Guest Lectures that Make a Difference
Last week, our class had the absolute honor of meeting Dr. Beth Fisher from the Department of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy at the University of Southern California. Dr. Fisher was in town to lecture at a continuing education course held at the University of Pittsburgh, and very graciously agreed to lecture the second-year students on Thursday and Friday. Much of what we did was hands-on with an emphasis on gait and movement analysis, particularly in patients who have had a stroke. In the few short hours that we were able to work with her, Dr. Fisher provided a framework and basic tools to not only analyze someone's movement, but also how to change it.
Dr. Fisher's lecture was more than just valuable insight into movement analysis from an expert. I think it also came at a time when our class was starting to get a little bit flat. Since starting the program, there has been an intangible quality about the group that everyone loved. We were all eager to learn, enthusiastic and genuinely excited to be in class. When we started back at the beginning of the semester, I couldn't quite figure it out, but it seemed like something had changed. Maybe the weight of last year's academic schedule finally hit everyone, maybe we were resentful to be back in school after a full-time clinical rotation, but something seemed different. That's not to say we weren't still excited, but the "spark" seemed to be missing. After Dr. Fisher's lectures, I think we're back on track.
This also goes to prove the value of learning from as many sources as possible. Our faculty here are absolutely amazing. They are fantastic clinicians, dedicated lecturers and genuine people. However, we see and learn from them every day and after a while, you forget that there are other schools of thought out there. The experience with Dr. Fisher was invaluable for every student in the program and I'm just thankful to have been in the right place at the right time.