Lead Our Profession into the Future
1 minute read
After studying, going to classes, and doing clinicals, all too often students find that it is easy to feel disempowered and disengaged from our future profession.
In 2019, I took a leap and attended the American Physical Therapy Association's (APTA's) House of Delegates (HOD) and NEXT Conference & Exposition (NEXT). Both left me feeling greatly empowered and highly engaged.
I had the opportunity to serve as a volunteer for both HOD and NEXT. From the start, the energy and the experience was intoxicating.
During HOD's first night, APTA President Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD, gave her state of the association address. Throughout her address, she specifically mentioned issues that impact students, like the student debt burden and lack of diversity within the profession.
With 30% of the association membership being students, I quickly realized the impact that I can have as a young professional and future physical therapist.
I know that as students, our voices are heard and collectively we can make a difference.
Throughout HOD, I saw firsthand how the APTA Student Assembly Board was able to take the voices and feedback of students and influence decisions made during the session. Had it not been for the efforts of the students, we may not have a professional oath or a joint core values document between physical therapists and physical therapist assistants.
I felt empowered to speak up in front of some of our profession's most influential members, and not once was I dismissed. With each connection I made during HOD and NEXT, my confidence and passion for the profession grew stronger.
It's an understatement to say that I caught the bug.
APTA has made it clear that as students, we are the future, and we can make a difference in the future of this profession.
Today, I am excited and motivated to lead our profession into the future. I am proud to be part of this profession and this association.
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.
Brett Wright, SPT, is a student at Washington University in St. Louis. You can connect with Brett on Twitter at @brettwright15.