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Journey of a DPT Student

Reflections after the First Year

Published May 2, 2012 11:27 AM by Lauren Rosso

As of last Friday, I officially completed my first year of PT school. A few people have asked if, given the opportunity, I would go back and change anything that happened throughout the whole process, or if I have any advice for those of you entering your first year. I have to say that overall I'm happy with how things have gone in the past 12 months.

A year ago at this time, I was getting ready to move back to Pittsburgh. Before settling in, I took a trip to Europe as a "last hurrah" before school started. That's definitely something I would do again. No matter how you're preparing before you start, I recommend taking some time to relax. You can only do so much to prepare, and if you take it all in stride you'll be much better off. I also decided not to live with classmates. I could not love my classmates more, but I personally enjoyed having a break from the PT world that I was constantly submerged in.

When school started, even though I was completely overwhelmed, I decided to keep playing rugby as often as I could. There were definitely weeks when I couldn't go, but overall I think it was a great way to distract myself from PT school. Whatever your hobbies are, keep up with them. I think the key to keeping yourself sane is having balance, and while sometimes school tips the scales in one direction, you have to find a way to bring yourself back. If not, you'll go crazy. Whatever you like to do, there's definitely room for it if you learn how to manage your time.

As far as academics are concerned, I can't believe how much I have learned and subsequently forgotten in the past year. I was organizing my notes and read through a few pages and realized that I need to come up with a better way to commit some of this information to memory. I think I'm going to try to make a short and concise summary of different modules that we cover as an easy guide to refer back to when I'm trying to review. Who knows if it will work, but if you have a way to organize the information into a simpler summary, let me know! It's disappointing to realize that all of the work I have done has not ingrained the information forever in my mind.

This year has been amazing and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. However, there are a few things that I could have done better. Of course, if you're wondering about anything else, let me know and I'll try to give you the best advice possible. Good luck to everyone who is preparing for their first year!


As a first year DPT student about to finish my first year of course work, I cannot believe how quickly the time has passed. After having Gross and Functional Anatomy last summer, I was definitely burnt out. I felt like all I did was go to class, study, eat, and sleep. I realized once the fall semester started that I needed to make it a point to do things outside of studying for stress relief. I've always been into sports and exercising, so making time for working out has been very important to me.

Additionally, it has been a struggle remembering information from one class to the next. I have realized the importance of not just memorizing the information I learn in class, but being able to understand it and apply it to clinical settings and practice. Our first clinical begins in a few weeks and I'm hoping that having that first experience working with patients will help solidify the knowledge I have gained this year.

Emily DeNardis March 6, 2013 2:40 PM
Greenville NC

Fran- you can definitely keep up with them.  Don't let school become the only thing that you devote your time to... you'll go crazy!  Good luck.  

Lauren Rosso May 3, 2012 7:54 AM

I'm going to start PT school in Fall, and you gave some pretty good pointers. Hopefully my hobbies won't be completely given up either.

Fran May 2, 2012 5:26 PM

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