A little background about myself: I am a first year DPT student at Angelo State University, and the APTA Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) was in Texas for the first time in YEARS! So, I apprehensively registered. I say apprehensively because I did not want to pay all of that money and not understand a thing that the brightest minds in physical therapy had to say. I wanted to get something out of this experience…so, I signed up hoping the basics I have learned up to this point would get me through. I looked through the list of sessions, and realized that my decision to go or not was the least of my worries. During every session time, there were at least two or three lectures I wanted to attend. I naturally gravitated more toward sports and orthopedic sponsored sessions. One exception to this was probably the session that was most impactful, and it is the reason I have decided to start this journey of blogging.

Up to the point of going to this session, I had already sat through 5 sessions…some of which were way over my head and others which I could easily follow and go along with. Now, here I am, just a 1st year DPT student with 2 full years of learning ahead of me, and yet I understood what these PTs were talking about. That was the point where I realized I am on the right track in school and I was motivated to share all of this new knowledge with my peers. The sessions that were way over my head did not discourage me, they encouraged me! I want to know more! I decided, I want to take this time as a student, learn as much as I can, from any and every resource so that I can be more prepared. As my professors would say “I want to put more tools in my toolbox” so that I can be more equip as a new graduate.

Now you may be wondering, “what would inspire blogging at a Physical Therapy conference”. Simple. “#SocialPT: Transforming Society Through Social Media” This session was essentially a conversation with some of the best social media influencers in physical therapy: Ben Fung, Brett Kestenbaum, Richard Severin, and Greg Todd…all of whom are AMAZING minds of physical therapy, and each have paved their own way in the physical therapy community using social media as a tool in their toolbox.

Prior to attending CSM, I had been going through the motions…getting by from one test to the next with one goal: don’t drop out. That is a great goal because it is the first step to becoming a DPT…but I don’t want that to be my only goal. I want to graduate, I want to pass all of my classes (hopefully…long road ahead), I want to start participating in conversations, and I want to start making connections with current students and PTs. The grades are necessary, but the conversations and connections are invaluable.

So, my takeaways from the whole experience: I want to take part in bridging the gap between health care providers and consumers. Social media is instantaneous. It takes the click of a button and BOOM information shared. We (as in all current and future health care providers) should be sharing our knowledge! Good content that is easily understood and available for anyone. It starts with us.

#SocialPT #GetPT1st #DPTstudent #ASUDPT

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