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.