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Journey of a DPT Student

Conference Considerations

Published June 11, 2012 2:41 PM by Lauren Rosso

Last weekend, five of my classmates went to Tampa for the APTA annual conference, and once again I'm regretting my decision not to attend. I didn't go to CSM in February because it fell at a difficult time in the semester, and also because of finances. I made the same excuses this time around, but I really wish I had thought more seriously about making the trip down.

In February, I remember thinking that attending CSM would be somewhat of a waste, expecting the information to be over my head as a first-year student. It turns out that wasn't the case. I assume that the annual conference was no different. I also regret that only five classmates made the trip to Tampa (and an equally small number went to Chicago for CSM). We have made an effort as a class and within the program to provide more funding to send students to conferences. Our goal is to eliminate the "financial" excuse for not going, which will hopefully generate more interest from our students.

Now that I'm gaining more confidence in my PT knowledge, I think the conferences would be an invaluable professional experience. To surround yourself with some of the most brilliant and enthusiastic minds in the field can be nothing but positive. It's something I'm looking forward to in the next year and I hope I get the opportunity to go.

1 comments

I am a first year DPT student and find myself in a similar situation.  Although I am very interested in attending conferences, if they fall in a busy or difficult time during the school year or the financial burden is just a bit too much to bear, I'm sure I'd have to excuse myself from going as well. I believe attending these conferences is such an integral part of our learning experiences in PT school; if only it were easier to just go! Additionally, I also worry if the information presented will be over my head.

Our PT club is working very hard to procure additional funds that could be spent to help reimburse some (more) of the students' cost of attendance at conferences.  This would make it possible for more students to travel to conferences of their choosing.  Until then, our student leaders have come up with a plan that I've been quite impressed with so far.  One of our 2nd year students attended a great conference last semester and gave a presentation for the rest of our department at a recent PT club meeting.  He outlined the basics of cost, travel and networking, and shared with us what he felt was the most notable information that he learned.  It was great because only one or two students from our whole department were able to attend that conference, but we all learned something from it!  This will now be somewhat of a "required," presentation for students who are fortunate enough to attend conferences.  I doubt there will ever be a time where an entire class of PT students will be in attendance at the same conference, so bringing back and introducing the important topics to the rest of the department is crucial.

Like you mentioned, he also worried about the possibility of some of the the material being "over his head." He has since discovered that although some of it might have been at the time of the conference, as he's advanced in the curriculum, he's already been introduced to topics that may have been new material otherwise- he's already a step ahead!

Brittany, DPT Student March 6, 2013 10:47 PM
Greenville NC

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