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Transition to Rehab Management

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Published August 9, 2012 2:41 PM by Karen Schiff

As this summer break winds down for my daughters and I, shopping for school supplies is in full force. Gone are the days of buying glue sticks, crayons, markers and colored pencils. We have moved on to 10th grade for my youngest, first year of college for my oldest and the final year for me in preparation for my doctorate. The shopping list has been trimmed down as well, starting with no new backpacks. The three of us have decided we will choose from the vast assortment we have collected over the years, in an effort to become more efficient with our resources. Tuition is paid, and books are next on the list to obtain for the two of us. Thankfully, I have three years left before the youngest moves on to higher education.

Starting grad school has opened my eyes much wider to the complexity of the Internet. I enroll in classes, take exams, discuss topics, write papers, research, pay for my tuition and shop for my textbooks, all online. The program was initiated with a weekend at the campus, live lecture and cadaver lab work. In addition, we were taught in a classroom how we will be going about two years in an Internet-based program. Personally, I believe this long weekend "getaway" from home to invest in my future was the beginning of a new chapter in my life.

Additionally, spending this long weekend away with four amazing girlfriends, who just happen to be my coworkers and PTs, without our children, spouses or boyfriends around was something out of a movie. We left our homes, our department and our pets in the hands of others as we entered this adventure. As I look back at where we were compared to where we are now, I'm confident to say that this journey to complete grad school was one of the best choices I've ever made in my life, besides the choice to have two beautiful daughters.

Now I look ahead to the second and final year of this adventure. Three classes will start on August 27 and be completed by December. I can't help but get a bit excited that one year from now, I'll be traveling with my daughters to walk at the university, while they watch me receive my doctorate. I picture this because on Aug. 10, 2012, two very dear PT coworkers of mine will be walking to receive their doctorates from the same institution the five of us are currently enrolled in.

They have successfully completed their studies while maintaining full-time work, volunteering in their community, raising their families and offering mental support for those of us enrolled, as well as providing motivation to others in our department. I commend my peers, for they have achieved the highest clinical education. There is a difference in the way they practice their profession, and it is noted by all those around them. I wish to congratulate both of you, Patricia and Marcelo. You have made your team very proud!

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