15 Feb 2018

At a glance I look like any ordinary grad student. However, what you DON’T

know is that I have been legally blind due to a rare eye disease (Cone Rod

Dystrophy) since the age of 2 and have overcome my fair share of obstacles to

get where I am today. To give you all some context I see from 20 feet what

most can see from 200 feet away, I have never been able to drive a car and

sometimes I accidentally trip over cracks in the sidewalk because I don’t

see them (oopsie).

Despite this I can genuinely say that I LOVE my life and am THANKFUL for

the perspective that I have gained, as well as the ability to EMPATHIZE

with my patients due to my unique situation. Below you will find the top three

life lessons I have learned because of this and how they can help YOU succeed

as a DPT student!


1. Every time you are able to find HUMOR in a difficult situation, YOU WIN!

Sometimes (okay, most of the time) when I see a “friend” from a distance

I end up running enthusiastically to greet a STRANGER because I didn’t see

their face clearly. Embarrassing? Slightly. However, I usually just apologize,

LAUGH it off and just like that awkward situation averted! I am a firm

believer in not taking yourself too seriously and I believe this to be a critical

component for surviving clinicals.

As students we are bound to make MISTAKES. The quicker we can smile

and laugh them off the faster we can LEARN from them and move on. Humor

is also a great way to build rapport with your patients. If you can help treat

their symptoms and make them LAUGH they will leave their session feeling

taken care of both physically and emotionally.

After all, what is more healing than laughter?  😊


2. BALANCE is not something you find. It’s something you CREATE.

My first semester of PT school I STRUGGLED with cadaver lab during gross

anatomy. I couldn’t see a lot of structures clearly and remember feeling

panicked that the posterior abdominal wall looked like spaghetti squash.

However, I was determined to do my best and by putting in some extra work

studying I was able to make up for my practical grades with high written exam

scores and walked away with an A!

By being SELF AWARE of our strengths and weaknesses we can create balance

for ourselves and be the best SPT’s possible! For example, one of my

weaknesses is that it takes me a little bit LONGER to read the goniometer

when taking measurements. To MAKE UP for lost time I have strengthened

my documentation skills so that I can still maintain an efficient pace

in the clinic. 

By putting in the work to improve your weaknesses and in the meantime,

showcase your STRENGTHS you will put yourself on the path to success not

only in the clinic but in life as well!


3. Worrying is like paying a debt that you DON’T owe.

As DPT students it is SO easy to get caught in a constant cycle of worry/stress

and sometimes we need a reminder to SNAP OUT OF IT. However, that is

easier said than done. After a tough first week of my clinical rotation this

summer I was GUILTY of this.  I found myself hypercriticizing every mistake

I made and convinced that upon mid-term evaluations my CI was going to tell

me that I was going to FAIL. However, I stumbled upon this quote the night

before mid-terms and much to my surprise I got POSITIVE reviews and my

CI said I was doing great!

Turns out that Mr. Mark Twain made a great point and taking this

quote to heart has significantly reduced my stress levels since then!

“Challenges along the path to becoming a DPT will come up but it is important to JUST KEEP GOING.”

So, next time you find yourself stressing about the outcome of something

remember that it is counterproductive and all you can do is YOUR BEST!

MIND SET is everything and I hope that by reading this you all can find the

POSITIVITY in your life and channel it to get through clinicals!

Remember, EMBRACE yourselves, WORK hard, be CONFIDENT and share your

SPARKLE (aka uniqueness) with the world!       

Best of luck everyone and hope to meet some of you all at CSM!

BY :

Ellie Gomez, SPT
Ellie Gomez
Ellie is a second year DPT student at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, Texas with a bachelors degree in Exercise and Sport Science from Texas State University. Ellie describes herself as being passionate about people and enjoys helping others feel good about themselves! Her professional interests include neurological PT, women's health and pediatrics. Aside from physical therapy Ellie is passionate about aerial dance and the performing arts. In her spare time you can find her learning or creating new dance choreography! Keep up with her on Instagram @ell_belle28, visit her on twitter @elliefab28 or contact her directly via email EllieGomez628@gmail.com

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