Ryan Buus is a candidate for vice president on the Student Assembly Board of Directors.
My journey to becoming a physical therapist began in a shoe store with a customer named Brittany. Brittany's goal, along with her physical therapist, was to be out of her AFOs in 3 months. My role was to find the shoes to motivate her to achieve her goal. To do this, I had to meet one requirement: Her new shoes had to be pink. My time with Brittany opened my eyes to physical therapy. I was amazed by the impact physical therapists can have in the lives of their patients and I immediately wanted to be a part of that.
Before beginning my DPT degree program I worked for 6 years in academic research laboratories. I developed my leadership and communication skills as I led research efforts involving collaborators from around the world. I was constantly pushed to know the current literature and then think one step ahead. I engaged in discussions about what projects should be next and provided solutions to achieve the goals we set. My efforts resulted in customized software created for my work, posters and presentations at professional conferences, and a number of published journal articles.
One trait I honed in the laboratory was my constant drive to improve the system. I have accomplished this as a student through serving as our class president, a student member of our alumni association, an anatomy tutor to undergraduate students, and a community volunteer. My passion for educating others about our profession and desire to be an active participant in advancing physical therapy has motivated me to seek leadership in the Student Assembly.
If elected, I will continue the work of the current board of directors and advance toward 3 main objectives. First, I will reach out to DPT and PTA students around the country with student and school spotlights, hot topic panels, and partnerships between schools using The Loop and social media to enhance our sense of community. Second, I will begin a monthly open forum on current issues impacting our education and future as practitioners to foster forward thinking and student leadership. Third, I will work to break down stereotypes and build up understanding between students of health care professions by collaborating on educational materials detailing scope of practice, education requirements, and approach to patient care for each profession. Working toward these goals, we can build community within the profession, promote innovation for our future, and promote collaborative care among students.
I have seen the impact individual physical therapists have with patients through my interaction with Brittany. She had me looking high and low for pink shoes which, unknown to me at the time, changed my path in life. I hope to provide that same motivation for transforming physical therapy in the classroom, clinic, and community. Students are the new leaders in progressing treatments and research to advance physical therapy. I look forward to being an active member in shaping the future of our student organization.