Student Special Interest Group (SSIG) Q&A


Student Special Interest Group (SSIG) Q&A:

As we soak up the last bit of summer and look towards transitioning into this upcoming academic year, fresh classes, and an abundance of new professional opportunities, there is no better time to reintroduce and get well acquainted with who we are and what we do! Please take a minute or two to read through this Q&A, you certainly won't regret it.  

What is the APTA VA?
The APTA Virginia is a state-level chapter of the national organization, the APTA. It is a membership-based professional organization consisting of PTs, PTAs, PT Students, and PTA students. The APTA Virginia fosters relationships throughout the commonwealth and seeks to connect professionals and students. The organization serves to represent its members and advance the physical therapy profession through advocacy, fundraising, and continuing education.

What are Special Interest Groups?
Special Interest Groups, in general, can be found throughout the APTA and APTA Virginia. They are subgroups of the overarching organization intended to serve individuals with common interests. Special Interest Groups have most commonly been formed around practice specialties (pediatrics, orthopedics, acute care, etc.), but have in addition been formed for clinicians in private practice, those who are “early professionals,” and those promoting diversity, equality, and inclusion in the field, just to name a few.  Within the Virginia chapter, there are six SIGs: Early Professionals SIG (EPSIG), Geriatric SIG (GSIG), Pediatric SIG (PSIG), Physical Therapy Assistant SIG (PTASIG), Private Practice SIG (PPSIG), and the Student SIG (SSIG). 

So, what exactly is the SSIG then?
The “SSIG” is the Student Special Interest Group. The Student SIG of the APTA Virginia Chapter can best be described as an organization that serves PT and PTA students in the Commonwealth through the enrichment of student experience. The APTA VA SSIG provides access to educational content outside the realm of traditional PT/PTA curricula, raises student awareness of policies and issues impacting the physical therapy profession, and encourages continued involvement in the APTA VA and APTA alike, upon graduation and entrance into the workplace.

Who serves on the SSIG?
All PT and PTA Students who are active APTA VA members are automatically a part of the APTA VA SSIG. Nine current DPT and PTA students representing programs from across the Commonwealth have been elected by their peers to be a voice for the student body; they currently comprise the Executive Committee of the APTA VA SSIG. 

What is the importance of the SSIG to me?
The APTA VA SSIG can be extremely valuable to PT and PTA Students. Thoughts of “professional advocacy” through state and nationwide organizations can seem rather intimidating. Finding space within a student-oriented sub-organization that focuses its efforts on reaching students and providing them with concrete ways of getting involved in professional advocacy makes this experience a lot more tangible and much less intimidating. So if you are like many students in that you KNOW you want to get involved (no matter your reason), but you don't know HOW to do it, active participation in the APTA VA SSIG and any of the events it puts on is a great way to do so! 

What can I look forward to this upcoming year?
This year, we're holding Fall Summit (a great continuing education opportunity); a networking event, and so much more with more information to come!

How can I get involved? 
Keep an eye out for emails that come from the APTA-VA SSIG and follow us on social media.
  • Instagram: @aptavassig
  • Facebook: @vpta.ssig
  • Twitter: @VPTAStudentSIG

We'll send information on all the events we're hosting this year—the most important thing to do is to step out of your comfort zone and dive in! You may also want to consider running for a position on next year's APTA VA SSIG Exec Board—this is a fantastic way to learn more about the APTA VA and really get involved!



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