My APTA Card
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My relationship with APTA began in 2005 when I was a student at Duke University.
Jan Richardson, the program director at the time, spoke enticingly about APTA and I knew it was magical, spectacular, and that I wanted to be a part of it.
I was an international student at the time, so I counted my pennies and saved up to be a member. In 2008 I got my card—my APTA card—and got butterflies in my stomach when I held it in my hands. My card reminded me of the endless possibilities that awaited for me.
Being a member afforded me the opportunity to mingle with and present to 17,000 of my colleagues at the Combined Sections Meeting.
I got to nerd out with colleagues with similar interests and make long-lasting friendships over things like running mechanics and postpartum return to sport.
I got to shake hands with the great researchers of our time, like Irene Davis, who are paving the way in running research, and others I read about in high-impact factor journals.
Because of APTA, I've found mentors who helped me grow and challenge myself.
I got opportunities to have leadership roles with the section and with running a special interest group, write better questions for my students (through item writing for the sports specialty exam), and, most of all, be introduced to a colleague who put my resume in front of a branch of Team USA, which now allows me to travel the world supporting the athletes.
I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for APTA.
Shefali Christopher, PT, DPT, LAT, ATC, is a professor at Elon University. You can connect with Shefali on Twitter at @ironmomPT.
View more APTA love stories. Want to share your APTA love story? Submit it here! Haven't had such an experience or moment? We encourage you to contact Kaylee Pobocik, SPT, Director of Membership, APTA Student Assembly Board of Directors to discover APTA value and opportunities.