Physical Therapy Alumni Share Stories of Preparation and Success
My Experience at Pacific University
I chose Pacific University’s PT program because it promised a highly reputable education from exceptional faculty, along with remarkable opportunities for leadership and community outreach. I got involved in the Student Leadership Committee my first semester, which led to multiple opportunities to serve my program, from planning fundraisers and social events to representing the student body during new faculty search interviews. The first semester in the program is exceptionally difficult, and I thrived on the moments that I was able to bond with my classmates and faculty by shooting a music video for the holiday party or bowling during our annual fundraiser, Hops in Hillsboro.
Opportunities were plentiful at Pacific, with many focused on utilizing PT skills to serve the community. For example, we performed injury screens at local vineyards with ¡Salud! and built adaptive mobility devices for children with Go Baby Go, which offered sweet escapes from the classroom while showing me how my profession can transform society.
During my second year, I was privileged to work as an anatomy lab assistant for the School of Physician Assistant Studies under the tutelage of Dr. Sheryl Sanders. When I was not in the library studying or in the lab rooms practicing for orthopedics, I was often found in the anatomy lab dissecting with my team, refreshing our anatomy or leading a study session for students.
Attending these conferences allowed me to network with and learn alongside physical therapists and students from all over the country. I am thankful to Pacific University and the PT program for providing these opportunities and instilling in me the passion that is physical therapy.
Dr. Jenna Bauman PT ‘18, Recipient of the 2018 Alumni Award/Outstanding Graduate
What I Gained from Professional Organization Involvement
When I began my journey as a PT student in the fall of 2015, I realized how much I still had to learn about physical therapy in all regards. I was elated to finally be member of the profession that I had so much passion for and was eager to learn more in the professional realm. I began getting involved with the OPTA after meeting other students and PTs who held leadership positions.
Initially, I started working on the membership committee and co-led the local PT Night Out. I then also applied for and joined the Student Leadership Committee, which facilitated my attendance of OPTA annual conferences, the OPTA Strategic Planning meeting and other smaller meetings where I learned how hard these individuals work to advocate for our interests, to fight for our scope of practice and to create new ways to educate the public on PT. In a changing healthcare scene, I found their work inspiring and Motivating.
Surrounding myself with such passionate, devoted people early in my PT career definitely shaped my philosophies and goals. Through the OPTA I gained many connections and experiences that have helped develop my own passions and values. Most importantly, I learned that it is crucial to surround yourself with others who will push you to be a better person and clinician, and that you should be able to do the same for your friends and colleagues.
Dr. Elaina Gayles PT ’18, Recipient of the 2018 Director’s Award
The Newest Milwaukee Buck
Like many physical therapists, my path to PT first started as a patient. As a former college athlete, I knew I would love working with athletes and assisting in their return back to sports as well as in their development and training. During my time in physical therapy school, I had a glimpse into sports PT, but I knew I wanted more. I wanted a deeper understanding of not only the acute care necessary but also the advanced interventions required to return athletes to elite levels of performance.
After a few years of practicing in a variety of health systems, I applied to and earned a position at the Howard Head Sports Medicine Residency in Vail, Colo., where I worked with world- class sports medicine teams. During my residency, I had the opportunity to observe countless cutting-edge surgeries, which helped me to understand various strategies for patient management including developing exercise prescriptions with the ultimate goal of returning to competitive sports. With this new knowledge and the ability to cover high school, local amateur athletics and Olympic training events, I was positioned to develop and lead a sports performance department.
For the next two years, I was the head sports physical therapist at Intermountain Hospital in Park City, Utah, where we worked closely with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Teams at their headquarters. Because of the contacts that I made and the knowledge that I had gained along the way, I was encouraged to interview for a position in the NBA and ultimately landed a position as a senior PT with the Milwaukee Bucks! The sports residency education that I received was a true stepping-stone and one that greatly propelled my career forward. There is an initial investment required when going into a residency, but the contacts, education and clinical skills that I developed along the way progressed my career more than I could have ever imagined.
Dr. Brett Bousquet PT ‘13, DPT, SCS, CSCS