PT School: Memorizing and Applying

Discussion in 'Physical Therapy' started by PTtech0715, Jan 9, 2017.

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  1. PTtech0715

    PTtech0715

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    Aug 22, 2015
    Hey guys! Next week I will be starting my second semester of PT school - I'm weirdly excited about it but I'm also dreading going back. I think the feeling of dread may be due to professors telling us last semester that we are held accountable for ALL that was covered in the fall, to use for the spring. Essentially, it sounds like there won't be much review before jumping into new content.

    I've been using some of my winter-break skimming over class material from the fall, but I'm feeling overwhelmed (and impressed) by HOW much I learned in just one semester. Feeling a bit bogged down by how much there is to review, a few questions came to mind:

    1. For other PT students, how much review (specifically, anatomy) was provided in classes for the semesters following a course?

    2. For graduates / clinicians, how much immediate application of anatomy knowledge is put to practice? In other words, how often do you need to refer back to your sources while treating, and how much is automatic?


    If there are any pointers on what you believe to be the most important/relevant information to review for future use I would greatly appreciate it! So far, I've been working on muscle OIAN. Thanks for reading!
     
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  3. Bluecase

    Bluecase 2+ Year Member

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    Jul 26, 2014
    Anatomy and biomechanics are the foundations of the profession- they should drive intervention design. This is your best tool when the evidence is lacking and you need a place to start-


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. truthseeker

    truthseeker Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    You are kidding right? Professional training is not about passing the tests and memorizing things it is about learning. If you don't learn you can't apply. If you can't apply, you are a crappy therapist. Everything you are taught in PT school and much of what you were taught in undergrad is information that you will use. The anatomy, you will use every day. Every Day. Your username is PTtech. Once you are out of school you cannot be a tech. You will be the one that is required to make decisions. You need to know the "Why" not just the "What." Your medical doctor colleagues will expect you to know the anatomy better than they do and be able to identify things that are not in the scope of your practice and refer on the appropriate clinician. When you are PT you have a great responsibility to your patients and if you are upset about being responsible about everything from last semester, I think you need a pretty quick paradigm shift on what you think it means to be a professional.

    Would you want the doctor that is evaluating your shortness of breath to remember what they learn in their first year of medical school?
     
    Bluecase likes this.
  5. jesspt

    jesspt 7+ Year Member

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    Chicago, IL
    Well, once you're licensed, your patients are going to hold you accountable for EVERYTHING that you learned during PT school.
     
  6. PTtech0715

    PTtech0715

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    Aug 22, 2015
    Thank you for your insight. I think I'm in a place where I was provided an immense amount of information in a very short time, with little application or a "big picture" viewpoint. I'm hoping as I continue in school, the dots will begin to connect.
     
  7. PTtech0715

    PTtech0715

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    Aug 22, 2015
    I appreciate your response. My intent wasn't to complain about my experiences, and I apologize if you interpreted it that way. My hopes was to receive feedback from those farther along in school, and currently practicing, about learning (or memorizing) the anatomical and biomechanical facts of the body in your first year and revisiting the content later in school.

    As for my question for the practicing clinicians, as I assume you are one, I was hoping to hear some anecdotes about early experiences that maybe highlighted that everything "memorized" during school wasn't immediately known in practice. In all honesty, a little reassurance that things would come together in time was what I was looking for to calm my anxious, first-year mind!
     
  8. PTtech0715

    PTtech0715

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    Aug 22, 2015
    Were you able to draw solely upon what you learned while in school during your first year of practice?
     
  9. jesspt

    jesspt 7+ Year Member

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    Jan 31, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    I was able to competently examine a patient and design a treatment program based solely on what I learned in school. Experience has taught me how to better identify with/ empathize with/ interact with my patients, which may be just as important as the treatment plan.
     
    PTtech0715 likes this.
  10. noyceguy

    noyceguy 5+ Year Member

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    Aug 17, 2010
    The basic anatomy I learned in class is always there to a certain extent, some details I do tend to forget, but I do continuing education constantly so a lot of times there is an anatomy refresher in that and that helps me relearn those details. (I am a practicing PT.)

    As far as in school there is usually a quick anatomy review somewhere in the lecture. At the very least you should know origin/insertion/action/innervation after graduation.
     
  11. PTtech0715

    PTtech0715

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    Aug 22, 2015
    Thank you, this is very encouraging! After talking with a 2nd year in my program about review of anatomy, I was told that very little review happened on a semester-to-semester basis, and she had to play a lot of catch up over winterbreak. Hearing about your experience with continued education makes me feel a lot less overwhelmed.
     
  12. noyceguy

    noyceguy 5+ Year Member

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    Aug 17, 2010
    If you pass all the tests and keep up with some good con ed you will have all the anatomy you will ever need. Over time you learn the nuances. Don't worry about it.
     
    PTtech0715 likes this.

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