NEXT: Student's Perspective
As physical therapy students, our focus is pretty regularly zoomed in on the foundational details of physical therapy. Attending the NEXT Conference & Exposition this summer allowed us to zoom out a bit, inspiring and challenging us to broaden our vision of what it means to be a successful physical therapist. We were exposed to the issues, successes, current knowledge, and research surrounding physical therapy, heard the perspectives of both new and veteran physical therapists, and began to recognize and appreciate the tireless work that the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) does on behalf of our profession.
In short, the Conference was overwhelming in the best possible sense of the word. We chose from a large selection of eye-opening and thought-provoking lectures and workshops each day. We had the chance to interact with students from other schools, and converse with physical therapists from all over the country. We heard an inspiring speech by the APTA president, Sharon Dunn, about how physical therapists fit into society (past, present, and future), and saw Marymount faculty receive prestigious awards. We participated in a successful Go Baby Go build and education session with the University of Central Florida. We spent a lot of time in the exposition area meeting with different vendors and getting a ton of physical therapy swag! Finally, we found some creative ways to participate in the famous Oxford Debate on whether or not nutrition should fall under the scope of physical therapy.
As we reflect back, most of us went into the Conference expecting a lot of information to go straight over our heads. We were surprised to realize just how much we already knew and understood during discussions and lectures only one year into our program. But really, the best part of it all was it allowed us the great opportunity to bond with our fellow Marymount classmates!
By: Katie O'Donohue, Bryce Downen, Alex Turner, and Gaby Zacuto