At the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program’s 9th annual Clinical Practice Ceremony on June 19, Marley Joyce and 90 of her classmates celebrated the transition from the program’s first year of classroom instruction to its second year of clinical practice.
“I’m excited to meet patients and to make an impact on people’s lives,” Joyce said. “I chose to study physical therapy because of the ability to develop a long-term relationship with patients and watch them go from their worst state to functionality.”
Julius P. Dewald, PhD, chair of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences, welcomed guests to the ceremony.
“This is a special day for our first year doctoral students in physical therapy who are about to embark on their first clinical internship,” Dewald said. “The ceremony marks their induction into the field of clinical practice as a doctoral physical therapy student.”
Robert M. Rosa, MD, vice dean for Regulatory Affairs and chief compliance officer, congratulated students and shared his advice on the next step of their education.
“Placing others’ needs in front of your own is one of the most rewarding moments in a career in the health professions. You will derive immense gratification and fulfillment from this,” Dr. Rosa said. “I wish you all the best on this exciting, challenging and remarkable journey.”
Krista Van Der Laan, PT, DPT, assistant professor in Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences, presented Tracy Arndt, PT, DPT, center coordinator of clinical education at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, with the Outstanding Clinical Partner Award for her passion in helping students attain their goals. Arndt described some of her clinical experiences in physical therapy and called on students to be true to themselves and live a life that makes them proud.
Dorothy Owens, whose granddaughter Michaela receives physical therapy, spoke about the impact physical therapists have had on her and her family.
“Every therapist we’ve worked with has become a part of our family. It’s a team that ensures that Michaela can achieve and reach her greatest potential and you, as therapists, are a very important part of that team,” Owens said. “Remember, the greatest thing you can provide a family who is taking care of their loved one is to teach us. You are our teachers.”
Samuel Gallardo, a second year doctor of physical therapy student, took the stage to congratulate his fellow students in completing the “roller coaster of year one” and shared his experiences in clinical practice.
“You owe it to your patients to use what you’ve learned,” Gallardo said. “You’ll find your integration of skills and knowledge, seeing patients all day, every day, will be so much faster. I have confidence that you will all be successful.”
At the ceremony, students received patches for their white coats and then recited an oath accepting the duties and responsibilities that embody the physical therapy profession. The event also included remarks from other speakers from the department of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences, including Marjorie Johnson Hilliard, PT, MS, EdD, associate professor and associate chair of professional education and Nora Francis, PT, DHS, assistant professor and assistant chair of clinical education, in addition to a performance by the physical therapy student acapella group.