CSM 2020 was an unforgettable experience! What a way to be immersed in an atmosphere that encourages and facilitates evidenced based practice and exposure to everything you could possibly imagine in order to improve your patient experience and care. Three days of rubbing elbows with the leaders in our field and hearing them disseminate their expertise and passion first hand was exceptional. I appreciated having the choice to either dive deep into your specific field of interest or diversify and sit in on a few sessions that maybe you knew absolutely nothing about!
I am also very proud to have represented the University of Montana Movement Science Laboratory by presenting our poster among hundreds of other brilliant and inspiring PT peers. It was amazing to see the diversity of projects and be able to chat with fellow researchers from all over the world. It is this type of collaboration and networking that makes CSM, and our profession, stand out from the rest as leaders and innovators in evidenced based individualized healthcare.
I am very grateful to have received a Section on Research student travel award to attend the 2020 APTA Combined Sections Meeting in Denver, Colorado. The conference was an incredible platform to learn from and alongside other motivated physical therapy students, clinicians, and researchers and deepen my professional engagement. At the conference, I presented a research poster with physical therapy classmates titled “Reliability of Manual Brain Lesion Segmentation and Association with Function in Individuals with Cerebral Palsy,” and engaged in conversations about our work with other conference attendees.
I learned about exciting current research, technologies, and treatment strategies through a wide variety of educational sessions and platform sessions. I will have the opportunity to bring some of the research and clinical tools I learned about back to the clinic at an upcoming in-service presentation for clinicians at my current clinical rotation site. Throughout the conference, I especially appreciated the opportunity to network with other students, clinicians, and faculty from institutions across the country, and left Denver feeling energized about my future career in the physical therapy profession.
As a dual degree DPT/PhD student at the University of Minnesota, I plan to incorporate clinical research and clinical practice throughout my career. CSM reinforced for me that the integration of clinical and research experience, knowledge, and problem-solving is vitally important for moving the physical therapy profession forward and making a difference in the lives of our patients. In my clinical research career, I hope to contribute towards the Section on Research’s mission of “advancing the best practice of physical therapy through research.” Attending CSM, sharing my work, and connecting with other clinicians and researchers is an exciting step towards this goal. I am thankful for the support that the Section on Research has already provided towards my professional development and look forward to continued involvement.
The SOR Traveling Fellowship supported my travel to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill to work with Dr. Jason Franz for 2 weeks, assisting with two separate studies utilizing dynamic B-mode ultrasound imaging of tendon and muscle changes during gait. I was able to learn and use best-practice protocols in both the acquisition and processing of imaging data, and interact closely with the other members of the Applied Biomechanics Laboratory.
One of the more surprisingly important aspects of the experience was close interaction with other members of the Lab and immersion in a very different laboratory flow. I presented a seminar to the Exercise Physiology, Biomedical Engineering, and Physical Therapy departments based on my previous work in force absorption both in humans and in other bipedal animals. We are currently working toward collaborating on a grant to utilize dynamic ultrasound imaging to translate my post-doctoral work examining the control of steep descending gait in bipedal animals (birds) to further work examining how humans control steep descent.
Additionally, I am working with colleagues at the University of Montana to develop innovative uses of the technology that apply to current lines of inquiry in rehabilitation from ACL reconstruction as well as in tendon mechanics in running.
I would like to thank everyone at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, particularly Dr. Franz and Dr. Michael Lewek, for hosting me and providing a quality experience. Special mention should be given to Yana Ginzburg, a physical therapy student at UNC-Chapel Hill, who hosted me for the full two weeks. Thank you as well to the Academy of Physical Therapy Research for supporting my efforts to expand my research agenda.
Audrey Elias, PT, DPT, PhD
My Traveling Fellow support from the Academy of Physical Therapy Research allowed me to travel to Washington University School of Medicine and spend 4 days in December 2017 in Dr. Catherine Lang’s Neurorehabilitation Research Laboratory. We are working on a perspective manuscript that brings together my research in infants and her research in adults.
We are both using wearable sensors to measure full day arm use in the natural environment. We are almost ready to submit the manuscript as a Special Communication to Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. We have communicated with the Editors, and they see our article as a potential fit. We plan to submit it for peer review by the end of May, 2018.
In addition to the dedicated time for the collaborative work we did on the paper, my research career was facilitated by additional experiences. I enjoyed interacting with the laboratory members and learned more about laboratory management. I was able to get advice on career development and grant development from Dr. Lang and other faculty. Specifically, I had the opportunity to present my aims for an upcoming grant submission in a faculty feedback session.
Thank you to everyone at Washington University School of Medicine for hosting me, and thank you to the Academy of Physical Therapy Research for supporting my travel. Getting away from my day-to-day routine and emerging myself in the environment of another university was a very important component of the experience. It resulted in an incredibly valuable and productive week, directly for our paper and indirectly for my professional development.
Beth A. Smith, PT, DPT, PhD