Physical Therapy Student Attends National Conclave
Kalin Mutter, UK PT Student President for Class of 2013Kalin Mutter, UK PT Student President for Class of 2013
Recently, I was fortunate enough to travel to Minneapolis to attend the National Student Conclave (NSC) for physical therapy students. Automatically, my first thought was “networking event.”.
Because I was one of approximately five percent of new graduates who are hired as a pharmaceutical rep I am no stranger to networking, especially with recruiters and possible employers. NSC was completely different. Never before had I thought to network with other students from across the nation; they are, after all, not the ones offering jobs. However it soon became apparent that these energetic and dedicated people would become my fellow colleagues in a few short years. These are the people I will call for best practices, research, literature, etc. Recruiters and employers had booths, but NSC surprised me with opportunities to discuss resumes and interviewing techniques, explore case studies with nationally-recognized therapists, and review popular trends within the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) such as residency programs, fellowships, and specialties that may affect career options. There were even loan management classes available, which I found very useful given that the price of Physical Therapy school may hover around $100,000!
What I found most important part about the conclave was its helpful explanation of Fixed Date Testing for the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE). Because the exam was compromised by a group of deceitful students, it will only be offered four times per year starting in 2012. This creates new considerations for recent and upcoming graduates in the Commonwealth as they must be able to pay for bills and loans, but cannot work because the limited opportunity to take the NPTE.
This is why I have decided to challenge the State Board to reconsider their stance on temporary licensure. Whether or not my efforts will be successful will be seen, but had I not gone to the NSC and observed the energy and excitement that fellow students had for the profession, I would not have the fire to start a local, grassroots movement.
The next time you have an opportunity to attend a national event, put your assumptions aside and attend. Be open and willing to step out of your comfort zone. It might be there that you find your calling.