heel contact, foot flat, single limb support, double limb support, etc. I immediately laughed to myself, but I can't deny I also found it very interesting how their gait cycle during a sprint is so different from ours.

I think over time as we continue to add to our base of knowledge and experience clinical practice that our subconcious analysis of PT will take us less by surprise, remind us less of school, and will become a habit we will be greatful for and not think too much of once we're practicing.


Lauren Stubbs March 13, 2013 3:57 PM
Greenville NC

Erin-  thanks for the advice.  I keep hoping that when it's really time to recall all of this information, it will somehow just pop into my mind.  I'm glad to hear that's the way it is for you.  Good luck with everything!

Lauren Rosso August 23, 2011 11:52 AM

hello. i have only been doing working as a PTA for 2 1/2 years and but i know how you feel about you watching people walk, but eventually you will fade out of school mode and it will less. and yes you will never remember everything but working with whatever topic you arent so sure about then actually dealing with the situation right there instead of the book you will be amazed on how well you retain it. but good luck. thanks.


Erin Bates, PT - LPTA, inpatient/outpatient August 23, 2011 12:22 AM
Virginia Beach VA

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