Focus Program STEM Students Tour MSMU’s Physical Therapy School

In order to educate our STEM students to the broad career opportunities in physical therapy, we visited the Doctor of Physical Therapy School at Mount Saint Mary’s University. Second and third-year grad students engaged our juniors and seniors in both in-patient and out-patient experiences. We even observed an anatomy lab in progress...
The inpatient demonstration detailed working with post-surgical patient transfer to wheelchair, as well as proper use of wheelchairs and walkers. Many of the grad students emphasized the level of personal care that is enjoyed by PT professionals, as they build longer-lasting relationships with patients than some doctors and nurses.
In the outpatient lab, students tried out electronic muscle stimulation which required precise knowledge of muscle groups in the body. Students also analyzed a person’s gait for abnormalities. The overall concept of looking “above and below” the problem to identify the root causes of pain was demonstrated.

The highlight of the visit was definitely the anatomy lab. The MSMU faculty and students welcomed the Louisville girls into their small group lessons in which they were asked to identify various muscles, nerves, organs and arteries. Being able to see the lab in action provided a peek into what it would be like to be a student at MSMU.

Students had a very postivie experience, reporting "I hadn't realized how many branches there are within physical therapy and the multiple ways it is used to improve one's being and health." Another said, "Visiting the anatomy lab at MSMU was by far the most interesting part of the trip. It was really amazing to see how cadavers are used for scientific studies. A career path I'm interested in taking is CSI or forensics, and being able to observe the lab allowed me to discover that I have the stomach for it!"

Dr. Deborah Lowe, Director and Chair as well as Professor at MSMU's Department of Physical Therapy writes, "We thoroughly enjoyed hosting your students and look forward to making this a regular event." 
Thank you to all at MSMU who organized this visit, including the very professional and enthusiastic graduate students who shared their knowledge and personal experiences.