2021 Applied Physiology & Health Management Internships

Olivia Martello

Dr. Garcia’s White Rock Obstetrics and Gynecology Office

My experience interning at Dr. Garcia’s obstetrics and gynecology office in White Rock was amazing. I learned so much as both an aspiring healthcare professional and also about myself as a woman. I knew going into this experience that regardless of what path I choose to go down in the medical field, any knowledge I would acquire from an obstetrics and gynecology office would benefit me throughout my life. Not only did I learn an abundance of medical knowledge, but I also experienced incredible patient-care interactions. Dr. Garcia has taught me so much about what it means to provide long-term and consistent quality care to his patients. There is a reason that some patients travel from far and wide, refer their friends and family members, and continue to stay in Dr. Garcia’s care for decades of their lives.

I feel so lucky to have been able to find an experience during this pandemic that benefited me the way that this office has so early in my healthcare career. Not only was Dr. Garcia impactful, but his fantastic team of nurses also have taught me so much about the organization and environment of the office. It was great to see how much each member of the office contributed to its success as a whole. Together, I am confident that they will be continuing to provide incredible care to their patients for decades to come, and am honored to have experienced it as one of my first real learning experiences in healthcare.

Some of the main duties that I performed as an intern was taking vitals for patients, organizing files, observing and shadowing Dr. Garcia during his appointments, helping during biopsies, culture swabs and pap smears, and I would find fetal heartbeats in pregnant mothers’ bellies using a Doppler fetal ultrasound device. Although these were duties that I would do every day with patients, there were some experiences that were particularly notable.

One notable experience was when Dr. Garcia gave me the Doppler fetal ultrasound device during my first day of interning and had me find the heartbeat by myself with little instruction. This was daunting, as I did not want to make myself or the office look unprofessional if I couldn’t find it, but thankfully with some patience I was able to be successful. Now I am able to use the device very quickly and efficiently to find the fetal heartbeat as I have gotten many more weeks of practice. This goes to show that with practice, most things can be perfected over time!

One last notable experience I had was when a sonogram produced results of a fetus developing without a brain. It had a face, body and heartbeat, but its head was completely underdeveloped. I found its heartbeat using the Doppler, but was confused as to how it was pumping without a developed brain. Dr. Garcia said that the brainstem was developed enough to control the heartbeat, but that the baby had no chance of survival. He mentioned he had never seen anything like it before in his entire career. Therefore, this interaction taught me that abnormalities occur everywhere in nature, and that it may not all be the usual and expected outcomes according to science and medicine.

From all of my experiences, I learned valuable lessons from each. One important lesson I learned from the start of my internship is to be comfortable with learning and not being perfect in the beginning. Working in patient care setting is very intimidating and I felt like I may never be as fluid and consistent as the other nurses were that were teaching me. But over time, I felt that I was starting to work very fluidly within the office and things that seemed difficult to do in a short amount of time became easier. I wished to have come in and had easily picked it up right away, but I found it’s important to understand that everyone in this field started where I did and that healthcare is a lot about the amount of experience you accumulate and build on over many years. This wasn’t the first time I’ve felt uncomfortable when starting something new and foreign to me, and it most definitely won’t be the last! But I’m so proud of all of the great progress I have made in the past spring semester.

Another important lesson I’d like to touch on that relates to the previous lesson is to be patient, not only with the patients but also with yourself. The doctor’s office can be an intimidating and stressful place for some patients, especially if the patient is in for a worrisome reason. But sometimes all I could do is just be a friendly face for the people who walk in to see the doctor, and also stay positive for myself when the days are long and I have stressors outside of the office weighing on me. It can be frustrating for both parties if I take too long taking vitals or grab the wrong sheet, or even misspell a medication on the patients’ list, but just to let those frustrations roll off my back is the best way to keep the flow of the office going. Not only will the patient be more relaxed if you are, but it makes dealing with more difficult situations or people that much easier when you are staying positive, patient and understanding.

A lesson that I learned as soon as I started my experience was to be understanding and to not judge, as this particular practice can be a very vulnerable place for every patient. Some patients feel uncomfortable from the start of their visit when their vitals are being taken as some do not like to know their weight, and then usual visits typically include undressing to some extent. Therefore, it is so vital to this office to understand your place as a healthcare provider and never make a patient feel judged, and try your best to make them as comfortable as possible. Even if that means leaving the room yourself for the doctor to discuss with the patient alone. It is not a personal thing, but a professional one.

Abigail Reichow

Texas Back

The main duty that I performed as an intern during the semester was running the testing. There were two main roles; one person ran the computer while the other worked with the patient and ran the protocol. While working the computer, you had to first set up the subject calibration and quickly label all the markers on the computer before testing could begin. In addition, if the subject had the EMG’s on, the person at the computer had to collect maximal voluntary contractions for each of the muscle groups. Once all of this was done, the person at the computer had to start and stop data collection on Vicon Nexus. They also watched all the markers to make sure that none were missing at the start and end of the trial so that we could gap fill in post-processing.

There were a lot of great experiences this semester. I think my favorite experience however, was the day I ran the test alone and felt truly confident. It was as if something had finally clicked and I was finally able to just speak to the patient as a person not as a test subject. I felt really accomplished in that moment as I had been working towards that for weeks. Another notable experience was when a young adolescent patient came in a few weeks ago. Her mom was talking to us about how much she appreciated what we did and how our work is invaluable and makes a difference in people’s lives. This was a really cool experience because it made me feel validated. Going into healthcare, at the end of the day I want to help make people’s lives better. This was the first time I’ve really felt like I was making a difference and having a positive impact on someone’s life so it was an incredible experience. Finally, the last week at Texas Back, we had the opportunity to shadow different clinics. I spent a lot of time at the physical therapy clinic but I also had the opportunity to shadow Dr. Guyer, one of the top spinal surgeons in the country. I had been working with these patients and learning about different spinal pathologies and treatments for months so it was really great to get to see the clinical side of Texas Back. I was able to observe the diagnostic process as well as different surgical recommendations catered to the specific patient. Dr. Guyer walked me through every X-ray and MRI scan and explained to me where the problem was and what was most likely causing it. Though I do not plan on going to medical school, I found this experience to be valuable for my future as I was able to see the other side and the first phase of patient treatment and recovery before they come to physical therapy.

I think my four most valuable lessons I learned were to remember that patients are people and should be treated as such, to be patient in difficult situations, to be confident in yourself and your delivery and finally, to pay attention to the details. Most of these lessons were centered around patient care because the majority of what I did was work with patients. I think these lessons were extremely important because I will be working with patients in the future. My time at Texas Back allowed me to gain experience working with patients in a clinical setting and delivering instructions on how to do certain motions. This will directly translate to my work as a physical therapist and I will carry these skills with me moving forward.

Anna Pineda

Southwest Sport and Spine

Anna PinedaThroughout the internship I quickly learned the tasks that were expected of me to complete each day at the facility. While I was an intern, I was essentially working as a PT technician. I am grateful for this because I believe that these were observation hours well spent and I would not have learned as much as I did if it were not so hands-on. Some of the tasks that I would do each day included: cleaning the equipment (pretty extensively considering the circumstances), check patients in, bring patients back to the clinic and get them started on their warmup, prepare heat and cold packs, keep patient charts up to date, get equipment prepared for each patient, explain exercises, inform patients of their next exercise.

I have had a few notable experiences throughout the course of this internship. First, my favorite part of the internship was having Tim allow me to work closely with one specific patient. I was given the opportunity to learn more about the patient’s history and create long term and short-term goals for him. Tim had me think of certain exercises that I believed would get this patient to these goals that I had set for him. He even incorporated some of my ideas into the patient’s chart, which I found exciting. Through this, I also learned some basic points in analyzing gait and even briefly how to use a goniometer to measure the ankle. These are in-depth concepts for physical therapy considering they each have their own class in PT school, so I found it interesting to learn a few things about them both from Tim. Another notable experience during this internship had to do with being empathetic. I believe that empathy is something that is learned after years of practice and through experience. It also plays a large role in professions such as physical therapy. I had one interaction where I was speaking with a patient and was essentially at a loss for words. I quickly realized that anything I said would not make their situation any better let alone make them feel any better about it. It was not a bad interaction, but it made me think more on the aspect of being empathetic, and further realizing that it is not an easy thing to do. I talked to Tim about it shortly after and he was able to give me some advice on how to encourage patients going through physical therapy. Lastly, I learned throughout this internship the importance of creating relationships and even rapport with patients. I value that the physical therapists get to create meaningful relationships with the patients that they see. I also did not realize how many different people they see each day. During my time at the clinic, I found it valuable and interesting to make time to talk to each patient, ask about their day and learn more about them. I appreciate that physical therapy allows this opportunity to talk to new people every day. It is not a profession in which you might only talk to your coworkers or even just sit at a computer every day!

There are many things that I have learned throughout my time at Southwest Sport & Spine. First and foremost, I learned the basics of what a physical therapist does each day. This might include manual therapy, creating patient charts, explaining exercises, completing initial evaluations, or talking to the patients about their concerns (and I am sure many other things behind the scenes). This was helpful to see because it helped me realize that being a physical therapist would be something that I think I would enjoy doing. I also I learned many exercises and even further progressions of exercises. I am grateful that the physical therapists took the time to explain why they have patients do certain exercises and the mechanics behind why the exercise is completed a certain way. I learned how to set the patient up with proper form and get the equipment ready for them as well. This will be especially helpful in the future as I begin to build my own “book” of exercises and use them for my future patients. I also learned that physical therapists can be very creative with the exercises that they have patients do. I specifically noticed this with Brooke and observing what she does with her patients. I remember one day watching her demonstrate an exercise to one of the patients and just thinking to myself quite literally how brilliant I thought it was! The way she was so creative with the exercise itself and even the equipment she used or modified to make the exercise work was amazing to me. I remember her saying that she did a residency after completing her graduate program and that she learned so much more through it. Watching her explain these unique and creative exercises and hearing that she went through a residency is valuable to me in that it might be something that I even investigate in the future, after completing my graduate program. Lastly, one thing I always tried to remind myself of was that if I am not 100% sure of the way something is to be done, it is okay to ask. Throughout this internship I always tried to ask a PT when I was unsure of something. I would rather ask multiple questions, than do something wrong and risk the potential of hurting a patient. It was valuable to learn through this internship never to assume something. It takes little to no time to check in with the PT and is far less harmful than doing something the wrong way. I also want to note that I quickly realized the PTs have a reason for doing everything, whether it be balancing with a shoe on as opposed to without on or using a 4lb dumbbell as opposed to a 5lb dumbbell. That being said, I found it valuable to always check in with the PT and to never make a decision alone, even if it seemed as simple as the patient asking to use more weight or to balance with their shoe on.

Madison Kinsey

Carrell Clinic

As an intern, I had very similar responsibilities to those of a PT tech. The Carrell Clinic runs very systematically with on-the-hour appointments, so everyone is starting and ending at the same time. At the beginning of the hour, I would get patients started on the warm-up equipment that John wanted them on. This was typically 10 minutes on the bike or elliptical for lower body or 10 minutes on the arm bike for upper body. There was also shoulder pulleys for people still working on range of motion. This was a combination of different directions that added up to about 10 minutes. Some people also started with a heat pack to loosen up their neck, shoulder, or back that way instead of with movement. During the hour I helped to communicate exercises from John to the patient. In a lighter hour, I would stick with one patient the whole time and be able to have conversation while they were doing their work. In a busier hour, I would kind of bounce around with John’s PT tech and we would just jump in where we were needed. We both would know the exercises for all the patients and would help whoever was done and nearby. At the end of the hour, we had to change the pillowcases and wipe down all the tables and equipment before the next round of patients came in.

The first notable experience I would like to highlight I recently discussed in my daily logs. I was able to see two of the patients I worked most closely and independently with graduate from physical therapy. Both of these patients were in after getting total knee replacements and I saw them from start to finish. These were the first two patients, months ago, that John let me work more independently with. Before their appointments I would have a list of exercises based off of the previous visit and John would approve it or change a few to increase the difficulty as they recovered more. It was an incredible learning experience to go from post-surgery to back to a relative normal. A total knee replacement is a fairly simple recovery compared to something like an ACL repair.

Another notable experience for me has to do with my coming up with exercises for another patient. I talked about this patient some in my daily logs as well. This was our ankle dislocation that somehow walked away with no broken bones or torn ligaments. This was really the first ankle patient I had seen. I was vaguely familiar with some strengthening exercises just from teammates being in the training room while I was there, but I didn’t know specifics and I didn’t know why. I observed during the evaluation and saw some of the very basic range of motion exercises because the patient had very close to no ankle movement from being in a boot. The next appointment, John asked me what my plan was for the patient. I was on the spot and I said some things I kind of knew but were too advanced for the patient that time. John let me puzzle through with him consistently asking why I wanted to do each thing. Eventually, I would get to the right exercise or something similar enough. This became something we did before this patient’s appointments every time, so I’ve been able to learn a ton about ankle range of motion, strengthening, and, most recently, return to sport.

The first important lesson I learned was to keep asking questions. John made sure I knew I was welcome to ask questions from the very first day. I’m not always the best at coming up with questions immediately; I usually need time to sort through and process the new information. John proved his own lesson with a patient we had a few weeks ago. On the patient intake forms, there is a question about other medical conditions. The patient had written the abbreviation for her condition, so John asked to clarify. He then didn’t know from the full name what exactly the condition was, so the patiently happily explained and was glad he asked. The condition itself had minimal impact on the course of physical therapy, but John made sure to emphasize to me that a lot of people would have just gone along and never asked about the abbreviation.

The second lesson comes from a response John gave in our zoom meeting. He mentioned how important it is to make sure you have that experience prior to committing an X number of years and a lot of money to pursuing specific education for a career. I can see the value in that. The internship is one of the reasons I added on an APHM major because I wanted that experience. And I was lucky to be able to split the hours between two places. Even though I had already applied to schools, it helped reinforce that I made the right decision in going for athletic training over physical therapy or something else.

Another lesson I learned from this internship is the importance of communication, both between you and the patient and you and colleagues. It is important to establish clear goals with the patient and communicate their progress as you see it. Obviously, each patient will have a different temperament and capability of being critiqued, but it is important to clearly define what they need to do to get better. Also, communicating with other therapists or techs to make sure patients across the clinic are getting good amounts of attention. There was one day the techs were supposed to rotate to different therapists and it was a little chaotic at first before everyone was aware what was going on.

A final lesson I learned it to document everything. One, its legally required. But it also helps you to remember what exactly each patient is doing and how they are responding to the treatment. We saw so many of the same type of injury or pain or surgery, but they all were at different stages in the recovery process. You want to be able to keep things straight without having to check specifics with the patient every visit. Another thing documentation is important for is insurance. We had a lot of patients on Medicare, and I learned that Medicare is very specific with what they will and will not cover. For physical therapy, it is covered as long as there is progress being made toward recovery. This has to be clearly determined with the first evaluation when looking at joint range of motion and strength.

Jessica Flores

Texas Back Institute

Throughout the entire semester, a great deal of duties was performed pertaining to both the lab and TBI in general. Occasionally, there would be a unique task or project, but for the most part we had a general list of tasks or duties we completed on a regular basis. When the semester began, we went through training, and this continued for a couple of weeks until we felt confident on the regular lab duties. The main part of the initial training consisted of learning key anatomical parts, how those were applicable to EMG and sensor placement, and the protocols run through in a test. We also learned how to transfer video files, label data tests on Vicon Nexus, run MATLAB files, and form lab reports as a summary of a given patient’s progress.

The first notable experience was completing my first time running through the entire protocol/test on my own both at the computer and with the patient. Being able to feel confident in giving out the protocols to the patient and run through the whole test was phenomenal, and it was also extremely rewarding to be able to manage all the computer tasks on my own without having to watch Kyle looking over my shoulder because I knew I was going to need help. Once the other intern and I had achieved this sense of confidence and knowledge in being able to run the tests without constant supervision it allowed the lab to run more smoothly and let Dr. Haddas, Dr. Mar, and Kyle work on more difficult and other important tasks. It was great to be able to achieve this sense of personal accomplishment as well as be able to help the entire lab out in a more complete way.

A second key experience was shadowing the medical clinic and physical therapy clinic at TBI. Although this was not in the gait lab itself, it was an amazing opportunity we were lucky enough to have at the end of the semester. In fact, having this at the end of the semester allowed me to realize the broader picture and complete process from the initial medical side of a patient’s history, the data tests we perform in the lab, and all the potential medical, physical, and other follow ups throughout.

The last key notable experience was another you would not initially think of, but creating the protocols and documents lost in the cyber-attack was significant due to having to understand them on a deeper level. By having to explain in detail, step by step each process and understanding the minute details, it broadened my understanding of the protocols as well as tested my knowledge from the entire semester. I learned I had the ability to not only know the protocols and different lab information, but I was able to recite it and form it in a way someone else could understand it as well. Additionally, it was rewarding to be able to help in creating these documents again for the lab since the cyber-attack was a major loss for TBI.

Besides the notable experiences, I learned some overarching lessons and skills that made me grow not only in my time at TBI, but things I would carry on with for the rest of my life. First, it was eye-opening to work with a team in a real job/career setting. I have worked on many teams before in school as well as in sports, but this was my first experience working so directly with a team and in such a collaborative way. Obtaining this experience prior to going out in the workplace after graduate school was extremely valuable, and I am glad I was able to have this first experience with such a positive team environment. Second, balancing the combination of work life and school was a lesson that made me much more aware of my scheduling and overall life balance. Having a combination of school and work was nice, and I enjoyed the combination as a preview to graduate school and life after graduate school, which will eventually turn into just working full time. The third lesson that I learned was the great deal of computer skills I gained from working in the gait lab. Previously, I had shadowed and volunteered at many hospitals and clinics, so the patient aspect of the internship was nothing totally new. However, the amount and variety of computer skills gained was something totally new for me. I know that having these skills will be useful for any situation I am thrown into in the future. Specifically, I learned new tools on Excel I never knew prior, and I also learned some totally new applications such as Vicon Nexus, Tekscan, MATLAB, and more. The degree of depth for each area varied, but prior to the internship I had zero experience in some of those. Lastly, I gained a new set of communication skills. I learned to communicate with patients and coworkers on a much more regular basis, while representing TBI, than I ever before. Even though I had worked with patients in medical settings before the internship at TBI, I had never done so on such a regular basis while also at times being the first point of communication. This lesson allowed me to feel more comfortable in work settings, medical situations, and know how to think on the spot.

Halle Fox

White Rock Gynecology and Obstetrics

Going into this internship, I really did not know what to expect in regard to the duties I would be performing. I read the reviews from students who previously interned at White Rock and knew that at some point I would be able to take the fetal heartbeat. However, I did not realize I would be granted this opportunity on the second day. I was so excited when Dr. Garcia handed me the Doppler because I felt honored that he already trusted me with such a task. So, throughout the summer one of my main duties was to take the fetal heartbeat. I would do this task with every OB patient as long as they were passed around twelve weeks, since the heartbeat is much more difficult to find as the baby is so small. Another duty that I did was clean the rooms after each patient visit. Usually, Ashley, the medical assistant, does this but I tried to get in there quick to help out her workload. To clean the room, all I had to do was tear off the paper seat covering, throw it away, then pull down more paper for the next patient. Additionally, I would prepare the room by making sure there was surgical lubricant, the correct speculum, and the items for a Pap smear. However, setting up the room also depended on the type of visit. If I saw that a patient was coming in for an IUD insertion or removal, I would ask Ashley what tools needed to be placed on the tray for Dr. Garcia. Earlier on in the summer, Dr. Garcia taught me how to perform a BPP in the sonogram room. He showed me how to hold the tool and all of the tasks that needed to be completed for a BPP. For each patient he would have to check off tone, movement, volume and heart rate for the fetus. Additionally, he would note where the placenta is located, which could be fundal, posterior or anterior, as well as the position of the baby, which is usually vertex or breech. Later on, Dr. Garcia put me on the spot and asked me to find the fetal heart and explain what position the fetus’s head was during the ultrasound. I was able to do it quickly and efficiently and I was very proud of myself. I was even more happy when Dr. Garcia said he was impressed so this was definitely one of my highlighted experiences. This was one of my first highlighted experiences because I felt like I had learned so much from observing.

One of the simpler lessons that I have learned throughout this internship is the importance of consistency and dependability. I have never had a job before so working such long hours and standing most of the day came to be a more surprising challenge. However, once I got into the groove of things, I actually ended up liking having a schedule and I felt like my days always had a good purpose.

Another important lesson that I learned at White Rock is patient care. In school you can only learn so much until you are actually thrown into the real world. The simulation during Fitness and Health Enterprise is the closest thing I had experience to training for real life patient situations. I was exposed to kind patients, happy patients, agitated patients, scared patients, patients who were alcohol abusers, English speaking patients, Spanish speaking patients, young patients, and old patients. I truly saw it all, but I am so grateful that I did because it gave me a well-rounded experience that I can carry with me into other internships.

Thirdly, I learned how to navigate my voice in the workplace. When I first got to White Rock, I was quiet and hesitant to ask questions in fear of getting in the way. I recognized that Dr Garcia was very busy. However, he made me feel very comfortable and I was able to relax more and be myself. There is always a balance in the workplace, but not having a voice is a bad thing. Moving forward, I learned when to ask questions and Dr. Garcia was always happy to answer them.

Lastly, one of the biggest lessons I learned was to listen and be as observant as possible. Listening came in handy with almost every aspect of this internship. Whether that was listening to a patient's problems for a diagnosis or listening to Dr. Garcia on what tools he needed during an exam. In the medical field, you have to constantly have your ears and eyes open and be ready to help wherever it is needed. I learned to be quick on my feet and to try and anticipate what was happening next. I also was trying to observe closely because it can be so easy to miss things. For example, when I triaged OB patients, I would use the pregnancy wheel to determine the patients due date. With one patient, I used the wheel incorrectly and Ashley caught my mistake. After that, I learned to pay close attention and even double check my work. Additionally, that situation taught me what teamwork feels like in the workplace because everyone makes mistakes and Ashley was trying to help me learn from mine.

Helena Knoll

Living Well

I would like to first start off with saying what an amazing summer I had with Living Well Dallas. I learned so much in such a short two months and it helped me tremendously with figuring out what I want to do in the future. As an intern at Living Well this summer I had a very special opportunity to talk to, work with, shadow, and learn from many different specialists in the clinic. I also learned the more business side of the clinic as a whole as well as a personal brand like Betty. During my shadowing, I sat in the same room as the specialist I was shadowing, whether it was Betty Murray, Grace Huey, Dr. Gwen Shipe, or Candy Hill, and listened to the conversations between the provider and the patient, took notes, and asked many questions after the appointment concluded. When I shadowed Candy, I was able to sit at the front desk and greet guests, learn how each patient is organized and taken care on the business side, research in depth about functional medicine and why it is important. Aside from shadowing some of the practitioners, I worked extensively on the branding and marketing side of the clinic, specifically in Betty’s founding program “The Hormone Reset Program” and branding for Betty herself. I enjoyed learning this side because I do not know much about how a business runs or brand is created and the ins and outs of what is needed to make a business and a brand successful. I was thankful to have the opportunity to be able to work on that side of the clinic because in the future when I am working in a clinic it is extremely important even as a future practitioner to know the gears behind the business and how to make the clinic successful. I had many little projects I worked on throughout this semester such as revising and editing content that Betty was going to implement in her Hormone Reset Program, designing recipe pages and hormone type information pages, working with Betty to create hormone quiz content, and designing and creating Betty’s brand on design websites such as Canva. I was happy I was able to put my skills to work this summer working on marketing and branding for Living Well because it further validated my reasoning behind adding on a minor that was so different from my more clinical and science based major and other minor, psychology.

One experience that was particularly notable to me was on the very first day on my internship when I was shadowing Grace. Obviously at that time I did not know anything really about Betty’s Hormone Reset Program and how successful it had been for perimenopausal and menopausal women but now looking back, I was able to see firsthand the positive impact it had on women’s lives. Grace had a patient that wanted to come in to do an InBody test to see what her body was like post program. The InBody Test is a machine that a patient stands on that provides a detailed breakdown of a person’s body weight in regard to muscle, fat, and water content in different areas of the body. Unlike normal body scales that just measure body weight InBody is a better determinant of health because it separates those three factors. When Grace’s patient came in and did the InBody test, she was extremely surprised and happy with her results. Not only was she able to lose over 30lbs from the Hormone Reset Program but she was able to see a comprehensive overview firsthand of how that program positively impacted her life. She told Grace that she has never felt so good and balanced and was very happy because for years she had tried everything to lose weight and it wasn’t until she got her hormones balanced through the program did the weight start shedding off. Throughout my internship I learned more about the program and the science that backs up the design of the program. Now looking back on it, it was an impactful moment because it shows how successful functional medicine is.

A second notable experience I had while interning at Living Well Dallas this summer was when I sat in with Betty on one of her very long patient consults. One of my favorite things I did this summer was sit in with Betty because it was so fascinating to how smart Betty was and the amount of science that is involved in functional medicine. A patient that stood out to me the most was an older gentleman that was one of the healthiest people I have ever listened to however, he was having dizziness spells that were very taxing on him because he could not pinpoint what was causing them. Betty went over his lab tests with him in detail and on paper he was extremely healthy. He had levels of certain nutrients that were better than Betty sees in people in their 20’s however, he had extremely high mercury levels in his blood in which attested to the large amounts of tuna he consumes during the week and tuna is high in mercury. After an hour and a half of asking him, questions trying to figure out the cause Betty found a connection that his dizziness might be connected to high histamine foods that he eats. Histamine is released by the immune system in response to allergens and there are foods like avocados, and canned fish that are high in histamine. This was extremely interesting because it took Betty over an hour to come to that possible conclusion because she wanted to find the root cause of his problems whereas a conventional doctor would spend no more that 30 minutes and probably prescribe some type of medication that would only mask the real problem. This is where I truly noticed the positive difference the practice of functional medicine has compared to conventional.

One of the most important lessons I learned through my internship is to not be afraid to explore other interests even if you are unsure about them. At first, I was a bit wary about interning at Living Well because I thought it was extremely different from conventional medicine and I had hoped to have a career in some area within conventional medicine in the future. But, I also knew this was an area that I was interested in but did not know much about, so I took a chance and applied for an internship at Living Well instead of a conventional doctor’s office. Since interning at Living Well I have found a something that I am extremely passionate about.

The second lesson I learned this summer was the importance as a practitioner to talk to your patients in a way that they will understand you but not feel as though they are being talked down to. Every practitioner I shadowed did an amazing job at talking to their patients, especially Betty. Many of the patients that end up in front of Betty have tried many different routes for fixing their health, are uncomfortable due to their health problems, or are just skeptical of functional medicine. Betty explains concepts to patients in ways they will clearly understand what is going on in their body. For example, she often uses metaphors to explain how the body functions and what is going on with the patient’s body. If you can talk to patients in way they can understand they will be more willing to make those lifestyle changes and will have more trust in you as a medical practitioner.

From the first day at Living Well I noticed how everyone, even though all different specialties, functioned as a cohesive unit. Everyone respected each other and I never noticed any of the specialist acting as if they knew more than the other or any competition. In fact, they often interacted with each other and asked each other questions if they had something they couldn’t figure out regarding a patient. I believe the office interacted like this not just because of the women working there but also their deep passions for functional medicine and wanting to help patients to the best of their ability. Betty, being the CEO and founder, was respected as a higher figure among the clinic but unlike many leaders, she was always willing to listen to her colleagues and it was clear she was someone the clinic felt comfortable turning to. Living Well showed me the value of acceptance, cohesion, and teamwork in a clinical setting.

I learned from my time at Living Well is forming relationships with the people you work with. Because everyone at Living Well is so conveniently located under one roof, I was able to really get to know a lot if not all of the practitioners here. I learned to be both an effective practitioner and employee in any business it is extremely important to form relationships with the people you work with. As being an intern and not a paid employee of the clinic, I was respected and treated just like everyone else. I was never talked down to or dismissed which allowed me to want to know more about the people that I was surrounded by. Through talking with a lot of the practitioners, I formed connections and was able to ask them about their experiences and how they got to where they are now. This was extremely insightful because I have not been completely certain on what I want to do upon graduation and knowing I have a group of women that I can reach out to for questions or connections is extremely comforting. With forming relationships in a setting like a clinic, you must have confidence in yourself and put yourself out there which is something that I have struggled with. However, interning in an environment as amazing as Living Well has given me a new found confidence.

Lauren Small

Carrell Clinic

It’s crazy to think that I am writing my final internship review already because time has truly flown by. Each day at the Carrell Clinic brought a new patient, injury, treatment plan to constantly keep us busy. Dr. Brown and I would see an average of 15-20 patients a day, so we were constantly thinking ahead and juggling multiple tasks at once. My tasks as an intern across the summer included cleaning and setting up equipment, executing treatment plans, swapping tables, preparing heat packs and ice packs, participating in evaluations and functional tests, as well as help patients begin their warm ups. I was also able to observe dry needling and cupping performed on patients with a variety of injuries. When I first began this internship, I was nervous that I would be stuck doing busy work or feel like a shadow and not necessarily needed among the doctors. However, these tasks turned out to be crucial in the flow and cohesiveness of the clinic. For example, guiding a patient through his/her exercise plan on my own allowed Dr. Brown to perform manual therapy on another patient or get ahead on notes without disrupting the plan of the my patient. Likewise, it allowed the patients to capitalize on their time in the clinic rather than waiting for equipment to be set up or heat packs to be made. I really felt as if I held an important role within the clinic and both the doctors and the patients appreciated my performance.

Three notable experiences I had within the clinic ranged from giving day-to-day insight as a physical therapist to learning unexpected roles of the job. The first notable experience I had was observing my first functional test. This is a test a patient endures in order to be cleared for sports after an ACL surgery. It consists of a lot of balance and jumping tasks performed on each leg. As a former athlete, I never had to perform one of these tests because I luckily never had a significant injury. However, I found it interesting to see the strength difference in individuals, even after months of training. It was crazy to learn how quickly muscle can disappear and how difficult it is to rebuild. It was also interesting to learn that each clinic or facility has a difference test, leading to the question of whether one is better than the other. However, the Carrell Clinic must have a reliable test because NFL players were flown to the clinic to take their functional test there. The experience showed me another role of physical therapists.

The next experience of creating and executing my own treatment plan also introduced me to the true essence of physical therapy and biggest role of the job. I attempted this twice, with the first plan not being approved because I used exercises that Dr. Brown had already introduced to the patient. After being forced to develop exercises and movements we had not done before that remained relevant to the injury and allowed for strength building, my second plan was approved and executed. This was a satisfying feeling because I knew my ideas were helping an individual build strength and heal. I had to think on the fly and develop an immediate backup plan when equipment I needed was being used allowed. I definitely need to work on improvisation skills when things do not go according to plan. The third, and most impactful experience I had, was when a patient began crying at the beginning of a session because she was frustrated she could not work out due to her injury and was gaining weight. This really opened my eyes to the fact that physical therapy goes beyond exercise plans or healing an injury. Physical therapy is not easy, and this experience served as a reminder that mental health is tied to physical health. Although a form of counseling is not directly written in the job tasks of a physical therapist, there is a sense of guidance and help that physical therapists can provide to their patients that will be important to remember in any healthcare profession.

Sometimes, patient progress seemed very slow and seemed to decline in patients, and this was hard to see because it was clear the patients would be frustrated. Witnessing this only emphasized how much of physical therapy is dependent on the patient. Before this internship, I assumed most of the work was done in the office, and progress was quick. However, patients need to be doing a lot of physical therapy at home in order to stay on track for post-surgical timelines containing weight baring activities and active motion. This taught me to be more empathetic to the time patients spend healing from their injuries, especially when they are ahead of schedule. The fourth and most important lesson I learned that I will take me everywhere in life is the importance of a good work environment. Working as a full-time unpaid intern was difficult at times, especially when working with more difficult patients, arriving early in the morning, and in the slower hours at the end of the day, However, Dr. Brown and the other employees at the office made every hour worth it. I became close with the other interns, aides, and doctors. There was no sense of competition, status or job ranking, or judgment within the clinic. Dr. Brown also made sure I learned something new everyday, wanted to ask questions, and would often explain protocols or exercises without me asking. This helped me feel comfortable at the clinic right away and made it easier to learn. Looking back, I was constantly laughing and smiling in the clinic, and this made every minute worth it, proving that whether this is the career I choose to pursue or not, the people you work with play a key role in the opinion of the job.

Alex Smith

UT Southwestern

Research assistant seems like a vague term at a first glance, and it may be difficult to discern exactly what my duties were this summer. Since UT Southwestern is a massive medical campus, my experience understandably began with an incredible amount of training. To name a few, the training needed for research authorization included policy, safety, CPR, MRI, and Epic Training. While the majority of those seem self-explanatory, Epic training seems ambiguous to anyone not familiar with what Epic is. Epic Hyperspace is the database that UT Southwestern and other medical campuses use to keep medical records and record data on patients. Once my training was complete, I was able to participate in conducting research with the rest of Dr. Okuda’s team. Research activities included brainstorming, registering MRI scans, creating excel spreadsheets with patient data, and using Epic Hyperspace to collect said data. Additionally, as Dr. Okuda’s research assistant, I was given opportunities to follow him around on clinical rounds and help giving patients physical exams. Regardless of the task, each day was a work filled day that presented itself with new challenges to be tackled.

Dr. Okuda is not only an incredible doctor, but acts as the team’s guru from time to time as he always seems to have advice or life lessons for any situation we may have. Among those, in addition to my experiences with this internship, there were four lessons that I viewed as being the most important for me to take away. The first and most important lesson in my opinion is the importance of communication. The foundation of teamwork is built on good communication since a lack of communication can result in serious consequences. Additionally, every task we were given was a team effort, meaning that if the team wasn’t operating as a unit, the task would fail. This was an important lesson for me because in just about every situation in life, a well-functioning team outperforms the individual every time. The second lesson has to do with patient care and is something Dr. Okuda taught me early on. When talking with a patient, it is important to ask broad questions so as to not put any ideas or biases in his/her head. For instance, asking “how painful is that” is not as effective as “rate the pain from 1-10” since the first question implies there is pain in the first place. It is important to know how to converse with patients in a way that gets things done but also keeps the information being presented genuine and bias free. A third lesson that I received from this experience was how to formulate thoughts in order to generate new ideas. The best way to generate an original idea is to think ahead and consider the impact that such an idea will have. For instance, observing a trend and using that as a basis for research will not get far in the medical field if there is no real impact on a patient in the end game. This was an important concept for me to learn since I will most likely pursue research of my own in the near and far future. Finally, the last lesson that I will take away from this experience is actually something I learned after coming up with my own original idea. That lesson is to not lose sight of what’s important since it is very easy to get sidetracked and overwhelmed with new opportunities. After coming up with my new idea, within the next ten minutes, we all were able to keep expanding upon it until we reached a daunting task that had no practical solution. Dr. Okuda reminded me that it is important to not go overboard with new ideas and to stay true to the simple things, since that is usually where the best solutions lie. Otherwise, each new idea would get too far out of hand and no impactful work would ever get done. This is an important lesson to know not just in the medical field but with any work I attempt in the future as it will allow me to stay focused on the task at hand and not get distracted.

Responsibilities and lessons aside, I personally think that UT Southwestern is an unparalleled medical campus. The mission statement of UT Southwestern is, “promoting health and a healthy society that enables individuals to achieve their full potential,” and never before have I been at a medical facility that better lived up to its mission statement. UT Southwestern completely focuses all efforts around making the experience for the patient as good and efficient as possible. There are a number of policies put in place to ensure that the patient not only feels safe and comfortable, but also eager to return. The only way this can be accomplished is of course with an incredible staff of doctors, researchers, etc. The collaboration effort at UT Southwestern is truly a sight to behold. Every single staff member is a part of a collective team, and different teams work together to ensure that all tasks and operations are completed in the most effective way possible. Additionally, every member of each team has a developed work ethic that I haven’t seen anywhere else. I arrive at 6:30 in the morning to a building that is already full of staff, and when I leave in the late afternoon, that staff is still there working hard. It takes an incredibly strong work ethic to work such hours and do such a great job at the same time. However, the most impressive thing in my opinion has to be the attitude towards patients and other staff members. Even though most employees work 10+ hours each and every day, there is not a moment in which I don’t see a smile on someone’s face when they are with another person, be it a patient or employee. Finally there is a system put in place to reward staff members that have been recognized by fellow employees or patients for doing such a good job. At any point, anyone may submit a document that nominates a specific staff member for extra benefits as a result of doing such an amazing job. It goes without saying then that since UT Southwestern commits so much time and effort to making a great experience for the patient, the customer (patient) satisfaction at UT Southwestern is exemplary.

Addison Iliria

SMU Sport Medicine Departmen

Addison IliriaI completed my internship with the SMU sports medicine department, specifically athletic training. I started my June hours in Moody Coliseum and Crum Basketball Center where Men’s and Women’s basketball, Women’s Rowing and Women’s Volleyball practice. Both basketball and volleyball complete their summer training, including most rehabilitation and treatment sessions, in these facilities due to their early championship seasons. The main team I worked with was women’s volleyball alongside my mentor Ashley Kaldhusdal, who also has the cheer and pom teams. My main duties included attending morning lift and conditioning around 6:30 Monday through Thursday. We would be present in case of injury and on standby with inhalers, AED machines, and basic medical kits. Following lift and conditioning, I assisted with student- athlete (SA) rehabilitation by running the SA through post- injury exercises and monitoring fatigue, mood, form, and mechanics. Exercises included band work, balance work, core and trunk stability, minimal weight work, sport- specific drill work, and various strength/ recovery modality usage. I was especially grateful to observe at a collegiate program because the athletics department provides these training modalities and resources that you may not find at smaller- funded facilities, such as the Alter- G anti- gravity treadmill, Normatec compression therapy, hot and cold contrast tubs, cryotherapy, etc. I worked a handful of hours completing medical set- up and take- down at volleyball and soccer camps at the courts and fields. Lastly, I logged and organized medical records with general physical or injury reports, assisted with preseason physical’s with the general physicians or team orthos, and organized concussion baseline testing.

A couple notable moments from my time with Ashley came from working with her SMU Volleyball team. I had the pleasure of working with one of the most gritty, intellectual, kindhearted student- athlete for the entirety of the summer. My highlight was supporting this SA while his/her work and dedication to his/her body, sport, and education took an injury or potential setback to emotional strength, physical strength, and a fire lit. My second stand- out highlight from working with volleyball was interacting with the head coach, Lisa Seifert. I had only barely met her and spent a week’s time with her at the youth skills camps. Her bluntness, full presence, insightfulness, and empathy was magic in of itself; however, her and Ashley’s relationship and collaboration could conquer the world. I observed the importance of fostering trusting and virtuous relationships. Also, Coach Seifert told me that I could accomplish anything I set my mind to as long as I put my heart and mind into it. I could not help but imagine what I could achieve with this intention. What can I achieve in this life, and if I do become an athletic trainer, what will I be able to achieve by fostering similar relationships?

My final highlight spills a little more into my undergraduate experience. I cannot pinpoint when it happened, but there was a moment where every athletic trainer, including in the main football training room, recognized my work and observation this summer and offered me shadowing hours or tasks by using my first name!! I was honored they knew my name despite all the other new names they need to learn. I never once felt used or manipulated (I know what that feels like) because I could be a liability being an undergraduate student athlete. I felt trusted and I felt mature enough to learn from every opportunity I got with my extra pair of hands.

This summer’s internship in the Athletic Training industry was enlightening. Firstly, I learned the importance of efficient communication. The duty of an athletic trainer extends far beyond the surface- beyond treating injuries on their team. ATs medically cover the entirety of the athletic staff and look to run a healthy department- both physically and mentally. I have noticed that the common age for an athletic trainer to begin their career is quite young, and their insight and methods might be limited to experience. However, this is not a hindrance, and as athletic trainers come from diverse backgrounds, they ultimately unite to spread new knowledge, treatment styles, and resources. Within a functioning department, the uniqueness athletic trainers bring allows limitless treatment options for their patients and growth in sports medicine. The extent of this success depends on if individuals are communicative and open-minded. Therefore, the second thing I learned was how to process my thoughts be okay with confidently claiming I did not know an answer. Innately, I am a trusting person, so once I was okay with myself stating, 'I don’t know,’ it was so easy to let my mentor(s) teach me. Learning is priceless. I cannot place a high enough value behind this lesson, and the confidence I gained from my ability to state ‘I don’t know’ led to more confidence in observing, asking questions, applying my knowledge, and helping others around me. Thirdly, I improved my time management skills. The summer in athletic training is a vital time to prepare for an upcoming season. Pro-activity in off- season, even regarding paperwork and meticulous organization, saves lives in championship season (or when the athletic trainer experiences the flood of returning athletes). I saw the value of time management with volleyball as returners endured voluntary pre-season conditioning, to first years moving in, and ending with the brink of double days and tournament season. Moreover, I continue to see the value of time management as I assist my rowing athletic trainer with anticipating over 30 returning athletes and 16 incoming first-year students. Lastly, it is common to work over 55-hour weeks during season. Before this internship, I was experiencing my own form of burn-out as a student- athlete, and as I filled space and time with pointless tasks out of fear of mediocrity, my time management was not up to par. My time and energy are somethings I learned how to value in addition to- not in placement of- others’ time and energy. As I anticipate a career in athletic training, I must know when to preserve my energy, prioritize my time, and set myself and team up for success while avoiding burn-out.

Julia Perry

Carrell Clinic

While interning at the Carrell Clinic this summer I performed a multitude of duties including working with patients, keeping the facility clean, organizing equipment, and learning about different techniques that each therapist uses. I worked with two therapists throughout my internship, Emily and Nurah, which I found to be beneficial because each therapist is so different that I became comfortable with their methods and terms. In addition, I liked it because I was able to form relationships with their patients as time went on, and it made me more confident in assisting them in exercises as I knew their condition. During down time in the clinic, I would clean equipment in between each use and organize miscellaneous items such as the weights and medicine balls. One thing I found particularly interesting was seeing how differently each therapist treats their patients. Emily and Nurah strongly believed in cupping and needling to treat their patients and would use these methods often, and many of their patients would come in the next session saying how much relief it gave them. However, some of the other therapists in the clinic don’t believe in needling, and only use manual therapy outside of exercises. Usually, each therapy session would start with me greeting the patient in the waiting room, asking how they were feeling, and getting them warmed up on a bike, recumbent, or arm bike. Some patients would do hot or cold packs instead of warming up so I would prepare those as well if needed. During a busy hour, if Emily or Nurah had triples they would write out various exercises for each patient that I could assist them with if they were helping another patient. I liked this because once I understood the terms, I felt I had independence to work with the patients and this gave me more confidence as time went on. By the end of the internship, patients would come in and Nurah would allow me to come up with exercises on my own to treat some of her patients.

One of the most notable experiences I had in the clinic was seeing one of Emily’s patients being discharged. She was very emotional when she came in and was talking with Emily about how she remembers how much pain she was in the first session. She described how she could barely walk and now she was completing more difficult exercises on her final session. This moment stuck with me particularly because I got to see firsthand the gratitude this patient had for Emily. She was so thankful and appreciative for the progress she had made it reminded that this profession really is so rewarding and allows you to form real relationships with your patients. It also reminded me of how important physical therapy really is because many patients often do not complete their exercises at home because it is too time consuming or they are in too much pain. However, seeing the difference it can make over time in these patients truly was fascinating and rewarding.

Another notable experience I had was working with a young patient who had severe radial nerve damage. She came in for an evaluation with Emily because she had broken her humerus bone falling off of a golf cart. She did not have to have surgery and was in a splint to hold her arm in place, however, her fingers could not fully extend and were stuck in a curled-up fist. Emily used the Nexwave Ten’s device, which forces muscle contraction, on her extensor digitorum muscle in her arm to try and get motion. However, the damage was so severe that she had little to no movement even on the highest level. Emily said she could gain some movement but thought the damage was so severe her radial nerve could be severed. This experience stood out to me because most patients that come into the clinic are post-op or orthopedic injury, but this was the first patient I had seen with severe nerve damage. I thought this patient was eye-opening because I got to see the different facets of outpatient treatment.

My final notable experience was interacting with all the patients in the clinic. Since the Carrell Clinic itself is pretty small, patients are all over the place doing exercises. One thing I particularly remember is even patients that were not Emily or Nurah’s would know my name come up to me say good morning or ask how I was doing. One patient that stuck with me was an older woman who would always tell me the highlight of her week was coming in for physical therapy because everyone in the clinic was so kind and she got to socialize because she could not do much due to her injury. I even had one of Emily’s patients make me a scrunchie and matching mask. I think the greatest part of this whole experience was the patients and getting to grow relationships with people from all different backgrounds with different personalities.

While working at the Carrell Clinic, I learned many valuable skills and lessons. Some of the most notable are learning to work with all different personalities, learning to have confidence in myself while working with patients, building professional connections, and learning how to work and interact in a professional setting. Navigating different patient personalities can be difficult but it was important to learn how to interact in a sense that would make them feel most comfortable. In addition, in the beginning of the internship it was very difficult for me to have confidence working with the patient because if they asked a specific question about the exercise or how it was supposed to feel, I felt as though I could not properly tell them. However, as time went on, I gained more confidence in my knowledge and felt more at ease correcting their form or telling them where they should feel a certain exercise. Lastly, as this was my first job in a real professional setting, it was useful making connections in the field I want to go into and also getting to experience firsthand what it is like having to interact with co-workers in a professional space.

Salma El-Feky

Carrell Clinic

Salma El FekyDuring my internship at the Carrell Clinic, I learned in-depth about the field of physical therapy and how an outpatient clinic operates. I got to understand why specific exercises are used for treating different patients. My duties as an intern at the Carrell Clinic were similar to that of a physical therapy technician. Some of my responsibilities include greeting patients from the waiting area and help them start their warmup. I would also help them walk through their exercises and set up the following exercises to help the patient continue the physical therapy session. At times, I would help out other physical therapists within the clinic whenever they needed help. So, many times I would be working and helping multiple physical therapists at one time. If I were not helping a patient walk through specific exercises, I would be observing the physical therapist or preparing for the next group of patients by putting equipment away, wiping down the tables, and changing the pillowcases between sessions. It Is hard for me to chose just one or even just three notable experiences. These three notable experiences sum up my overall experience there.

One of my notable experiences was with the first patient I worked with at the Carrell Clinic. When I started my internship, the patient had been going to physical therapy for a while. As she got stronger, the exercises got more challenging. It was interesting to learn about and see the ACL exercise progression and how they became more advanced. It was exciting to see her progress and prepare for her functional test. It became like a goal we were working on, and it was rewarding to know that I helped contribute to her success in a small way. Working with her, I got to see the outcomes, success, and functionality of physical therapy before my eyes.

Another unique experience was working with an NFL player. Interestingly, I got to see him right after surgery and learned that the ACL rehab process begins immediately. Through this experience, I got the opportunity to work with professional athletes and understand slightly what sports medicine entails. I did not think I would get to work with professional athletes at the Carrell Clinic. Still, to my surprise, I had the opportunity to work with professional athletes, and it was a great experience.

Each patient that I worked with left a mark and impacted me. I was fortunate to have many close connections with patients, even those that were closed off. Although there are many patient encounters that I could talk about, one notable patient experience that stands out, in particular, is a patient that I worked with from her first session. I met her at her evaluation, and at first, she was not very open. After working with her for the duration of my internship, she opened up. In one of our sessions, she broke down crying. At that moment, I was able to comfort her and make sure she was okay since I did not know the reason as to why she broke down crying. By the end of that session, she opened up to me and told me why she was crying. Since that session, each time I have had the opportunity to work with her, she seems to be more open. It was so great to see connections we formed over time

During my internship, I learned four important lessons. One was that it is important to be confident and assertive in everything you do. Whenever I was not confident, I would come across as shy, distant, and unsure of what I was doing. Having confidence in everything I do allows me to be sure of myself and allows the patients to be certain that I know what I am doing. Another lesson I learned is that communication is important. Good communication is essential between the patient, the intern, and the physical therapist to understand what they are doing. Especially in a physical therapy clinic, it is important to be clear on what you are working on with a patient to prevent further injury. Communication also helps form a trustworthy relationship between the patients, doctors, and interns. The third lesson I learned is not to be afraid to ask questions. Throughout the internship, I would be hesitant to ask questions because I thought it was not a great question or that I would be something that I already should know. One of the physical therapists told me that she used to be afraid or hesitant to ask questions during her clinical, so she told me to come to her whenever I had a question about something. This not only made me feel better but gave me the confidence to ask questions whenever. The fourth lesson I learned was that making mistakes is okay, but learning from them quickly is essential. In the first few weeks of my internship, I would be frustrated whenever I would make a mistake and become more anxious. Over time, I understood that it is fine to make mistakes as long as I can learn and improve. It is important to learn quickly and not dwell on the mistakes because I often need to move on quickly to the next exercise with the patient.

Dara Pite

CVS University Relations

My main duties as an intern this semester included attending 340B training sessions, listening to CVS Health University Relations speaker series sessions, attending internal Wellpartner meetings, attending client meetings, compiling data from Wellpartner’s Clarity portal and the Office of Pharmacy Affairs (OPA) website, managing FogBugz tickets, making Account Plan Summaries for Wellpartner’s clients, verifying Covered Entities and contract pharmacies were properly registered on the OPA during the registration period, and presenting the 340B Administration Deck. More details about these duties are in previous logs. Let me know if you would like me to add more information here.

The first experience that was particularly notable was listening to one of the University Relations speakers, Daniel Shaw, VP of Consumer IoT & Wearable Strategies at CVS Health. Personally, I thought Mr. Shaw’s presentation was the most interesting of all the speakers’ since he focused on discussing preventative healthcare and marketing wearable devices. His straight-forward communication style and determination throughout his career inspired me. Therefore, I messaged him after the webinar and asked him for a one-on-one meeting to further discuss the future role IoT (Internet of Things) and wearables in preventative healthcare and how they will be marketed in terms of the 4 Ps of Marketing- Product, Place, Price, Promotion. During our meeting, I also want to learn more about his career as a consultant and if he knows anyone in healthcare consulting, since this is a career I may want to pursue.

The second experience that was particularly notable was when I met with my manager, Tori, to complete a mid-point evaluation for CVS University Relations. She gave me great reviews and feedback, which made me proud to hear. However, the most notable part of this meeting was when I told her “I would like to be assigned more tasks if there are things I can complete that would be helpful for the team. I am really enjoying my time at Wellpartner and would be thrilled to work here after I graduate, but I feel like I haven’t had enough opportunities to show my abilities.” Tori was very receptive and said everyone was impressed with my work thus far, but she would give me more tasks to complete. She has since given me more work which has allowed me to learn more and demonstrate my skills and work-ethic. I was nervous to speak up and ask for this, but it taught me an important lesson- to have the confidence to take on more when I know I am capable.

The third experience that was particularly notable was learning about how the 340B program benefits Covered Entities, who use the revenue from the program to improve the health of the populations they serve. Some examples of what CEs do with revenue from their 340B programs include hiring more staff, establishing nursing programs, expanding/improving facilities, helping uninsured patients, and more! It is crucial that Covered Entities’ 340B programs maintain compliance because they can be audited by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). If a HRSA audit finds that a Covered Entity’s 340B program is not compliant, the CE’s program may be terminated, and they will lose out on all potential 340B revenue. For some larger CE’s this 340B revenue is tens of millions of dollars a year. One of the many advantages of Wellpartner over other 340B program management administrators, is that we have sophisticated technology and detailed protocols; none of our Covered Entities have ever had to terminate their 340B program because of a failed HRSA audit. Though we do not work directly with patients, Wellpartner still helps improve patients’ health, which makes this type of work more rewarding!

The first lesson I learned through the internship is how to communicate effectively and efficiently via emails, video calls, Microsoft Teams, and phone calls with colleagues and clients of all ages and backgrounds. Knowing how to communicate in this new virtual environment with various types of people is a skill I will use for the rest of my professional life. The second most important lesson I learned is the importance of networking with people in my own department and other departments in my company to expand my professional network. By networking with people at CVS Health, I have learned more about the industry and been given more opportunities for when I graduate. The third lesson I learned is the importance of asking questions. Since the 340B program is so complex, I realized I had to ask questions to develop a comprehensive understanding. At first, I was hesitant to ask many questions since I thought my colleagues might think I was not paying attention; however, my mentor said it was essential I ask all my questions. The fourth lesson I learned is to have more confidence in my abilities. My education at SMU and previous work experience has prepared me adequately, so there is no reason I should feel incapable. It was particularly fascinating to link material I learned in APHM courses to my work at Wellpartner. Obviously, there were connections between the Health Care Policy Class (Medicare vs. Medicaid, social determinants of health, liability, PHI, etc.) and Wellpartner’s work. Additionally, there were connections with material I learned in Anatomy & Physiology I and II and the 340B program. For example, some of the most common 340B drugs are anticoagulants (which I know from A&P are taken by patients when they recently had a stroke, heart attack, clot, or underwent surgery), Hypothyroidism drugs (and I know specifics about hypothyroidism from A&P), and statins (which I know from A&P reduce LDL and raise HDL).

Katie Bender

Carrell Clinic

Katie BenderMy experience this summer at the Carrell Clinic was stimulating in many ways and confirmed my excitement to pursue physical therapy. During my internship I was responsible for a variety of duties to aid patient recovery and keep the clinic running smoothly. I primarily worked with my assigned physical therapist, Jennifer Harris, but I also had the opportunity to assist other physical therapists depending on who was busiest at the hour. On a daily basis I greeted the patients in the waiting room when they arrived and I set them up on cardio, heating pad or took them back tables to work with the PT. I grabbed equipment and materials the therapist or patient requested, timed and walked patients through exercises, sat in on evaluation sessions, and observed the PT. Throughout the semester I learned the names and abbreviations for the physical therapy exercises, how to execute them correctly, and why those exercises are important for the patient to do. At the end of every hour I got the area ready for the next set of patients coming in. This included wiping down the tables with disinfectant, changing the pillowcases, putting away equipment and restocking clean, folded pillowcases under the tables. During the slow hours where there were not that many patients, I would walk around clinic and fill in where needed, fold laundry, or wipe down cardio machines with disinfectant.

Every Friday I would tell my mom about the things I learned and the highlights from my week, but there were three notable experiences from the semester that stood out. The first notable experience from my internship was working with a 58 year old man who was one of my favorites. This patient’s first day of coming into the clinic was also my first day interning so in a way, we were both vulnerable and nervous for the time ahead. He first came in frustrated with his constant pain and feeling like “an old man”. I worked with him frequently and we got into a good routine. As he grew with confidence, so did I. I was able to run through his exercises by myself because he came in frequently. Working with him taught me I have to be confident in everything I do despite the fact I’m just an intern, I have no idea what I’m really doing and I’m going out of my comfort zone. Patients aren’t going to feel confident in the exercises I’m having them do if I am not confident. It was very rewarding for me to know that I played a small part in contributing to his success.

Another notable experience was the opportunity to get to speak to a variety of physical therapists with different experiences and perspectives. As the first person in my family to go into healthcare and PT school I feel like I’m shooting in the dark. I don’t have a primary source to go to if I have any questions and finding real, personal advice on the internet is difficult. Prior to my internship, my understanding of the process of getting into PT school was slim. Physical therapists and PT students were more than willing to share their experiences during lunch time. I frequently asked them questions about what they did, what they wished they would’ve done and any advice they could offer. I constantly hear from the patients how amazing the therapists at the Carrell Clinic are and I didn’t want to take for granted this great source right at my fingertips. I now feel less anxious about PT school and feel like I’m on the right track to my dream career.

My third notable experience was when I realized I had formed personal as well as professional relationships with the patients. Forming a bond allowed the patients and me to be vulnerable with one another. One of Jennifer’s patients entrusted me with the love story of her late husband. She soon started to cry, telling me how much she misses him. I felt comfortable with her to share the story of a loved one of mine that recently passed. We talked it through for a bit. We hugged with both of us teary-eyed and at the end of the session she thanked me for listening and left with a soft smile. When we started exercises that day, neither of us planned on having that type of therapy session, but I’m glad we did. This conversation wasn’t part of the “physical” aspect of physical therapy, but it still played a role in her improvement. Physical therapy is mental just as much as it is physical. The benefits of mental health include a reduction in stress, an improvement in sleep and self-esteem, a reduction in fatigue and much more. I will continue to care for the patients to improve their overall well-being and make them feel important.

The four most important lessons I learned were the best ways to interact with different patients, attitude will effect a patient’s progress, patients need to listen to their bodies, and to be patient with myself. All patients have different personalities and outlooks and it’s important to know when to talk to them, how to talk with them, and what to talk with them about. I learned I have to adapt with each patient to help them achieve their goals. For example, if one patient is very chatty, I would show them their exercises and step back so they could focus on their therapy. If another patient values having a close relationship with their PT team, then it may be appropriate to allow them to open up to you to progress in therapy. The next lesson I learned is attitude is everything, not only in therapy, but in all aspects of life. If a patient thinks they aren’t going to get better, they likely won’t. The PT team’s attitude is also crucial as it can uplift a negative patient. Patients who came in motivated every day, ready to push themselves, ended up being my favorite patients. Its admirable to have a positive attitude despite being in physical pain. They are already mentally prepared to improve so we just have to work on the physical part. Occasionally existing patients would come into the clinic complaining of soreness or pain. Sometimes, they were in too much pain to realistically progress that day. Jennifer encouraged her patients to listen to their body and be honest with themselves. I observed that she would hold off on difficult exercises and instead, she would do isometrics which helped with pain management. To avoid increased pain and soreness some patients may have to start at a low level and build gradually. Physical therapy is all about slow progression. Start with a simple exercise and eventually make it more difficult when the patient is ready so they can gain strength and mobility. As an intern I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing. I was fearful I would mess up and somehow disappoint the staff. I couldn’t help but compare myself to the successful techs who seemed to pull things off so effortlessly. I was thankful the therapists I worked with showed me kindness and patience. I recognized I was there to learn and I needed to show myself that same patience. I stepped up and completed the work better than expected. I can see the knowledge I’ve developed and the confidence I gained from this internship. These valuable lessons will be carried with me to PT school, my tech job and career and I am so grateful.

2020 Applied Physiology & Health Management Internships

Kate Janney

K6 Wellness

Over the course of my internship at K6 wellness, I was able to fully transition from being a client to an intern. With this transition, my eyes were opened to what actually happens behind the scenes and what it takes to run a business. During my internship, I performed an array of duties. While some duties I expected, others I did not. Whether the task at hand was simple or complex, I still learned something from it. The three main experiences I have chosen to discuss are learning how to understand the NURTISPEC system, dealing with clients that were very ill or depressed, and the importance of doing dirty work. These 3 experiences varied in what they required of me but were all notable experiences that I was able to learn from.

A impactful experience was witnessing multiple appointments in which Sharon had to interact with clients who were either very ill or had essentially lost all hope and were very depressed. I remember that on my first day of taking notes for Sharon during appointments, we saw three absolutely heartbreaking cases. The first woman we saw had just lost her husband to a traumatic case of cancer and had a strange tumor growing in her mouth that if cut out, would likely cease her ability to speak ever again. The next woman we saw was a nurse at a hospital who was so sick and had so much anxiety that she couldn’t eat. The last sad case we had for the day consisted of a woman who was only about 40 but was so sick with a mystery illness that she could not even get out of bed or walk without being in excruciating pain and said that “she wished she could be euthanized”. While these 3 cases were very different, Sharon handled them all very similarly. Sharon told these women that she was there for them as little or as much as they needed her to be and showed an extreme amount of empathy towards them and their situation. I sat there feeling very sad for these women, as I typically tend to take on the emotions of others and wondered if it is this emotionally draining every day. As time went on and I saw more people. I realized that not every day is a sad day and that you have to learn to not internalize the sad cases you do see. This experience taught me that you cannot completely fix or help everyone, no matter how much you’d like to and that all you can do is help someone as much as possible and support them.

While interning at K6 Wellness, I learned many valuable lessons. Since this was the first internship I have ever had, I was really nervous for it and felt that I had a lot to learn. Over the course of my internship, I learned that being close with your coworkers improves the work environment, that I should never doubt myself, that I enjoy working a lot more than school and that maintaining relationships with clients is crucial. K6 Wellness has a particularly unique dynamic, as it is a family run business. In fact, the name of the business stems from their last name, Krahn, and the 6 members of their family. I found it incredibly enlightening and interesting to get to witness the dynamic of a family run business. From the first day, I was able to see that the K6 team functioned effortlessly as one cohesive unit. Over the course of my internship, I noticed a few key things that I found incredibly beneficial to running a business. Since everyone was related, there was an extreme level of comfort and everyone was able to easily communicate and discuss things. While this family run business dynamic is not common, I learned from K6 the importance of being close with your coworkers and feeling comfortable around them, as it greatly improves the work environment and the communication between everyone.

While at K6, I also learned to never doubt myself or my education. As an intern, you often feel inferior to everyone else or feel that you cannot chime in with your opinion. However, at K6 it was quite the opposite. Sharon admired my studies at SMU and valued my opinion on things and had a lot of faith in my abilities. Sharon allowed me to make any suggestions during follow-up appointments that I thought may help clients or have personally helped me in the past. Sharon also believed in me enough to trust me to walk patients through their notes, answer their questions and help with their diet. I found this all extremely encouraging and learned that if I doubt myself, I will likely be doubted by others as well.

Moving forward, I feel confident in my ability to connect with patients and have learned that establishing strong relationships with patients is crucial for having a good reputation and increasing client retention. Every time someone came in for appointment, everyone knew their name and what they did, where they were from or something interesting about them. I found that I started paying more attention to the little things people said in appointments once I realized this and started to form my own relationships with clients as well. I believe that being able to connect with clients will help carry me further in my career and will prove to be a valuable tool.

Overall, I believe that K6 wellness is highly effective in its operations and all staff members collaborate well to fulfill their goal of helping others lead healthier lives and improve their quality of life. Every employee at K6 has dealt with some sort of health issue of their own and therefore, realizes how desperately some clients need their help. As a result, all of the employees have an incredibly strong work ethic and are always willing to always put their clients first. The customer satisfaction level at K6 is very high and there is a high client retention rate. The employees all strive to establish strong relationships with each client and their efforts are reflected in the continued return of current clients and increase in new clients.

This site provided me with the opportunity to collaborate with the staff and communicate with other professionals and I always felt included. Due to the current circumstances involving coronavirus, I do not think I was able to reach my personal and professional goals as I missed out on a lot of learning experiences and opportunities. However, K6 accepted me as a functional member of their staff and even would invite me to join them for dinner on Fridays at a relative’s house after work in an effort to always make me feel welcomed and included. Elena, my site supervisor was fantastic over the course of my internship. She was always willing to answer any of my questions and help me with anything. Elena was always very professional and taught me a lot including the proper terminology to use with clients and how to act when dealing with difficult clients. Elena was excited to have me at K6 and was adamant about giving me the best experience possible. My time at K6 Wellness was a great stepping stone for my career and I learned a lot about what I would like to find in a future job. I am extremely grateful for my internship and wish that I was able to finish it.

Lauren Welch

Carrell Clinic

During my time as a physical therapy intern at the Carrell Clinic I performed a variety of duties that aided in patient experience as well as the running of the clinic. On an average day I would work with different physical therapists, depending on who was busiest at the time. When helping the physical therapists, I would greet the patients in the waiting room and set them up with a warmup. I would also grab equipment, walk patients through exercises, or observe the work the physical therapist was doing. At the end of the patient session, I would get the space ready for the next patient coming in. This included changing the pillowcase, wiping down the table, and putting away any equipment.

During down time when there weren’t a lot of patients, I would do laundry, clean machines and equipment, organize equipment, or sort through patient charts.
I would say the most notable experience throughout my internship was working with a young girl who ended up being one of my favorite patients to work with. This patient was around 11 years old, and when I first started helping with her, she had no interest in doing her physical therapy. She was obviously frustrated with the pain she was still having in her ankle and would speed through all of her exercises as fast as she could. I began working with her more frequently and we got into a good routine. She usually came in at a busy time for the clinic, so I gained a little more independence as I usually got to run through her exercises with her by myself. She started to warm up to me and I could really start to see a change. She began to slow down a lot and focus more on her exercises and I could tell that she was taking my feedback well. As she continued to improve, the physical therapist, she was working with was able to give her more “fun” exercises to do, like basketball and volleyball. By her last session, she was like a different patient. For me, it was so rewarding to know that I had contributed at least in part, to her success. It also showed me how much I do enjoy working with kids and the creativity and improvisation that it requires.

Another notable experience was the opportunity to learn more about the running of the clinic. After interning for a while, I was taught more about the scheduling and patient charting. Some therapists keep physical charts while others have everything digital. One of my tasks that I would do during down time included organizing the charts for the therapists that kept them. With the technology of patient records constantly changing, it was useful to see what exactly is included in a patient chart and be able to see the benefits of physical vs digital copies. It was a pretty small thing, but something I wouldn’t have thought about without having that experience. I also gained some insight into the scheduling of patients. Many of the clinics I’ve worked in before have had scheduling where patients come in at different times. For example, a therapist might have a patient coming in at 8, another one at 8:30, and then another at 8:45, with them all overlapping. However, the Carrell Clinic only has appointments on the hour. So, each therapist will only have patients coming in at 8, new patients at 9, and so on, with a maximum of 3 patients at once. I hadn’t thought of this as a possible way of scheduling before, but throughout my time interning I was won over by this scheduling method. It allowed the therapists to get the most out of the time they had with a patient and were able to give each patient equal one-on-one time. This insight was useful in allowing me to see some of the behind the scenes running of a clinic. I don’t know that I want to have my own clinic someday, but this experience will be an example of some of the practices I could implement.

My third notable experience has to do with the gratitude of patients. There was one specific time when the therapist I was helping had informed me this one specific patient was doing great in her therapy but was really struggling with confidence. In past sessions she had really benefited from someone cheering her on and assuring her she was doing well. During that session I made sure I was the best cheerleader I could be, ensuring her that she was doing a great job. After her session she began to leave but turned around to come and tell me thank you, which meant a lot to me. Other patients have come over to say hi to me when I’m working with another patient or seek me out to update me on something going on in their life that we had talked about during their last session. When things like this happen, it makes me feel so good, like I’m doing something right. At this point as an intern, there isn’t a lot I can do with the physical part of their physical therapy. But when I get positive feedback from patients that I make the mental side of their physical therapy a little better, I feel more confident in my ability to grow in my career. If I am able to do this for them now, I hope that I can always remember the significance of making a patient feel important and cared for and combine that with the skills I learn in physical therapy school, making me a better, more well-rounded physical therapist.

I would say that the four most important lessons I learned were the importance of being confident in myself, the usefulness of professional connections, the best ways to interact with different patients, and I was reminded of the rewarding aspects of this career path. I am so grateful for these lessons learned as they will be transferrable to the next job I have, as well as to my time in physical therapy school, and in my career.

Overall, my internship at the Carrell Clinic was one of the best experiences throughout my undergraduate education. I was able to take knowledge that I had learned in a variety of classes, and utilize it in my position as an intern, really solidifying my education.

Desiree Buzby

SMU Health Promotion Management Office

As an intern at the Community of Health Promotion Office here at SMU, I had a variety of duties that I performed. My first job was to create a Communications Calendar and personal goals timeline for myself so that I would be updated on weekly events and be able to have a guide to stay on top of every deadline I had. One of my main roles was to design a post for our Instagram and Facebook page to post every other day of the week (typically Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), in which I obligated myself to take the additional role of building a more cohesive, attention-grabbing aesthetic. In addition to this, I took it upon myself to redesign the Instagram profile picture and highlights layout to match the color aesthetic I had picked. I was responsible for creating the posters, flyers, and digital signs for the events that we had and distributing them to high-traffic buildings we have across campus including Fondren Library, Dedman Rec center, Hughes-Trigg, both of the Simmons buildings, the Scholar’s Den, Hyer Hall, and the Health Center. I would also create Instagram/Facebook stories to promote upcoming events to maximize awareness across social media.

I was given two long-term projects, including a week-long social media campaign of Instagram/Facebook posts and stories to accompany every day of events for Mental Health Awareness week and a PowerPoint presentation to summarize the entire SMU Community Health Promotion department and its wide variety of functions. To stay on top of all of the things I was responsible for, I would attend staff meetings to coordinate for Mental Health Awareness week and have weekly touch-base meetings with my boss to go over the work I had done thus far, the work I would be doing that week, and make any clarifications that I needed to get the job done.

The mission statement of the Community Health Promotion office is to provide comprehensive health education programming to students in order to promote healthy behaviors, enhance student well-being, and reduce campus health risks. I believe that the CHP office has a very high level of operational effectiveness because I have seen from first-hand experience that they were able to fulfill this mission statement by creating programs that educate and promote healthy habits and successfully promoting these programs through email announcements, flyers, posters, digital signs, and social media announcements. Their social media also served to better educate the SMU staff and student body on how to achieve a more holistic, healthier lifestyle.

The collaboration, work ethic, and congeniality were all ideal and at a high level due to regular meetings and thorough communication that among everyone in the office. Because of regular meetings and constant communication, I would say the internship supervisor’s level of effectiveness was very high. I had weekly meetings with him and could email him or walk by his office with questions whenever I wanted, so I was effectively communicated with and supervised. Customer satisfaction was also very high, which was evaluated by the various assessments that the office has in place to measure feedback. This includes student focus groups, faculty/staff interviews, program feedback surveys, taking attendance at events to measure engagement, measuring social media engagement, and Health Center data (tracking student health trends). The overall facility’s maintenance and environment was always perfect, as the cleaning ladies would always clean everything at the end of each day. Me and my coworkers also respected the environment we worked in, so we tried to make their job as easy as possible by throwing things away in the trash can, putting things back after we used them, using the hands-free handles in the bathroom, and cleaning up any messes we made in the break room. Overall, everything about the site and everyone who worked there was exceptional. I enjoyed my experience working for the CHP office!

Anna Leigh Collier

White Rock OB/GYN

A typical day for me at White Rock OB/GYN would begin with organizing charts and prescription orders. The doctor often does not get to the office before 9 or 9:15, so we have a lot of time to get prepared for the day. It was important that I put away the charts from the OB patients of the previous day so that the chart room remained organized for the front desk associate, who has to pull charts for the current day’s appointments. My duty of organizing prescriptions was very important because the doctor had to be able to sign off on them as soon as they came in so that patients could get their medicine. After this duty was finished, I would assist the CNA in calling patients back to the vital room. I would often help her take weight, blood pressure, and pulse measurements as well as read urine sample tests. After these measurements were recorded in the patient’s chart, I would set them up in a room and tell them to wait for the doctor. Once the doctor arrived, the day began to move very quickly. My responsibilities included taking patient vitals and shadowing the doctor in every appointment. If it was an OB appointment, I had the duty of finding the fetal heartbeat. Other than that task, I would just observe and listen. Although it wasn’t an assigned duty, I would help the CNA clean rooms in between each appointment and always make sure there were enough supplies stocked.

Aside from my main, daily duties, there were certain times or days of the week where I had additional duties. One of these included shadowing the sonogram tech on Monday’s and Wednesday’s. I was responsible for making the patient comfortable by adjusting their chair and making sure they were properly undressed and covered. Additionally, I served as a liaison between the sonogram tech and the doctor. For example, if the tech wanted the doctor to come check something, I would be in charge of finding the doctor, filling him in on the patient’s reason for the sonogram, and bringing him to the room. Some of the other miscellaneous duties I had included faxing patient records to the hospital, driving the doctor to the hospital when it was raining, writing pap smear reminder letters, and always being alert to the office managers requests.

I had many amazing, notable experiences that helped me learn how to perform these duties. One of them was the first time I got to find the fetal heartbeat. I had watched Dr. Garcia do it many times, but when he asked me to do it on the spot with a patient, I was taken aback and had a second of uncertainty. Some people may think it as rude or unthoughtful to put an intern on the spot like that in front of a patient, but I work well under pressure and was happy that the doctor believed in me. When I found the heartbeat, it was an amazing feeling. I was so proud of myself for staying calm, but more importantly I was reminded of how incredible it must be to have a life growing inside of your tummy. The patient must feel so relieved every time they get to listen to their baby’s heartbeat, and what a privilege it is for me to be a part of that experience. From that point on, I felt very confident entering patient appointments. There were times when it was difficult for me to find the heartbeat such as when the baby was less than 20 weeks old, but I learned to be patient and the best ways to angle the doppler in order to find a stronger sound.

Usually the CNA would do the bulk of the work concerning taking vitals because I was with the doctor in his appointments most of the day, but one day the CNA was not able to come in to work. This day was a huge learning experience for me because it was the time to take everything I had observed and learned and put it in to practice on my own. I ran around the office taking vitals, cleaning rooms, discussing symptoms with patients, and assisting the doctor in procedures. I had not assisted the doctor in any procedures before this, but I had observed the CNA do it probably 100 times. When I entered those appointments, I remained confident and was quick on my feet to make sure that the patient knew that I knew what I was doing. The doctor was very grateful for my help that day, and I learned that I knew how to do more than I thought. I was exhausted by the end of the day but left with a rewarding feeling.

The last experience I want to share occurred specifically with one patient I got to know well. She had appointments once or twice a week because she was only a few weeks away from full term pregnancy and her baby was breached. She began to recognize me, and I could tell she felt more comfortable in appointments because I knew her case well. The doctor had been providing her with exercises she could do to flip the baby, but week after week she returned with the baby still breached. During one particular appointment she looked at me and said “Anna, I am so worried. Nothing is working and this baby is getting way too big for me”. She said this with some humor mixed with pure exhaustion and worry. This was the first time a patient really opened up to me, and it was such a great feeling knowing that I was a part of her journey. The last time I saw her, she came in saying she had felt movement and wanted to see if the baby had flipped. The doctor and I took her into the sonogram room, laid her down, and I said a little prayer in my head for her. Just then, the doctor handed me the probe and told me to find the baby’s head. I knew what I was doing, but the pressure was on. The patient gave me an encouraging look as I put gel on her belly and began. Within 30 seconds I found the head and it was right where it should be. The baby had flipped! We all breathed a sigh of relief together and the patient couldn’t stop smiling. We sent her to the hospital right away to be induced, and as she was leaving and thanking us, I was overcome with emotion and gratitude that I was able to be a part of that moment.

Respect for your superiors in the workplace is something I understood before starting my internship but putting it into practice with Dr. Garcia integrated that lesson into my everyday life. At work I would report to the doctor first. If he called my name, I would drop what I was doing and run to see what he needed, always making sure I was performing the tasks he assigned to me before anything else. His commitment to his patients in the office and at the hospital was inspiring to me. He never complained about only getting 2 hours of sleep or not being able to go to a family dinner because he needed to deliver a baby because he loved his job and always put his patient’s health first. I have so much respect for him because of this, and I found that this respect made me want to help him and learn from him as much as I could.

In the APSM course Fitness and Health Enterprise, we had a discussion about employee satisfaction and how important it is for the success of an organization. At my internship I learned that this is extremely important in the healthcare setting because the satisfaction of nurses and doctor’s effects not only the office, but the lives of patients. All of the employees I worked with love their job and it reflects in their work. They have a great attitude, have more energy, and produce better quality work. I believe the fact that they were friends outside of work, have known each other for a long time, and all share a similar heritage fostered an environment of shared values. An organizations performance is influenced by shared values because if employees share positive attitudes, they most likely have norms of cooperation and collaboration, which in turn enhance productivity (Koys, 2001). This value synchronization I experienced taught me that it is important to look at an organizations culture before accepting a job because employee satisfaction can make or break success.

The last important lesson I learned from this internship that is extremely valuable to me is ethics. Knowing what is ethical or unethical in a medical setting is something I was introduced to in my Senior Project course as well as Bioethics. One topic that was covered by these courses and stressed to me by Dr. Garcia is respect for patient autonomy. The idea is that as moral agents we have the right to make important decisions about what happens to and in our bodies (Mackenzie, 2010). Understanding this idea is essential in healthcare, especially in the OB/ GYN specialty. Dr. Garcia always worked to enhance his patient’s autonomy by giving them a wide range of choices and as much information as they needed or wanted to know. Whether it was about pregnancy, birth control, or surgery, Dr. Garcia would speak to his patients in a very objective tone and make sure never to frame anything in a way that would sway the patient to make one decision over another. He wanted them to feel safe, comfortable, and in control of their body.

White Rock OB/GYN is a very operationally effective organization. They see patients in a timely manner, are always able to book last minute emergency appointments, keep the office organized, establish clear roles, and work collaboratively, and more. I believe they have a great team of employees that work together very well. I believe the fact that they are all able to speak fluent Spanish and have similar working styles helps them be more in sync with each other. In addition, they are all extremely hard workers. They often don’t leave the office until a few hours after the last patient has left, and the front office staff still comes to work when the doctor is out and there are no patients. They use that time to catch up on paperwork, calls, and supply orders. Every patient that comes into the office leaves satisfied and always grateful. Since many of the patients come for weekly OB appointments, they are comfortable around the staff and have a deeper relationship with the doctor. One woman from Peru is a great example of how happy Dr. Garcia’s patients are. Dr. Garcia is also from Peru, and he always takes the time to sit with her and speak in Spanish about her family, and she always brings him special Peruvian cookies that she makes. It is more than just a patient-doctor relationship, it is a friendship. The internship supervisor was very effective, taking the time to get to know me and teach me new things every week. I believe she could be better about communication outside of work specifically with turning in paperwork, but I also understood how busy she was, and she needed me to help remind her. Overall, I loved this internship and couldn’t have asked for a better experience. I learned more in 5 weeks than I have in any other job, and when I found out that I would not be returning I genuinely felt sad. I had a strong relationship with all of them and am so grateful for the time they took to get to know me and help teach me.

Sydney Gonzalez

A to Z Pediatric

While interning at A to Z Pediatric Therapy, I was able to travel with occupational, physical, and speech therapists to observe and assist with therapy given in homes and daycares in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I had the opportunity to observe occupational therapists evaluate children using the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales-2 and assistants work with children on sensory, self-care, feeding, behavioral, fine motor, and visuospatial goals with different activities and tasks. During occupational therapy sessions, I assisted in set-up and clean-up of activities and participated in activities when appropriate. For example, during some crossing the midline activities, I handed children toys to their right and left side to be placed into another toy or puzzle. During physical therapy sessions, I was able to observe therapists stretch patients and assist them with exercises. With some core strengthening and step climbing exercises, I was able to assist by holding a bucket or toy at different positions away from the child for them to place an object or toy into. I observed speech therapists work with children on sentence formation, modeling, facial expression, speech sound, narrative development, vocabulary, following directions, and play skills through play or other activities. I facilitated these sessions by participating in play and serving as a model for interaction and facial expression. During all sessions, I gave children tactile, auditory, or visual cues to help complete tasks, activities, or exercises when appropriate. For children with deficits in information processing, it was important to give cues at a slower frequency to avoid further confusion within the child. I also encouraged children during their tasks, activities, and exercises by cheering, clapping, singing songs, or playing games.

A notable experience I had during an occupational therapy session was observing a therapist calm down a child from an aggressive temper tantrum. This patient presented sensory deficits, showing very high sensitivity to the sensation of clothing. Addressing a dressing goal, the therapist had the child remove his shirt for 30 seconds, resulting in a major temper tantrum with hitting, screaming, and running around the room. Continuing the 30 seconds, the therapist was able to calm the child to down to a less aggressive level by applying deep touch pressure to the back. Observing the therapist handle this situation calmly with a smile on her face was very impressive. She was able to explain to me the reasons for the patient’s behavior and how understanding the causes can help when handling difficult situations.

A second notable experience I had while interning with A.Z. was observing a physical therapist work with a very medically fragile infant. This patient was premature, connected to oxygen and feeding tubes, and experiencing torticollis. Prior to this visit, I hadn’t given much thought to how physical therapists would give therapy to infants. The therapist was able to provide me with a good example by effortlessly holding the baby in different positions to stretch the neck muscles. Each time the baby would begin to cry, she would rock the baby in a certain cradle position that calmed the baby down nearly every time. With current experience working in a nursery, it was very interesting to observe the physical therapist handle the infant so smoothly and gently.

A highlighted experience from my time traveling with speech therapy was making a patient and her siblings’ day brighter by bringing over toys and interacting with them. Upon entering the home, the patient and her siblings ran to greet us with excitement. While completing an activity of identifying objects out of a bag of toys, the siblings also participated and appeared amazed, excited, and curious by each toy given. After a session of activities and play, the patient sadly watched us leave to our cars from the door and waved to us as we drove away. This experience showed how therapists can provide a positive influence in children’s lives in more aspects than only therapeutic progress. Although it wasn’t an experience of therapeutic progress, making a child’s day better and happier even if for 30 minutes was still very rewarding.

This internship taught me the importance of patience when working with children with special needs. Many of the patients I was able to observe during occupational therapy sessions presented cognitive and sensory deficits that could result in very delayed or unusual responses to given activities. Children with delayed processing may stare blankly after being asked to do something or appear unaware of objects in front of them. Patients with sensory deficits, in an attempt to avoid the given activity, may act out aggressively – screaming, hitting, crying, or arguing. Patience is extremely valuable in situations like these in order to respond in a rational and effective matter. Remaining patient and calm allows the therapist to effectively acknowledge reasons behind behavior and address them as necessary.

A second lesson I learned from this internship is the importance of clear communication with a child’s caregivers in order to provide the most beneficial therapy. Patient’s caregivers have major influence on the outcomes of therapy when working with a pediatric population. Children rely on their caregivers for the set-up of their environment and daily routines. When caregivers fail to create a properly stimulating environment accustomed to their child’s special needs, their children are less likely to reap the full benefits of therapy. Caregivers may also hinder a child’s progress in therapy by enabling a non-stimulating daily routine. These routines may have little structure and enforce habits that impede on a child’s therapy goals. These factors may be positively influenced by the therapist providing clear communication to caregivers about home program instruction. Emphasizing the caregivers’ importance in a child’s therapeutic progress and providing them with the knowledge to implement home program instruction may give them the confidence to improve their child’s outcomes through at-home practice and techniques. Establishing trust with patients and their families when practicing home health is also valuable to create a comfortable and positive experience for everyone involved. Sessions held within the patient’s home may be in close contact with other family members. Establishing trusting relationships can make the situation more comfortable and allows the therapist to complete treatment without strict hovering or interference. Trust between the therapist and patient is extremely valuable in positively impacting a child’s outcomes of treatment. The child is able to become more engaged and willing to complete tasks and activities. Trust is especially necessary when overcoming obstacles of fear. Without trust, the child is unlikely to feel confident in conquering their feared goal.

Another lesson I learned is the value of forming relationships with other therapists in gaining inspiration and support. Although I observed as a student and not a practicing therapist, I could see the need for conversing with other professionals for ideas when hitting a block in progress with a child or when in need of diversifying activities and techniques. Listening to the therapists’ reasons for entering this career field was inspiring and sparked motivation in me to continue my education. Many of the therapists voiced their support for me and my education, giving me confidence to achieve my goals.

Sydney Lavigne

White Rock Obstetrics & Gynecology 

The roles I most often performed each day was listening and measuring the fetal heartbeat through the stomach of the mother using a Doppler ultrasound device. In addition, I triaged patients, specifically, I took their vitals such as; pulse rate, weight, height, blood pressure, and updated any new information in their charts. I assisted Dr. Garcia during Well Woman exams and PAP smears, as well as, Post-partum visits and wound cleaning for Cesarean births. Also, I aided the ultrasound technician and or Dr. Garcia and I would be asked to identify if the baby was breeched or in the anterior position, the heart, and the skull. I aided the receptionist and upfront desk by organizing the filing room, preparing new charts for patients, and matching lab results to the appropriate patient for Dr. Garcia to review. While performing these duties, I was able to get to know the patients, as well as, the staff. Along my five-month journey with Dr. Garcia and his staff I learned valuable lessons from different situations I experienced.

One of the most memorable experiences I encountered was my first day as an intern at White Rock Obstetrics and Gynecology. I had never worked in a private practice and I did not know the roles I would perform or how my role as an intern would be affected due to the Corona Virus. In less than 15 minutes on my first day, I was already triaging patients and learning how to properly fill in the charts for Dr. Garcia. I understood that I needed to learn quickly and act fast while still being efficient. In addition, that same day I was handed the Ultrasound Doppler and was asked to find the fetal heartbeat. I was not shown instruction or given pointers, yet had to figure out how to best accomplish the task. I learned that I was quick on my feet and I was able to recollect the information I learned through the APHM department and apply that to my duties I needed to perform. An example being, how to take an adequate blood pressure; the patient needed to be seated, quiet, legs uncrossed, arms relaxed, and the cuff should be fitted around the brachial artery approximately 1in above the antecubital fossa. I applied this to the patients I triaged every single day, to make sure I received adequate blood pressure readings, since blood pressure can be an indicator of labor or preeclampsia in pregnant women and hypertension in those who are not pregnant. From my first day, I learned to ask questions and understand the importance of each task that was being performed and why it needed to be performed. This helped in the future, when doing my usually duties and understanding what an abnormal or negative result would look like to better help the patient, as well as, the staff and Dr. Garcia.

Another impactful experience during my internship was when a patient suffered a miscarriage 12 weeks pregnant. The patient frequently visited the office for her early check-ups. I was able to get to know the patient and how her pregnancy was unexpected, yet she was excited to have a little one. She came in unexpectedly, due to vaginal bleeding and wanted to make sure everything was ok. She was nervous when I triaged her and I attempted to distract her and talk about other things besides her pregnancy. I knew from previous mentors to never promise an outcome that I did not know for sure, so I was not able to tell her everything was going to be ok, yet I did the best I could to distract her for the time being. I was nervous to take the fetal heartbeat, since 12 weeks is fairly early and I did not want to scare her further. I was not able to find the heartbeat and Dr. Garcia attempted as well. After, no heartbeat was found, he recommended to do an ultrasound and possibly a vaginal ultrasound. After both methods were performed, Dr. Garcia came to the decision that she had lost the baby. Hearing this for the first time, was emotional for myself and I could not imagine what the patient was feeling. Dr. Garcia was stern and made sure she knew it was not her fault. He kept his emotions free and told her the facts of what causes a miscarriage. After, Dr. Garcia left the room I helped the patient get dressed and I apologized for her loss. This experience was hard for me, since I had to learn the importance of not expressing too much emotion, yet I felt that I needed to console the patient and let her know how sorry I was. I learned from Dr. Garcia that it is always best to explain the science of the situation and to remind the patient that it was not their fault and they should not blame themselves. In addition, as a medical provider it is important to use all resources and tools before giving an official diagnosis. I feel as though I can take this experience and apply it to any situation that fits in different fields of healthcare I may be exposed to.

Finally, another experience that was notable during my internship was when I performed my first ultrasound by myself. Dr. Garcia asked the patient if it was ok for me to practice on their stomach. Graciously, the patient allowed me to and Dr. Garcia asked me to locate the skull, heart, blood flow of the umbilical cord, and finally whether the baby was breeched or in the anterior position. I had only dealt with ultra sounds through Dr. Davis’ laboratory as a research assistant, but had never seen an ultrasound on a fetus. This was a challenging task, I needed to understand the planes of division such as the sagittal, transverse, and frontal planes since the position of the Doppler provided a view in a specific plane. I was fortunate enough to have learned these planes of division in my introductory Anatomy courses and was able to apply what I learned to find the specific structures. I was able to find the heart and umbilical cord blood flow, yet had trouble with the fetus position and the skull. Dr. Garcia taught me immediate ways to find the skull to indicate the position of the baby. The information I learned is critical if I ever come in counter or treat a pregnant individual and need to quickly make a decision on the type of treatment the patient needs. Specifically, by recognizing the position of the baby in an emergency situation you can decide if the patient needs a Caesarean delivery or can deliver vaginally. After months of practice and learning from Dr. Garcia, I am confident in my abilities to identify the key structures and positioning of the fetus and will carry this information with me through my medical journey.

Many lessons were learned from being an intern at White Rock Gynecology and Obstetrics. Four major lessons that I learned were; importance of communication with the patients, importance of communication with the staff, the advantages of being a bilingual health care provider and the work life culture. No matter how knowledgeable we are about a specific field in health, without being able to communicate and relate to a patient beyond a surface level we will not be the best health care providers we can be. I learned the importance in effectively communicating with patients. Specifically, many patients who came to the office were nervous, uncomfortable, irritable, or stressed due to the crazy situation surrounding us currently and situations in their personal lives. On a majority of occasions, I was the first person the patient interacted with and set their mood for the rest of their visit. Every patient I saw I made sure to form conversation with, calm them if necessary, and aimed to make each patient smile before I placed them in a room. If a patient was reoccurring I attempted to remember our past conversation to pick up where we left off. In addition, if I patient was upset or did not understand a specific test that was being asked of them, I had to communicate to the patient why that test was being asked of them and what it could tell Dr. Garcia and how it could benefit them to know that result. I enjoyed interacting with the patients and forming connections with them throughout my five months. Furthermore, communication with the staff and Dr. Garcia was crucial for the efficiency and safety of the patients. If I was unsure about what to do or how to do something, I knew I needed to ask before completing the task blindly. I also learned that mistakes will be made in health care, but you want to make the least amount of mistakes possible since they can directly impact a patient’s life. By using my voice and communicating with the staff effectively I was able to make less mistakes and I performed my duties tailored to Dr. Garcia’s preferences. In addition, since Dr. Garcia and his staff speak predominantly Spanish and treat many patients who are only Spanish speaking. I quickly learned the importance of being bilingual as a health care provider. Dr. Garcia is able to treat and diagnosis a greater number of patients since he can connect and communicate with those who only speak Spanish. As I continue my health care journey, I wish to become bilingual in Spanish so that I can also treat patients who are more comfortable with or can only speak Spanish.

Overall, I am grateful for the experience and knowledge I gained from Dr. Garcia and being an intern at his practice. I learned many valuable lessons and I was put in difficult situations and I feel as though I am stronger mentally than when I entered the internship. I will carry every experience with me to my future medical endeavors so that I can be a better version of myself and health care provider.

Andrew Burgos

Perimeter Behavioral Hospital

Starting in August I was lucky enough to work as an intern under Mr. Willcoxon at Perimeter Behavioral Hospital in Garland. While there, rather than having specific duties that I was responsible for the entire time I was there, I spent time with each department and either shadowed them or helped them with whatever they were working on during the time I was with them. I helped file patients records within the medical record department, I entered patient data and incident reports into online databases when I spend time with risk, I created excel spreadsheets and graphs for a medical executive meeting and more with other departments. My one ongoing project though was to establish a pet therapy program at our facility.

This pet therapy program project is the first of my three highlight experiences. Having no experience doing anything of the sort, it seemed daunting initially. I had to find organizations in the area by searching online, and during my research into this, discovered that many big hospitals who have pet therapy available have their own dogs that belong to the hospital rather than using an outside organization. I found a couple of options and reached out via email. I heard back from one of them and began talking with the lady in charge of that program’s chapter that was here in the area. Speaking to her I found out about what was required from their side and what I needed to prepare for them such as making sure infection control had okayed them coming and what days and when would the volunteers visit including how long. Once I had begun talking to her, I started figuring out what all needed to be done on our end as a hospital for this to be set up. This ended up including waivers to be signed at intake, room designation for the pet therapy to take place, scheduling, deciding which patients would be suitable for pet therapy and screenings and drug tests for the volunteers. After getting everything in order on our end, the only thing remaining was for the volunteers to get background screened and take a drug test as is required by everyone working at the hospital. Unfortunately, this is where issues arose and sadly the program fell apart. We were so close, but despite not being able to start the partnership while I was there, I still think it was a great experience for me to have and get some exposure to working with others outside of our immediate workplace.

Another experience that stood out to me was delivering food to the patients upstairs on the floor with our head of nutrition. After seeing the food being made in the kitchen as well as a taste test of my own (it was good!) we boxed up meals and put them in a large cart to take upstairs to all of the kids. While I would go upstairs every now and then while working with different departments, this was the one time where I got to spend a longer time on the floor seeing the patients interact with each other and some of the staff. Though I of course knew this already, it really reinforced to me seeing them get excited for the food and talk and laugh with the other patients there that they’re all just regular kids who have unfortunately had it rough most likely. I didn’t expect handing out food to the patients to be an experience I really remembered well, but it ended up that way.

Finally, I was able to help with a business development event with one of the business development liaisons. We helped hand out drive through type dinners and contact info at a nursing home in Dallas along with two other facilities. Due to COVID, everything was distanced with those picking up the dinners and contact info staying in their car. This helps get our name out to more hospitals that will then hopefully be able to send referrals our way. This was a great experience due to seeing some of what the business development side does since it is obviously so different from actually working at the hospital on location. When talking with the healthcare workers who came through, it was cool to see all of them being so receptive to us introducing ourselves and telling them about Perimeter. Through this as well as getting to know all of my coworkers, it has shown me how most people in the healthcare industry really do want what is best for their patients and are eager to find ways to help.

My first step into the healthcare industry, and even just the job force in general, taught me a lot of lessons. The first was that things take time. This is an incredibly vague statement of course, but this stuck out to me when setting up pet therapy. The time between my initial search and sending out emails and when everything was fully ready to go had to have been a couple of months. I had to be patient with getting things in order. Waiting on responses from the volunteers to getting all the systems set in place at the hospital to coordinating together took a lot of time. I need to remember to always be patient in the future, because while I will want things to happen quickly (and some of them may), I need to be patient. Another lesson from that experience is that sometimes things just don’t work out. As I mentioned before, the pet therapy ended up not coming together despite doing my best to make it work. Despite it not working, I know that I did all that I could to make it work and the fact that it didn’t is unfortunate, but it was all I could do. Thirdly I learned that it is necessary to always be trying to push forward. Seeing Mr. Willcoxon always push for opening more beds and making things more efficient was great to see as he was clearly trying to push the hospital and staff to be the best that it could be. There will be growing pains in this, especially since Perimeter is still a new facility, but they are necessary to get to where the hospital needs to be. Being able to push things forward is an invaluable skill and goes hand in hand with being able effectively communicate with your team in order to make that happen as smoothly as possible. This may sound strange as my last lesson, but it is that everyone working is a person too. Let me expand. Having never worked before, any interaction online or over the phone with a company I thought of them more as the company rather than the actual person representing the company. As I was representing Perimeter to the pet therapy organization as well as those who came to the business development event, I was interacting with everyone more as them rather than the company or hospital they represented as I was in the same position. Getting to know and become friends with my coworkers also added to this feeling.

Ali Brogan


When I first started this internship, I did not know what to expect. When I had applied, I completely thought that the internship would be in person. I first learned about the FitSteps program in Fitness and Health Enterprise and knew that it would align well with what I want to do professionally. I have always dreamed of going into pediatric oncology and I knew that this internship would be a necessary start to introduce me to the field of oncology. When I learned that the internship was going to take place fully online, I was disappointed. Before applying, I had talked to previous interns at FitSteps and many of them told me that the amount of physical interaction that the intern gets with patients as an undergraduate student is unparalleled. I even thought about trying to find a new internship when I heard the news that it would take place virtually. I am so grateful that I kept with FitSteps because it has not only introduced me to the field of oncology, but it has strengthened my passion for working with cancer patients and has shown me the true importance of positive patient interactions.

As an intern, I have been involved with many tasks. First, every Monday, Gissel, the other intern, and I are responsible for helping to write the newsletter. It is our responsibility to come up with interactive exercise games or even just themed exercise plans to get the patients excited about working out. We have developed games that involve Bingo, Uno, pneumonic exercise games, and even post-Thanksgiving meal exercise activities. After developing a new exercise activity, we are tasked with finding ten new links to interesting health-related articles that have been published. During the Monday meetings with the team, Bonnie and Dillon assign the weekly responsibilities that Gisselle and I are responsible for that week. These weekly activities range from leading exercise, stretching, and yoga video, writing informational pamphlets, calling patients to talk through their exercise plans, developing specific exercise plans for a patient, analyzing case studies, and helping to lead exercise classes throughout the week. The aspect of my week that I enjoy the most is helping to lead the patients through exercises over Zoom. Typically, Dillon will lead the workout and show the exercise in a variety of ways. I am responsible for showing the patients how to do certain modifications while he leads the more routine method of doing the exercise. In most cases, I do the chair version of the workouts so that wheelchair restricted or patients that have not yet mastered balance are able to easily follow along. These Zoom workouts have made me exponentially more comfortable with leading full body workouts for the patients. Instructing how to use the stability ball is one of the favorite exercise classes I have led virtually. I got great feedback from Dillon when I led this video, and he even gave it to the regional director to be published online for the patients. The most stressful aspect of the internship was the weekly checkups that I had with patients to go over progress and adjust the exercises if the plan was not working adequately. One of the biggest challenges while working completely virtually was that it was incredibly hard to judge whether or not the patient had made progress with their exercise regimen from the week before. In clinic, exercise tests would easily denote whether the patient had made progress from week to week, but with only virtual communication, it was hard for me to assess this.

The first experience that was particularly notable to me during this internship was the first patient call I made. I remember being extremely nervous to make this call given that it was some of the first patient interaction I had ever had on my own. When the patient picked up, I gave a very rehearsed greeting. I eventually was able to spark a conversation about sports with the patient and we were able to talk about this for around 15 minutes before going on to discuss his exercise prescription and regimen. This conversation was important because it allowed him and I to get acquainted and develop a foundation of trust. I think developing an environment of trust with patients is important because it allows the patient to feel comfortable in discussing their strength and weaknesses with you. This ultimately led to me being more aware of his particular challenges with motivation. With this knowledge, I was able to help spark interest in getting active every day. Because of the initial connection that we had made, this patient and I have been in contact every week to discuss additional ways to keep active. I no longer greeted him with a rehearsed response. I was able to tailor my interaction with him based off of the personal relationship that we had formed. Forming a connection with a patient can be difficult especially if there are barriers between the provider and patients such as age or language. This patient taught me the importance of forming a trustful relationship when providing care to patients.

The second experience that was particularly notable to me during my internship was when I first attended a Zoom workout with Dillon. I went into the workout thinking that I was going to keep my camera off given that I may be “awkward” if the patients see me working out. When I had first logged on, I noticed that one patient had her camera on. She was obviously frail as it was apparent that she was actively undergoing chemotherapy. I thought to myself, if this woman is confident enough to have her camera on, then I should be too. Turning my camera on for that first exercise class is what allowed Dillon and I to form a stronger relationship. He began to rely on me to show the exercise modifications for class. As time progressed throughout the semester, there was a significant increase in the number of individuals who turned their cameras on during the workouts. By having the patients turn on their cameras, Dillon and I were able to see whether or not the patients were struggling with the exercises. Without this visual feedback, it is hard to tailor workouts to the participants because we are unable to see whether or not adjustments need to be made to make the workout more effective. Dillon’s attitude in class was a constant reminder that positivity has a substantial impact on patient motivation.

The third aspect of this internship that will stick with me permanently was the Zoom interview with Bonnie and Dillon to go over their experiences with an intern and my experiences as an intern. Although they have given me positive feedback throughout the duration of my internship, it was really cool for me to hear how appreciative they have been of my work. For me, I was beyond lucky to get them as supervisors. Having a supervisor in which you are uncomfortable asking questions or asking for feedback does not allow for an individual to further their personal growth. Bonnie and Dillon regularly gave constructive feedback on my work. I believe this environment of encouragement allowed me to showcase my skills. Bonnie and Dillon gave me a chance every week to showcase my creativity through the weekly pamphlet which I looked forward to every week. When heard their comments via Zoom, I grew more confident in myself. It is rewarding to know that my hard work throughout this semester was greatly appreciated and noticed.

The first most important lesson I learned throughout this internship is that it is okay to try something new and to be uncomfortable. Going online was scary to me, but with the help of my support systems, I was able to thrive. I think this is especially valuable as I pursue a future career in nursing. As a current non-nursing student, I know that, at first, patient care will feel unnatural. I think it is important to accept that there will be times of awkwardness and unease, but ultimately, experience is what will allow me to feel come secure when caring for patients. The second most important lesson that I learned at FitSteps was the importance of recognizing your specific patient population and adjusting care to their needs. At FitSteps, I worked with a predominantly older patient population. Often, patients would not perform exercises or listen to exercise specialists solely because the information was not presented in a way that they liked. For example, I filmed my first workout video while having my phone be in a vertical position. Because the patients were accustomed to having a horizontal filming frame, they refused to watch the video I had made. As a future healthcare provider, it is important to recognize that the position will come with bouts of frustration; however, it is my responsibility to adjust the level of care I provide to best suit each patient. Working with an older patient population has come with its challenges, however, I have learned better ways to effectively communicate which I will carry into my future career as a nurse. The third most important lesson that I have learned at FitSteps is that it is always beneficial to be my authentic self. When I first made videos or called patients, I was formal and scripted. It was hard for me to connect with patients because I felt like we had little in common. As I started to open up with the patients in my videos and through the phone, I found it much easier to make connections with patients. For example, I remember in a stretching video I had made, I made many small jokes throughout the workout to keep patients engaged. In one of my patient calls, the patient noted that she has watched the video several times because she thought that my personality was contagious. Through being myself, I was able to form connections with a wide variety of patients.

Lastly, a major lesson that I have learned throughout interning at FitSteps was that being a provider comes with being a good listener. COVID’s restrictions has made it very hard for people to have the same level of social interactions that they had before the pandemic. I have noticed that a lot of the patients seem lonely when we speak on the phone. Part of my job as an intern involved listening to patients and providing emotional support when they needed it. I think this is very important to acknowledge as I pursue a nursing career. Although the focus may be on treating a patient’s physical symptoms, it is always important to take a step back and offer emotional support to patients if they need it.

SK Hatcher

Carrell Clinic

This semester, I worked as an intern at the Carrell Clinic in the physical therapy department. Every Monday and Wednesday I worked from 8-6 assisting the physical therapists at the clinic. I primarily worked for my supervisor Matt Hughes, but I had the opportunity to work with almost all of the other therapists as well. My internship was a wonderful mix of work and  observation. Every physical therapist understood that they could greatly impact my education by asking me questions, quizzing me, explaining decisions to me, along with allowing me to perform the duties of a tech. So, in that way, my role was very similar to that of the therapy technicians, but the PTs invested in my education and understanding of the field as well. The duties of a technician in this facility are to clean and prepare the clinic for patients at the top of each hour, keep up with washing and folding laundry throughout the day, sanitizing all surfaces touched by patients, getting the patients when they arrive and taking them to warm up, assisting the physical therapists in any way needed (especially if they are seeing two or three patients at once), running through and reviewing exercises with patients, and conversing/having fun with the patients.

I realized how imperative attitude is here, as the techs have a lot to do with how the patients feel throughout their hour in the clinic. They need to be motivated, have fun, feel comfortable, feel safe, and feel supported. The techs are a huge part of these aspects of the patient experience. I found myself becoming very attached to certain patients and developing relationships and a rapport with most. As an intern, it feels extremely rewarding to see the impact I can make on a patient by conversing , listening, and caring for them. In particular, four patients stand out as my favorites; it will be a difficult adjustment to not see them anymore as I have found myself caring immensely for them and having high hopes for their recovery after witnessing what all is invested into their care, and investing in them myself. The Carrell Clinic is a very special and unique place. All of the patients are wonderful and there is seldom conflict. I feel that all of the other facilities I have observed have a mixed bag of “good” and “bad” patients, but here, almost every patient is kind, respectful, and lovely. This feels like a rare, wonderful luxury which most places lack. It is undoubtedly due to the fast-paced, fun, and supportive environment along with the unmatched commitment of the therapists to their patients. I truly admire each therapist I met and hope that I can one day create an environment for my patients like they have done so successfully.

I do feel that my greatest strength as an intern is my ability to communicate with the patients well. I may not be the most skilled worker as I still have much to learn, but I am confident that the patients liked me and benefited from many of our conversations. I attempted to get to know each patient on a somewhat deep level. I think I could say the occupations, goals, mechanism of injury, thoughts on Covid, and family lives of most patients I worked with relatively regularly, and I feel good about that. I think I helped make them feel comfortable in the clinic, especially given the strange circumstances surrounding the pandemic. I have left the internship feeling grateful for all that I learned, and also satisfied with my performance.

A few experiences in particular stand out to me, and each for a different reason. The first is the moment I realized how much goes into successful healing. One therapist has a patient who was not really getting better. I asked her one day after the patient left why she thought the patient was having such a hard time. She explained to me the role diet and lifestyle plays in healing. This particular patient is extremely overweight which not only affects healing on its own, but the extra pounds the surgical leg has to support causes pain and swelling. This PT realized she needed to bring this up to the patient but explained to me that the therapeutic alliance has to first be formed. The patient needs to grow to like, respect, and trust her therapist before she would be open to a conversation about her weight. Another similarly obese patient once told me that he lives in leg pain each day, but no doctor will operate until he loses a hundred pounds. He proceeded to explain that he has resigned to the fact that he will be in pain forever because he will not lose the weight. This was heartbreaking to hear, but these two instances resonated with me because there are so many confounding factors in healing, but the burden of this responsibility falls mostly on the PT. Another experience I remember well was with one of Matt’s patients. I was alone with her in a room doing circuits and she was talking about boys as she usually does. She is close to my age and for some reason entrusted me with her entire life story and dating history. Out of nowhere, she broke down crying, telling me about something really bad that occurred with a man she had been seeing. I could tell she just needed a hug. Though we may not have gotten as much of a workout in as usual, I think her therapy session was just what she needed it to be that morning.

Finally, my last experience that stands out happened in the last hour of my last day of work. A lovely patient of Matt’s was working on TRX rows when she began telling me about her daughter who is my age and home for the break. The daughter has bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety. I am unsure why this patient trusted me with this information , but I was happy to listen. Her daughter reminds me of my best friend, who died by suicide in 2016. I was happy to be a shoulder to cry on and told the patient that the fact that she is willing to admit so openly about her daughter’s ailments kills the stigma behind mental illness and such openness and support is exactly what her daughter needs. She wrote down her email and phone number in hopes we keep in touch, and I left my last day of work feeling really satisfied by this final patient interaction. I know it is strange that two of these memories have nothing to do with the “physical” aspect of physical therapy, but I think that having the trust from your patients is just as important.

In the months of my internship, I have learned so many things; it is hard to select just four. A few of the most noteworthy ones are as follows. 1. Attitude is everything. If a patient does not believe they will get better, they likely won’t. They need faith in themselves and their therapist, or it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Therefore, the attitude of the therapist is also significant, and efforts must be made to uplift a doubtful patient. 2. Context is important. Often when a patient seems dubious, strange, hesitant, or any other unconventional emotion, there is something more going on. The rapport between a PT and their patient is almost as important as the therapy itself. Sometimes, one must take a step back and find out what’s going on. It may just be a bad day, or something much larger could be at play and it becomes essential to reframe the situation and listen. Sometimes the patients just need some validation and a physical therapist or tech can end up making a much more meaningful impact during a really trying and painful time in a person’s life. 3. In allied health, adaptability is key. One must adapt their personalities, their tactics, and their goals to each patient. Sometimes someone might come in and be the kindest person in the world, but they talk so much it becomes impossible to get their therapy done. Or someone might be completely closed off and cold, and just need a push in the right direction. No matter what baggage or outlook the patient comes in with, their therapy team must adapt to their specific needs. 4. Be patient with yourself. The first month or so of work, I kept getting so frustrated with myself. There is a lot to learn to be a good tech, and I felt I was not living up to expectations as I struggled to remember everything. The therapists showed me grace and kindness, but I did not show it to myself. Eventually, I learned all the exercises, mastered the directions and planes, and refreshed myself on anatomy. I wasted so much energy being embarrassed and disappointed in myself. Yes, the work is really challenging, but that’s what’s so wonderful about it once everything finally clicks. The feeling of achievement that came from finally getting all the necessary skills was better than any I’ve ever received in a class. Comparing myself now to myself in August, I can see how far I have come and the confidence I gained from this internship. I am more grateful for this opportunity than I could ever expect.

My opinion of the Carrell Clinic physical therapy department is that it’s the ideal internship site. I do not believe there is any other location that provides this much hands-on experience, support from staff, and opportunity for development and skill refinement. I was welcomed with open arms by therapists, techs, and patients, all of whom were incredibly kind and patient with me as I learned. So much faith and responsibility were given to me—it was a lot of pressure at times but the learning that comes from this level of trust and accountability is unmatched. The APHM major at SMU is absolutely incredible, but I honestly leaned more in my semester here than in any class. My knowledge and understanding of anatomy and physiology was refined (and three therapists in particular constantly quizzed me in these areas which was extremely helpful and drove me to study up at home), I learned how to actually interact with patients rather than cadavers and plastic models, and all that I learned these past few years was applied this semester in the “real world” which clarified so much for me. I absolutely loved every minute of it and cannot thank the staff enough for everything. I only hope they realize the impact they’ve had.

2019 Applied Physiology & Health Management Internships

Maddie McCredie

UT Southwestern Medical Center

Maddie Mccredie

This summer has been full of both personal and professional growth, such as the challenges of an “8-5 job”, learning in depth science of clinical nutrition and last, but not least, many weekend adventures (that were cursed by the Sunday storms). I am grateful for every moment endured these past two months, regardless the circumstances. Each moment has taught me something new that could not be learned in the classroom or read from a textbook.

This summer I was given the opportunity to be the first intern for the Clinical Nutrition department at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Therefore, my duties as the intern included: anything anyone asked me to do but Lona especially. The duties I performed routinely included sous chef for the National Institute of Health’s phosphate and kidney function research, UberEATS driver to deliver NIH research subject’s meals to South Campus, InstaCart shopper for NIH research groceries, Excel Forms expert for creating department surveys and last but not least, informational handout chief creator. By the end of the summer, I could recite the rice krispies recipe from memory. I much more preferred packaging and delivering meals than baking, which created a wonderful symbiotic relationship with the student research assistant Agnes, who loved baking. Furthermore, I now know all the shortcuts on Excel Forms and expanded my computer skills. However, Restaurant Depot will always be the most terrifying grocery shopping experience, not even Thanksgiving grocery shopping at Costco can compare. In conclusion, the roles and tasks I was given this summer gave me opportunities to learn beyond my scope of knowledge, held me to high standards of expectations and gave me undeserving autonomy. I never once felt like “the intern pushing paper”.

Amelia Parker

SMU's Office of Community Health Promotion 

I worked in the Office of Community Health Promotion department of the Health Center at SMU, as a Health Education Intern. My primary responsibility was to put together health education materials that are used to support the Student Wellness Champion program as well as the broader SMU community. I pulled together and organized research and relevant health information from reliable academic resources to update current materials and create new materials. Through investigation and exploration of a wide range of sources including medical journals, blog posts, scholarly articles, books, videos, and narratives, my knowledge about the history and the future of health promotion expanded exponentially each day. I have gained a more comprehensive understanding of the many factors influencing the future of health and community development. I updated four Healthy Guides and created a new one. I produced these updated guides and new guides specific to the various health topics addressed by the Office for Community Health Promotion.

These four guide topics consisted of Physical Activity, Nutrition, Healthy Relationships, and Mental Health. Once I completed these four guides, I created a new guide for Alcohol and Other Drugs. After I updated the guides, I created a list of proposed edits which were either approved or denied. From there, I made the final edits and created the table of contents for each guide. These guides will be used to train Student Wellness Champions. From these guides and through research done, I created a literature review to gain an understanding of the existing research relevant to the particular area of study, and to present that knowledge in the form of a written report. Using the research to update and create the Healthy Guides; I was able to describe, summarize, evaluate, and clarify the information in a review. I learned not only from the research, but also from working with people who are similarly deeply fascinated, knowledgeable, and engrossed in the world of health.

I also participated in other aspects of promotions and events, such as the AARO Resource Expos. These expos serve as an opportunity for students and families to learn more about all that SMU has to offer. Over 30 offices, programs, departments, and resources attend the expo each week. SMU Health Center had a table with information about its resources. I attended 3 AARO Resource Expos with a graduate assistant who I worked with. We helped parents and new students by answering questions about the health center, health insurance, and the Student Wellness Champion program.

I sat in on a marketing meeting discussing the uses of social media concerning SMU and their outreach to students. I learned how important social media is when trying to connect to students, especially for SMU programs and departments. I also worked with a graduate assistant in the program to assist in the planning of Student Wellness Champion Summer Training. We edited the PowerPoint that will be used during the training days, created an hourly schedule of the days, created ice breaker games, decided on prizes that will be given out, and created T-shirts for the program.

I gained immense knowledge on a variety of health topics and how they apply to a specific population of interest. I learned how to assess current health education materials and update them according to research as well as how to use current research to create a new health education material on alcohol and other drugs for a specific population. I gained the understanding and appreciation for the process of producing health education materials starting with research and ending with a final physical product.

Erick Pecina

SMU's Women's Soccer Team 


My internship consisted of a numbers of duties that helped the day-to-day operations for each of the soccer coaches. I first started out with replying to emails sent from the assistant coach Nicole Nelson; she was also my first line supervisor. The emails consisted of data and information of high school soccer players who were interested in joining the soccer team here at SMU. After I gathering all the information from the high school athlete I would then upload the information to a database called Jump Forward. The data and information put in the database consisted of their graduation year, which club team they played for, and any other useful information that stood out for the coaches. While doing this I was also in charge of sending out response emails to the athletes to remind them that the coaches were going to be at their tournaments and I would also send a camp flyer so they could make a trip here to SMU to showcase their skills. I was also tasked to help with the day camps for both the boys and girls camps ran by the men’s coaching staff and the women’s coaching staff. I was a runner for the coaches that involved making sure children were able to go to the restroom, I made sure they went home with their parents, and took care of any injured children. After the all day camps and showcase camps ended Nicole put me on another task, which involved marketing the team and putting a program tour together for Southern Methodist University. It is currently still in the works as of right now.

Jordan Ward

Fitsteps for Life

My time as an intern at Fitsteps for life has been a valuable experience that I’ll cherish for years to come. I was able to meet and work with people from a variety of backgrounds and age groups. Over the course of my internship and creating logs of my experiences I could see the great amount of progress that I’ve made with the help of my internship supervisors. I chose this internship because it provided the opportunity to play a role in helping cancer patients improve their health. Cancer has a significant physical and emotional impact on patients and their families. It was very meaningful to work with the patients and their loved ones this summer.

The main duties that I performed this summer were operating within the salesforce system, making reminder calls to patients, teaching exercise classes, conducting initial visits and working individually with patients. Salesforce is a type of software that allows all Fitsteps locations to communicate with one another and log in different information such as patient medical history, patient medications and appointments. All employees can view the schedule for all fitsteps locations in the North Texas area through salesforce. One of the first tasks that I was given was to make reminder calls to patients. The calls are made to patients who have not come in 2 weeks and then again at 1-month if they haven’t communicated with Fitsteps personnel yet. During the call I would ask patients their reason for not coming in and make sure they were doing alright then log that information into salesforce. Another duty that I would take on each week is teaching exercise classes. I taught the Friday noon class but rotated with my supervisors on a few weeks to teach the Wednesday noon class. During the classes I would take patients through a series of exercises focusing on either the upper body, lower body or both. Classes were always upbeat and included a lot fun music that my supervisors and I would play.

Initial visits and individual patient exercises sessions occured every week. At the start of my internship I sat back and observed my supervisors performing initial visits with patients in order  to gain a better understanding of the process and procedures. By the 4th week I was conducting my first initial visit with a patient that had stage 3 breast cancer. Initial visits involve taking medical information, vitals and performing a neurological motor exam. After the neurological motor exam patients are taken through a workout. The motor exam helps to identify any muscle weakness by comparing one side of the body to the other. After my first initial visit I was able to help my supervisors by taking more initial visits in the coming weeks. After a patient has an initial visit, they are free to work out on their own as much as they’d like to. However, some patients require a staff member to take them through exercises for various reasons such as age, mobility issues or another condition. A task that I performed each week would be working with patients individually. During one on one visits I would take patients through exercises each time they came. For example, I worked with an elderly patient named Ed almost every week that has COPD which requires that he be monitored.

Brooke Kuempel

Marsh and McLennan Agency

Working with Amanda-Rae Garcia this summer, as the Health and Wellness intern at Marsh and McLennan Agency (MMA), has been one of the most influential experiences of my life. From the beginning, I was challenged and pushed outside my comfort zone. For instance, I quickly had to learn about the health insurance industry, which included some of the specific terminology that constantly is growing. Having the pleasure of working with Amanda-Rae daily allowed me to learn about the health and wellness industry in more detail as well. Amanda-Rae allowed me to optimize the use of my strengths and current knowledge by giving me tasks, projects, and responsibilities throughout the summer that required a lot of hard work and effort to be done most effectively. She taught me many different career and life lessons throughout this summer, but most importantly, she gave me the opportunity to grow as a person.

As Amanda-Rae’s intern, I was given countless different tasks throughout the summer. On a daily basis I would respond to emails and touch base with her on upcoming meetings, projects, or events we had planned. Often times I would listen in on client meetings and take notes to determine the next steps moving forward. Occasionally, Amanda-Rae would have me create survey’s, using SurveyMonkey, for the clients to distribute out to their employees to gather feedback for their upcoming wellness program. Some other tasks I did multiple times this summer were schedule and rescheduling Amanda-Rae’s meetings by email or phone calls. I was also in charge of reaching out to vendors to schedule and coordinate MMA Summer Lunch and Learns. This included me verifying and confirming a day, time, and location with both the vendor and Human Resources Manager at MMA, and then on the day of the event I would help set-up the event as well. After the event I would create a survey to send out to all the attendees through email to gain some insight from the MMA employees thoughts about the event. An additional event I was in charge of coordinating was the special Employee Health & Benefits section of the 2019 Annual MMA Health and Lifestyle Expo. My responsibilities for this event included reaching out to all the Employee Health & Benefits vendor we wanted to invite and confirming their attendance and then informing them of all the specifics about the event. The next step was for me to inform Health Dimensions, the company putting on the whole event, of the vendors we wanted to invite to the event. This allowed Health Dimensions to plan out facility specifics. Another task I was given a few times this summer was to edit, finalize, and print PowerPoint presentations with the MMA template for Amanda-Rae to use in client meetings.  Additionally, I would weekly listen, watch, and take notes on the Intern Webinars that MMA provided to all the interns nationwide. Each week they had a separate topic to discuss, such as Business Insurance, Private Client Insurance Considerations, Employee Health & Benefits, and MMA Align (Culture Alignment). I really enjoyed being given so many different types of tasks and projects because I felt that I was able to gain a lot more experience and knowledge that way.

Natalie Adams

ACAP Healthworks

This summer I have had the privilege to be an intern at ACAP Healthworks, a subsidiary of Holmes Murphy Associates. Their mission statement declares that they are “Make a difference by promoting health, protecting wealth, and delivering peace of mind.” Holmes Murphy and ACAP Healthworks live and breathe by their motto to deliver the best services to their clients, and their actions were noticed during my time here this summer. In fact, their community focused company culture first attracted me to want to intern for them when I visited their company for FHE early this past spring.

I have been kept busy during my time here at ACAP this summer. Some of my main duties have involved weekly analytic updates to the Joyages app, a preventative measure for brain health. I would track weekly progress of the development of the app. Weekly, I would also research other competing apps, to see how Joyages stands out against them but also what we can learn from these other apps. A majority of my time was also spent creating activities for the courses in the app. Having activities was a key piece for the effectiveness of the app because it focused on cognitive behavioral therapy and having action items is crucial for helping people change their behavior. I also had the opportunity to create a book from the scripts used in the app. I was given the liberty to choose the scripts I thought would work best and organize them into a book that the rest of my team would edit. Also for the app, I researched concerns of our clients to late be used create custom content for their industry specific interests.

One of my favorite experiences this summer was getting to go to video shoots for the project I was working on, Joyages, an app for preventative brain health. What was most notable about this experience was seeing the versatility of the other members of my team. Not only did they need to be able to manage projects, make sales calls, or research content, but they also needed to be good in front of a camera! Their professionalism was unmatched, and they did great. Watching my colleagues, I noticed that their confidence and culmination of knowledge allowed them to perform well in front of the camera. My passion for the arts was fulfilled while getting to watch this and seeing the creative side of work!

Sydney Daniels

Pediatric ER

For this summer session I had the privilege of working as a Scribe in the ER under the supervision of various physicians and administrators. I worked anywhere from 20-50 hours in one week, and had various responsibilities depending on the provider I worked with. Throughout this experience I learned a variety of skills ranging from patient care documentation to bed-side manner, as well as how to handle emotionally taxing situations while still performing my duties as a scribe. There are many stories and experiences that taught me valuable lessons and others that demonstrated capabilities I did not know I had, both I am excited to share with you throughout this report.

First, it is important to understand the scope of tasks performed by me, or any other scribe, during a single shift. First and foremost, our main duties are to document any interaction between the patient and the physician in a concise and detailed manner, ensuring that all pertinent parts to the patients plan of care are included. That is a skill that is constantly being refined, and one that I am happy to say I have improved on throughout the summer. We also serve as a liaison between the physician and the patient, often returning to the patient rooms to ask about pain levels, assess their level of comfort, and determine if the physician needs to intervene at a higher level. Doing this was initially daunting, as it is very important to word things in a certain way as not to offend the patient or give the impression that the physician is not interested in caring for them further. Another task that is often harder than one might think is communicating with the Point of Care lab, or the lab in the ER, to determine length of testing or the location of the specimen in question. This often involves having to call the main laboratory in the hospital, and things easily get lost in translation or in transition so locating the specimen can be tricky. Another task that we have, that some scribes do more than others, is to ensure the patient and their families have everything they need to be comfortable. This includes food, blankets, pillows, or just estimating the length of time the testing will take. This constitutes the majority of the tasks that we complete during a shift, but there are many new ones that we are presented with each day.

Charlotte Murphy

Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine

This summer 2019, I worked as a full-time intern at the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine (IEEM) over an eight-week period. In total, my internship consisted of 257 hours of work at the IEEM. I started my internship on Tuesday 4nd of June and finished on Friday 26th of July. Working at the IEEM this summer proved to be an amazing experience. I learnt about what is required to work in an exercise research lab, developed skills that are fundamental in the workplace, such as good communication and teamwork, as well as having made strong connections with very successful people.

The IEEM is founded as a joint program between Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas and The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. The IEEM is a unique private-public partnership with an international reputation and focus for individual patients. The mission of the IEEM is to promote basic and clinical research, education and clinical practice in defining the limits to human functional capacity in health and disease, with the objective of improving the quality of life for humans of all ages. As stated on the IEEM webpage, and from my own personal observation, the IEEM faculty, students and staff pursue this bold mission by creating an integrated series of world class laboratories, each with a specific research and clinical focus providing expertise on particular aspects of human physiology and medicine. In my opinion, the operational effectiveness at the IEEM was efficient in following the mission statement, as the participants used in exercise studies were a range of ages from 18 to 75 years old. During my internship, I worked in the Thermoregulation Lab, which serves to help different subject populations manage and tolerate heat stress. Focused subject populations for the studies I was able to observe that are susceptible to changes in health and disease involved the elderly, military and burn survivors. Helping conduct exercise studies and collect such valuable data was a great privilege, and I felt lucky to have been given this opportunity.

Christina Hoffman

Holmes Murphy and SimplePay Health

I can’t believe my summer with Holmes Murphy and SimplePay Health is almost over! It’s been an awesome 12 weeks of learning new skills, researching industry topics, building professional relationships, and making friends! My main duties this summer with SPH were very diverse and spanned many disciplines as I was the only intern for a start-up type company and I worked with every member of the team. I did sales and marketing work with Mike, operations work with Bailey, accounting and analytics work with Rachel, and sat in on almost all the team meetings. For sales I created spreadsheets from producer databases for our target markets that laid out the key players and their addresses and contacts within the company for us to reach out to. For marketing, I met with the agency we hired to help create our marketing materials and provided my feedback and contributed to discussions about the SimplePay story and the challenges we need to overcome in conveying our value. For operations, I looked at the searches members made on our website and the calls they made to our HealthPros to see if one of our clinical programs might suit their needs, and then trigger an outreach to the member about it. For accounting, I cross-checked our accounts receivable with the member portals and checks we had received to make sure they matched up. And for analytics, I assisted with analyzing member engagement and organizing the data into tables and graphics for a presentation. I also helped create a PowerPoint and accompanying handout that described all the clinical solutions and wellness programs we offer to members free of charge as part of SimplePay.

One of my favorite experiences throughout the summer was being a part of the weekly operations meeting with the whole team. Given the start-up nature with SPH, things move and change very quickly! It kept things exciting this summer, and I loved going to these meetings where we discussed exactly where we were and where we were planning on going. It kept us all on the same page, whether we were working on the sales piece, the operations piece, etc. and it really helped me feel like part of the team! Also, I don’t know many internships where you would have the opportunity to sit in on meetings with the CEO and President and have them know you by name.

Jess Cooley 

React Neuro-Rehab 

This summer I had the amazing opportunity to work as an intern at React Neuro-Rehab in Addison, Texas. React is a facility that specializes in spinal cord injury rehabilitation. The specialists at React work with clients with a range of disabilities such as quadriplegics, paraplegics, people who have suffered a stroke, have multiple sclerosis, have suffered traumatic brain injuries, and several other neurological disorders. React is unique in the fact that it offers a multitude of programs, each individualized for a client’s needs. React offers one-on-one rehab, group workouts, R-spa time, and more. During my time at React, my duties included running group works (legacy project), scripting for the trainers, assisting the trainers with the client’s rehab sessions, running the THOR laser machine and R-Spa, answering the phone, and cleaning the facility. For legacy project, the other interns and I designed a twelve-week workout program tailored to each of our four clients. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, we took these four through workouts that helped them with their goals. Some of these goals included core strength, being able to walk with a walker, and regaining triceps’ strength. When I scripted for the trainers, I wrote down all the activities they completed with their clients each session. This really helped me learn SCI and React terminology. Next, I assisted the trainers with their rehab sessions depending on what the client needed. I helped with lifts (getting the client from table to table or chair to table), and I helped with nervous system activation techniques, and assisted with walking practice, and leg presses, standing work as well as many other activities. Lastly, I learned how to use the THOR laser machine and completed many of these treatments on my own with different clients. THOR is a machine with different sized lasers that you press up to the client’s skin where inflammation is present. This laser is meant to reduce inflammation, and heal tissue quicker.

During my internship, I had many notable experiences, and many stood out, but I chose three as the most important. The first experience that was the most notable to me was the first day we had to come up with a workout plan on our own for the clients with SCI injuries. My boss came up to us and said, “okay now think of three cardio activities we could do with these clients,” and in my head, I go, “okay, easy: running, biking, elliptical.” Then, immediately, I realized these clients aren’t’ able to complete these activities and I drew a blank. After twenty minutes of my boss teaching us how to think creatively about adapting workouts, I finally felt like I had learned a new skill, and could adapt any workout for many types of injuries. This was a very notable experience because this type of skill can be useful for many different workplace settings. The second notable experience I had was the first time I worked with one of the quadriplegics. First, it’s hard to understand what it really means to say one’s legs don’t work. I did a lift on this client onto the leg press machine, and this was extremely notable for me because this is when I learned what control they had over their bodies, as well as the different levels on injuries. When I lifted this client, I didn’t really understand and forgot to block her knees when I set her down. Immediately, her knees just swayed outward and there was nothing she could do about it. From her, I learned how much goes into this type of rehab and how cautious and attentive the trainers must be during the session. I got to help this client do leg presses, and eventually watch her do them on her own which was super rewarding. The third most notable experience I had was working with a client who previously was in an accident, then had a stroke, and was also blind. This was extremely notable for me because not only did we have to perform nervous system activation to the side of his body that was affected by the stroke, but we had to use different verbal and touch cues because this client couldn’t see. I again got to learn different ways rehab can be adapted to fit each client’s needs. For example, when we practiced standing using both legs, we had to verbally tell him where his cane was, and where the edge of the table was.

Ashley Anthony

Institute for Orthopedic and Sports Rehabilitation at The Carrell Clinic

My experience this summer as an intern at the Institute for Orthopedic and Sports Rehabilitation at The Carrell Clinic was nothing short of spectacular. Throughout the summer, I have grown in ways that I could not have imagined. As a student and hopeful future medical professional, I learned how to better interact with patients from all walks of life. Whether it was a stubborn twelve-year-old girl in the clinic for chronic knee pain, or a seventy-year-old man in the clinic just a few days after having a total knee replacement, I learned the importance of having patience and empathy for each individual patient. While I knew that these values were important in the medical world, and had observed them on various occasions, this was the first time I truly got to independently interact with patients and experience it for myself.

While each day of my internship was unique, my main duties as an intern remained similar throughout my experience. The first duty assigned to me as an intern was to retrieve patients for the Physical Therapist from the lobby at the top of each hour. Once retrieved from the lobby, I started the patient on their warmup. As I walked the patient to either the bike, arm bike, treadmill or elliptical, it was my job to ask them how they were feeling that day. For example, I would ask questions such as “How did your knee feel after your last appointment?” and “Are you sore today?”. Then, I would report necessary information back to the Physical Therapist. The bulk of my duty as an intern consisted of instructing patients on their physical therapy exercises. Furthermore, I thoroughly explained how to use specific equipment like the leg press, terminal knee extension, cable column, bosu ball, therabands and others. Another important duty as an intern, that I did not necessarily expect, was laundry. The Carrell Clinic has over 40 physical therapy beds in one office space, and each bed and pillow must be cleaned after they are used. With 15 Physical Therapists in the clinic, loads of linens are gone through each day. In order to ensure that there was never a shortage of pillow cases or towels, it was partly my duty to fold the linens, once they were clean and dry, and place them around the clinic. Furthermore, at the end and beginning of each hour, it was the interns’ and tech’s duty to clean and prepare the dirty beds for the next patients. Another duty of the interns and techs was to pull patient charts for the following day. This consisted of printing out individual schedules for each Physical Therapist, highlighting the date and any new patients, retrieving all patient charts on the list, stacking them in chronological order and placing them in the appropriate Physical Therapist’s box.

Audrey Lee

Michael Johnson Performance Center

This summer I had the opportunity to intern at Michael Johnson Performance Center (MJP) in Allen, Texas. As an intern there, my main roles were working as an opener, an Advanced Athlete Assessment (AAA) assistant, an AAA project manager, and a youth athletic trainer.

I learned that coaches not only work on the field with athletes, but also work for athletes behind the closed door in their office and sometimes even from their own home. For example, after working with Coach Cortney I found that there are endless mounds of paperwork coaches have to fill out and assess. I also learned is something that was not taught to me by the coaches, but was something I observed. I learned that many coaches feel overworked, underappreciated, underpaid, and feel like there is nothing they can do about it. Many coaches all over the world feel this way and yet continue to accept these conditions because athletic facilities know that there are limited athletic coaching positions available so the coaches must take what is available regardless of the conditions. This was an important piece of information to learn because it gave me insight into why athletic facilities might have a high turnover rate for both coaches and athletes.

But most importantly I learned that the coaches, physical therapists, Terry, and the office people all have one common goal. They all really want to help people be their best selves. They poured into their athletes to help them reach their goals. They poured into young students from across the world to help them be the next leaders in their communities. And they poured into us interns, to help us grow into the next version of ourselves for whenwe walked out of those MJP doors. That is what I really enjoyed about this internship.

Isabella Cardenas

Michael Johnson Performance (MJP)

At Michael Johnson Performance (MJP) I learned, I practiced and most importantly was challenged in many ways. I learned many new things about program design and methodology behind specific themes and activities. I was able to apply much of my APSM curriculum into practice during athlete assessments to fine-tuning program goals for the most efficient and productive training for each athlete.

The main duties I performed throughout the internship were shadowing trainers leading one-on-one or group sessions with athletes of all levels. Later in the internship, I was able to lead sessions after being cleared to do so as I progressed through the MJP Youth Training curriculum. Other duties I had were to log athlete profile data into the Nike research database, set-up and take-down for training sessions, maintain equipment organization and basic facility cleaning. I also helped do research write-ups for Bryan McCall with the purpose of modifying combine program designs to ensure that MJP offers the most elite and advanced research-based program for the NFL pre-draft athletes coming in.

I had many notable moments at MJP, but my top three experiences were actually not all performance-based experiences. One of the most memorable experiences was meeting and assisting in training of four MLB athletes. I am a big time Dodger’s baseball fan and one of those athletes is a player on the team. However, that was not the reason that made this a more notable experience. The simple fact that Drew allowed me to help train these professional athletes was an inspiring moment because it indicated to me that he trusted my knowledge and skill to monitor these professional players’ forms and know when to motivate them to safely challenge themselves further in their workouts. Another notable experience was being permitted to sit in on a few marketing, sales and social media meetings. Seeing other divisions that are essential to MJP and are not performance related was really eye-opening. It allowed me to see not only how the other divisions function, but how all divisions, including performance, work together. The final of the top three experiences I had would have to be shadowing one of the coaches named Jarod. He is the coach that I learned the most from in terms of communicating with athletes. Jarod is a youth training coach who has great energy and incredible knowledge, but what was most impressive was how easily he was able to translate his knowledge to the kids he trained so they understood the purpose of certain exercise and how to properly execute them.

Stafford Rhangos

White Rock Gynecology

This semester I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to intern at White Rock Gynecology. I shadowed alongside Dr. Javier Garcia, and his nurse, Camila Jaimes. When the semester began, I was the only assistance for Camila. I would help her bring back patients, fill out their charts, and take their vitals, which included weight, blood pressure, and sometimes a urine sample. I also filled out pap cards, which are similar to postcards reminding patients to make a well woman appointment for the following year. Since the office does not yet use electronic charts, I also learned to pull and file charts when Camila needed. In addition to the above office tasks, I was also able to shadow every single appointment with Dr. Garcia. I was rather surprised that not a single patient expressed discomfort with my presence in the room. I was able to see routine exams, colonoscopies, post-partum appointments, and sonograms. One of my favorite roles during shadowing was my role of listening to the fetal heartbeat. While it was nerve-wracking at first, I began to get very excited every time Dr. Garcia handed me the Doppler.

My first notable experience during my internship at White Rock Gynecology was when I first felt a baby kick while trying to locate the fetal heartbeat. After placing the gel on the patient’s bump, I began searching for the baby’s heartbeat. I was not particularly nervous, because the patient was about thirty-five weeks pregnant, which means that the heartbeat is fairly easy to find. Finding a heartbeat can be stressful when the patient is twenty weeks pregnant or less. It is harder to locate, and when a patient does not know that I am inexperienced, it can make them nervous. Instead of the typical sliding of the Doppler around until I found the heartbeat, I could feel push-back from the baby! I had never felt a baby kick before, and definitely not in response to me trying to listen to their heartbeat.

My second notable experience during my internship was a patient I saw with Human Papilloma Virus. Going in to this internship, I knew that HPV was incredibly common: about 80% of sexually active people encounter HPV at some point in their lives. While at White Rock, I learned that the two most severe strains of HPV are 16 and 18. The Gardasil Vaccine, a series of three shots that many get as teenagers, protects against HPV strains 16 and 18. This patient had some type of severe strain of HPV, which had progressed to what looked like cervical cancer from the naked eye. It could be seen and determined without needing to be sent to the lab: this patient would require surgery. She had had a normal pap smear just three years ago. This experience highlighted the importance of seeing your doctor every year.

My third notable experience during my internship was witnessing a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is the examination of one’s cervix, to search for potentially malignant abnormalities. When I shadowed doctors abroad in Lisbon, Portugal last summer, I saw a number of hysteroscopies done, in which polyps were removed laparoscopically while the patient was under anesthetic. Instead, I watched Dr. Garcia perform a cervical polypectomy in the office. He clamped on to the cervical polyp and twisted until it was removed from the patient’s cervix. The patient was in a great deal of pain, but she was grateful she did not have to be put under. I had always assumed a patient would be put under for a procedure that appeared to be so painful.

From these notable experiences, and many others, I learned four very important lessons. First, I learned the importance of having confidence in myself. When I arrived at White Rock, Camila immediately threw me in to the mix; the first thing she told me was, “Go start bringing patients back and get their vitals”. It is easy to feel as though you do not know how to do something, but it is harder to just begin trying it. Second, I learned the value of nurses in bridging the gap between the doctor and the patient. During particularly painful procedures, Dr. Garcia had to keep working to get the job done; however, Camila played a key role in communicating to the patient what she could expect, and how much longer the procedure would take. I think that as a doctor, it is easy to forget about the patient’s pain when you are focused on providing treatment in a safe, focused manner. Third, I learned the value of seeing a doctor every year. I had always believed it is absolutely essential to see your doctor every year, but now I have the evidence as to what can happen if you do not. Finally, I learned that having relationships with patients is incredibly meaningful. Dr. Garcia sees the same patients constantly; he knows about their relationships, previous pregnancies, and occupations. It is because of his relationships with patients that he can make judgement calls for how to provide them with proper care.

This internship opportunity was exactly the perspective I needed before nursing school. Having real clinical experience has made me more confident and comfortable in a fast-paced, medical environment. I am forever grateful for this opportunity, and to Dr. Jacobs and the Applied Physiology and Health Management department for connecting me with White Rock Gynecology, and to Dr. Garcia, Camila, and the rest of the White Rock staff for their willingness to teach. I look forward to applying the knowledge I have learned at White Rock in nursing school!

Ben De Leon

Autism Treatment Center 

This semester I interned at the Autism Treatment Center. I’m excited to share all about my experience this semester, which will follow shortly. To be very general here while I introduce it all, I learned so much this semester. Not only did I learn about the field of Occupational Therapy, but I also learned a lot about myself. I learned how to be myself in the best way in the context of work, which was a really hard lesson to learn. Yet, as you’ll see, it was something that was very vital for me, and I know it’s only going to greatly help me in the future. I’ll get more in-depth with this later, and I’ll talk more about what else I’ve learned and how much I enjoyed getting to know the therapists and clients that work at this site. It’s been both hard and a blast, and something I won’t soon forget. Here we go!

To begin, I will talk about the different duties I performed throughout the semester. There were some things that I did pretty much every day I was there, and many things that weren’t quite so. I have to confess that I have a poor memory, but I will do my best to be as detailed and accurate as possible. On a daily basis, or at least every Monday and Wednesday, I would observe Lisa as she treated the clients. In the beginning, I simply watched and observed with minimal interaction. I struggled to find my place, which was one of the hardest things about this internship. I’ll get more into it later, but eventually I feel like I was able to find my place. After that, I interacted consistently and helped out whenever necessary. As has been made known, this has been a time of dramatic change for the Autism Treatment Center, so there have been times when Lisa has been busy helping fill the administrative role absence. That, and she’s just busy in general, and that left some room for me to step in and lead activities with the kids. When that wasn’t the case, which of course was the majority of the time, I would watch and interact when I felt appropriate. While I didn’t always do a whole lot, I got to know the kids pretty well and I loved that. I also got to learn a lot about how to treat kids with Autism and sensory issues. I’ll get into that later.

I experienced a lot of crazy and new things during this internship. Honestly, it’s hard for me to sum it up, but I’ll do my best to do so by offering my three most notable experiences. Firstly, something that happened during my very first week there. There was this kid that I, of course, had just met, and we were interacting very briefly. It’s important that you remember that there aren’t any male therapists that work there, so me being there was kind of new for everyone. This one kid was happy I was there, I think, because he proudly flexed his muscles to me. I was impressed! Additionally, he started telling the other therapists that I was his favorite, even though we had literally just met. That was a great way to be introduced to this place, and it also made me realize that, as the only male, I had a great opportunity to really connect with and help these kids. I continued to have a good relationship with this kid throughout my time, even though I didn’t see him all the time. It was really cool. Secondly, going over to the school was a really good experience for me. The kids stay at the school most of the day and are brought over to the therapy clinic when it’s their appointed time. However, there are several that aren’t allowed to come over, whether it’s for their own safety, everyone else’s, or both. These kids are what I would call very severely autistic. Seeing some of them and learning about them really opened my eyes. I saw how hard this job can be, because some of these kids are in a really bad place. Whether it’s because they’ve come from abuse or moms on drugs, there’s something wrong in their brains. Not all of them act out and are violent – although many are – but they all need help in some way. Going to the school and seeing different kinds of kids – especially those who can get violent– was important to see and learn. I’ll admit, there were times I was afraid. But it was also very sad to see, and it got me excited about possibly helping kids like them in the future. And finally, a couple of weeks ago I saw that I was really valued by the kids. While we were seeing one of the kids – one who they tell me always asks about “Mr. Ben” – I had to use the restroom. I walked away from seeing him for about one minute, no exaggerations there. While still gone, I hear his loud, high pitched voice go, “Mr. Ben! Where’s Mr. Ben?” He then began walking down the hall almost yelling my name because he didn’t know where I had gone. That was one of my favorite moments because it was obvious that I was valued and liked by the kids. A special bond has been created, and I certainly am going to miss and not forget these kids.

I learned a lot of different things throughout this semester. I think one of the biggest things I learned happened during the midterm evaluation. As all parties know, that was a tough and confusing thing for me to go through. I was struggling to find where my place was, and when was appropriate for me to take initiative. While true, I thought I was doing pretty well. Then the midterm came, and I realized I wasn’t putting my best foot forward when it came to being initiative and helping out. It was hard to be graded harshly, but it was important for me to learn that I needed to take more initiative and speak out. I needed to lead and offer to help more. I had to force myself to come out of my shell, and that’s something I’ll have to do at any job. Not only did it benefit me, it also helped everyone there along with the kids. It made the whole experience be more enjoyable and maximized my usefulness. That lesson is priceless and is something that will help me greatly in the future. I also learned a lot about how to directly treat autistic kids and/or kids with sensory deficits. One of the big things is pressure: providing pressure – whether it’s ankle weights, a weighted vest or lap pad, the tunnel, or a ball pit – makes these kids feel safe. Additionally, it’s important to give them lots and lots of different kinds of sensations, like oral brushing, brushing their skin, sour foods, sticky textures, etc. Practically, I learned how to make copies in bulk. That seems obvious, but it isn’t something I’d ever really done for a job, and that’s definitely a good skill to have moving forward. Especially since I’m still going to be young in my career, I’ll likely have to do this often. And finally, I learned just generally how to conduct myself in a work-place setting. I haven’t had a job besides in the restaurant business, which is obviously a totally different animal. I came into it very naïve and relaxed, and I honestly wasn’t sure what to do. Through the midterm and getting experience, I learned how I should conduct myself when working in this field, which is what I want to do. Beyond taking initiative and speaking out, I had to learn the importance of being professional and amicable. Like I said, I struggled with that at first, but I think I understand now how that should be done. No matter the setting, I should be well-dressed, timely, professional, and reliable. Even writing it now it sounds so obvious to me, but it’s something I had to learn by experience. This experience is vital, and I know it’s going to help me so much as I move forward in my career and in life in general.

Summer 2018 Applied Physiology & Health Management Internships

Hannah Fleet

Locomotor Performance Laboratory

Hannah Fleet - Locomotor Performance Laboratory at Southern Methodist University (SMU)

This summer at the Locomotor Performance Laboratory has been everything I would have hoped. I was able to be a part of and learn many things that made it an invaluable experience.

One highlight of the summer was when Olympian English Gardner came into the lab to be a part of the acceleration study. It was a very cool experience to be able to meet an athlete of that caliber and interact with her. It was very memorable because even though she was of such a high status, she was easy to talk to and very personable. I look forward to when she will be back this fall for more testing.

Meredith Dalton

Carrell Clinic

Meredith Dalton - Carrell Clinic

Little did I know, this would be one of the most valuable, enlightening and humbling experiences I have ever had. The PTs, patients, and other techs taught me what physical therapy truly is about and why it is such an important field. With their different perspectives, they collectively helped me confirm that I do want to become a physical therapist and showed me the reasons why I want to become one.

A lesson that I learned was that you have to go out of your comfort zone in order to improve. During those first two weeks, I was outside of my comfort zone constantly and was struggling to remember why I wanted to become a PT. It seemed like I was messing up everything, but I did not realize how much I was learning at the same time. Looking back on those weeks, I realize that by pushing me out of my comfort zone and asking me to walk patients through exercises I had learned so recently, the PTs gave me a basis for my growing knowledge and helped me learn them that much quicker.

Karina Traxler

Bikram Yoga East Dallas

Karina Traxler - Bikram Yoga East Dallas

I did a wide variety of things during my internship. For one, I created marketing tools. I made coupons and business cards and printed them all myself. I designed mass emails as well as social media posts. I was also given the opportunity to promote the studio at events. These events took a good deal of time to plan and prepare for.

I learned that you have to do things even if they are slightly uncomfortable in order to grow and develop. Meeting and working with so many new people can be uncomfortable; however, I learned that by being okay with being uncomfortable I was able to learn and to develop experience in a variety of areas.

Austin Harris


Over the past nine months, I have worked as a physical therapy technician for 3DPT. The main duties I performed as an intern for 3DPT were assisting physical therapists with patient care, data intake and related activities. Other aspects of the internship included routine cleaning, maintenance support operations, upholding regulatory standards of 3DPT’s policies and procedures, and maintaining patient privacy and comfort.

My final thoughts I have over the summer term at 3DPT cover the collaboration level, work ethic and congeniality of the site’s staff, the customer satisfaction level and the supervisor’s level of effectiveness. The clinic’s staff certainly operate in a manner that is up to par on the atmosphere that the owner was wishing to convey in his company being professional, kind, inviting, close-knit and working to your fullest potential.

Holly Lansidel


Holly Lansidel - HealthFitness

The main duties that I performed as an intern with HealthFitness under Mark Scovill were to create a Wellness Champion Guidebook, create educational material, assist the international benefits team with rolling out a new program, and create a wellness program plan for Fluor employees.  Going deeper into each of my main duties, looking at the Wellness Champion Guidebook, it is a book that is devoted to the Wellness Champions Mark has appointed in order to help them better understand their role, as well as the programs and incentives.

Fluor prides itself on being a trustworthy hard-working company and I think it truly shows with their employees and maintenance around the facility. In the end, I am so happy with how this internship finished. Mark was an amazing boss and I could not have asked for more from him. I am very thankful for this opportunity and the connections I have made from it and hope to continue along this road!

Anneke Grogan


The interview with Erin from Te Tuinga Whanau Support was the highlight of my time with SociaLink. During the interview, I had a chance to see where the data I had spent so much time with actually came from. This was both rewarding and eye opening because I could see how some of the issues in the data had come about and see where there were some holes in the reporting.

Haley Smith

Southwest Sports and Spine

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time working at Southwest Sports and Spine as a physical therapy tech.  When I first started working, I did not have much experience in physical therapy, other than having to attend therapy in the past for a dance injury, so I was not exactly sure what I would be doing.  My experience definitely surpassed my expectations!

Southwest Sports and Spine’s mission is all about helping patients, “return to their full potential, as soon and as safely as possible.” During the eight weeks I was working at the office, a few patients completed their entire rehabilitation program and had great results.  It was amazing to see the progress the patients made week to week. 

Giselle Canahuati

Cemesa Hospital

Giselle Canahuati - Cemesa Hospital

Being an intern has been a life changing experience. At the start of summer, I felt confused about wanted to do for the rest of my life. I feared that I would like my internship so much that I would decide to change my career path, and that is exactly what happened to me. Being in a hospital work environment reaffirmed what I always wanted, to be a doctor.

I learned is that every patient is different and you have to have respect and empathy for him or her. Getting to know the culture of the hospital you are working in is very important to be able to get along with the other employees. Patient confidentiality because I was able to treat people I know and I want them to trust me in the future knowing that I will always follow my medical ethics. Lastly, medicine is very tedious and Dr. Nicole always taught me that one little mistake can lead to a very bad outcome. Every detail is important to give the right diagnosis and be able to treat it.

Emily MacAdam

Michael Johnson Performance

One of the most notable experiences from my time at MJP was that English Gardner was training there.  She was there every day, twice a day, and getting to see that was so interesting for me. What intrigued me most was how in-tune with her body she was.  She would have little pains and would know where it came from at practice that day. She would get it worked on before it really became a problem.

The first lesson I learned was the importance of progressing patients through exercises.  This could mean adding weight, time, sets or repetitions.  Without progression, the patient would never improve which would defeat the purpose of physical therapy. 

Spring 2018 Applied Physiology & Health Management Internships

Madeline Wainman

Cerebrovascular Lab at SMU

My experience working with Dr. P was very special. Working in her lab not only allowed me to gain research experience and practical skills, it also allowed me to find a mentor and a role-model to look up to. Dr. P is not only brilliant, but she is also thoughtful and generous with her time. She runs the lab efficiently but also allows interns autonomy so that they can learn. Watching and learning about her leadership style was invaluable. I hope to utilize some of her leadership skills in my future career.

I learned so much during my time at the CRL Lab, but four lessons stand out. I learned how to interact with subjects who are hurt, how research works, how to process data and also how to formally write and present research. These are all skills that I can transfer to any field, and they are even important in day-to-day life.

Susie Kim

The Carrell Clinic

Susie Kim at the Carrell Clinic

The Carrell Clinic works to provide the best care possible and cater to each individuals’ orthopedic need, however, in my opinion; the clinic does more and works above and beyond to accommodate every need of the patient. In this way the clinic lives up to its mission statement and works like a well-run machine with a clear organized structure indicating the specific roles of each employee.

Ultimately, I had such a fruitful semester working at the Carrell Clinic. I have learned a wealth of knowledge that I will carry with me for the remainder of my education and future career. Overall, I feel truly blessed to have worked as an intern at the Carrell Clinic.

Emily Herrera

The Carrell Clinic

Emily Herrera at the Carrell Clinic.

My duties varied greatly as an intern at the Carrell Clinic. There was not one specific set of duties particularly tailored to interns. At the clinic, interns were essentially physical therapist techs who also happened to be students. It was nice not having to be separated from the others simply because I was a student. Essentially, a PT tech’s job was to ensure that the clinic ran smoothly and that the physical therapists could tend to their patients without anything interfering with their treatments.

In my opinion, the Carrell Clinic is a well-oiled machine. They provide excellent care for their patients and tie the patients’ medical needs with their current physical abilities in an effort to meet both the patients’ medical and personal goals. The supervisory staff gave good direct instruction to both the rest of the staff as well as us interns. I was fortunate that I was able to see many different management and instructional styles from each of the therapists I worked with. I believe that they were able to teach me their methods efficiently, and I was pleased with myself for learning how to adapt to each of their different styles.

Amanda Woodruff

SMU Cerebral Vascular Laboratory

Amanda Woodruff at the Southern Methodist University's (SMU) Cerebral Vascular Laboratory

During the semester, I progressed from the tedious task of peak-detecting vital signs in Windaq, to writing a manuscript with Dr. Purkayastha on postural control, as well as continually peak-detecting more and more files. However, overall as an intern, the main duties are to peak-detect files in Windaq, put the generated excel data from peak-detecting into templates to further analyze the data, and then put that newly analyzed data into a group file/master key so all the information is in one spreadsheet and easy to read. On top of the data analysis, interns also have the opportunity to assist in the studies and interact with the patients.

As a whole, this past semester in Dr. P’s lab has been an unforgettable experience. I have learned so much about concussions, cerebral blood flow, neurovascular regulation, and data analysis as well as patience, accuracy, dedication, and communication skills. Throughout this semester, I gained clinical experience, scientific knowledge, presentation skills, and most importantly, relationships that I hope to continue in the years to come. I truly admire Dr. P’s leadership style, her strong work ethic and dedication to research. I am so glad I committed to this internship and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a site.

Kelly Lenz

Thermal and Vascular Physiology Laboratory under Dr. Craig Crandall

During my time at the IEEM, there were many experiences that stood out to me, and it is hard to limit them to three significant experiences.  However, if I had to choose, they would be; when I was offered a job at the IEEM over the summer, when I was able to go to Austin for Texas ACSM and represent not only SMU but also the IEEM, and when I was able to see one of the post-testing patients. As well as having many meaningful experiences during my time as an intern, I also learned many important lessons. The first lesson was the importance of networking, and I learned this lesson early on.  I was able to work in this lab due to Dr. Davis’ connection to Dr. Crandall, but also because Dr. Huang had just finished his doctorate at SMU under Dr. Davis.  Another connection was that both of the research associates, Manall Jaffery and Sarah Bailey, attended SMU for their undergraduate degrees.  It made me realize how well connected SMU is, as well as how important it is to keep good connections with people you meet.

Taylor Kramer

Knights Volleyball Academy

Over the course of the semester, I created practice plans, helped to coach proper technique to help avoid injuries both in athletic training and skills training, and worked with athletes who had specific injuries to be able to offer pain-management and injury prevention tips for athletes of various skill levels and ages.

Another notable experience I had was when one of the players on the 14U team tore her ACL/MCL/meniscus in practice.  I have been working with small injuries of athletes since I started coaching volleyball when I was in high school, but this was the most intense injury I had been exposed to.  At first, I was in a little bit of shock myself because I hadn’t seen the injury happen and I had never seen an injury like that before.  After taking a second to collect myself, I was able to test the player’s knee and palpate it, as well as ask her questions about what happened and what she could feel/not feel.  This was notable in the sense that it was the first time my athletic training knowledge was really tested.

Fall 2017 Applied Physiology & Health Management Internships:

Brooke Sullivan

FYZICAL Therapy and Balance Center

Brooke Sullivan - FYZICAL Therapy and Balance-Center

At the conclusion of my internship, I look back and realize how blessed I was to be at FYZICAL. The employees have brought me nothing but joy and support. Our interconnectedness is one of the best qualities FYZICAL has. FYZICAL is a franchise leading the charge to transform healthcare from one of “sick care” to “well-care” by providing services focused on outcomes, total well-being, and prevention.

It is so valuable in making a difference in society and my job. I can truly say that every single person I work with brings a light to the profession that changes the way I want to work. At the end of the day, our patients are people. We all live separate lives, but during those sessions at FYZICAL we have an opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives.

Whitney Simons

Health Professional Building – University of Texas Southwestern

Whitney Simons - University of Texas Southwestern

I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the professors and students. It has been really encouraging to see their strength in community and the way they pursue and push each other to reach their full potential. Overall, it was an immense learning experience.

One way in which I believe the UTSW PA Health Professions buildings and school stands out among other schools is their strong sense of community. Each faculty member has the same hard working ethic, seeks help and advice from fellow faculty, and maintains a relaxed and enjoyable working environment. In this way they abide by their mission to encourage excellence among their faculty, staff, students and graduates.

Summer 2017 Applied Physiology & Health Management Internships:

Elise Waller

Texas Orthopaedic Associates

Elise Waller - Texas Orthopaedic Associates

This story leads me to one of the major important lessons that I learned this summer: the patients that smile all the time are usually the ones that need your help the most. Nine times out of ten, the people coming into physical therapy are not okay—no matter how many times they tell you that they are.

Listening is one of the hardest skills to learn, and this summer I learned that first hand. No one can make you listen to others except yourself. Although some patients’ problems might seem minute or petty, everything is relative. I feel that because I came into the summer already knowing the basics of being a PT tech, I was able to work on my managing and patient care skills more so than if I had started at a new facility. I feel that I learned more about how to be a physical therapist than how to be a physical therapy technician, and I feel that that will aid me greatly as I pursue my physical therapy career.

Mikayla Reese

Fit180 Personal Training Studio

Mikayla Reese - Fit180 Personal Training Studio

Every day when I first got to the gym, I was in charge of keeping the towel shelf stocked and putting any towels in the laundry that needed to be cleaned. I also went around the gym and just put any equipment that wasn’t being used anymore or had been left out. Most of my days during the week were spent with her attending meetings, sitting in on conference calls, pitching ideas, and handling different tasks.

I just thought it was really cool to sit in on my first ever business meetings and meet all of these different people. I got to meet the founder of the Simplified Genetics, the founder of McGuiness Dermatology, the owner of high-end apartment complex, and the founder of Nuuvo Health. I got to sit in with several meetings with these different entrepreneurs and watch business deals come to life.

Maddy Ferraro

Southwest Sports and Spine Katy Trail

Maddy Ferraro - Southwest Sports and Spine Katy Trail

Overall, I could not have been happier with how my internship turned out. I have learned so many things and have gotten to know so much more about my future career goals throughout my experience.

The past summer has been one of the most enlightening and educational summers I have ever had and has truly helped me determine my future career goals. I completed my 250-hour internship at Southwest Sports and Spine Katy Trail, a physical therapy clinic.

Alyssa Sands

Autism Treatment Center

Alyssa Sands - Autism Treatment Center

One of the lessons I learned is how essential it is to be patient in a therapy setting such as the Autism Treatment Center. It can be very discouraging to see a client show great steps of improvement one day, followed by a series of off days during which it appears that they are regressing. Although it can be hard to stay positive at times, it is important to stay diligent with the treatment plan and never give up.

My most notable experience occurred on a day that one of the clients was having an off day and had a challenging behavioral episode, during which the rest of us had to stay in the section of rooms that we were working in with the most outer door shut. At some point during the client’s episode, the fire alarm was pulled multiple times. Throughout the whole situation, I was quite impressed with the way it was handled by everyone and how the therapists were able to keep the kids calm and distracted for an extended period of time.

Another notable experience I had was my first day at the ATC. Although I was new and no one knew who I was, everyone was very welcoming, said hi and introduced themselves. They were all willing to explain anything to me and answer any questions I had. I was able to easily catch on to how each days’ schedule flowed and get a feeling for the day-to-day schedule and way of doing things.

Christian Burks

Michael Johnson Performance

Christian Burks - Michael Johnson Performance

The four lessons I learned really have to do more with how to coach. The four lessons are my coaching voice, coaching cues, how to enforce rules, and how to have fun. I learned how to use my coaching voice after I got feedback from a coach telling me that I need to be louder when coaching drills, as well being more direct when coaching. After receiving feedback telling me I need to be loud and commanding, I saw a difference in the way the kids listened to me when I started raising my voice more.

The facility is a well-oiled machine working together collectively. I think that the way the whole staff interacts with each other is very positive and everyone seems to like being around and being involved together. The program that MJP runs is very effective in producing results, and I have seen it first hand with inputting athlete data. The whole staff works very hard at what they do and they really help each other out all the time.

The experience that was a huge breakthrough for me was being able to be hired to work the Lebanon Trails off-site camp. I was able to really come into my own as a coach here and figure out how I am as a coach. I was able to really run things how I wanted to, coach kids how I wanted, and really get some great experience.

Aurmani DeGar

Texas Orthopaedic Associates

Aurmani DeGar - Texas Orthopaedic Associates

The second highlighted experience that was very notable was the compliment that I received from two of the physical therapist at TOA. As they had been observing me and as I started building a relationship with everyone it was easy for them to talk to me and vice versa. They shared with me that there were a lot of patients that had been complementing me. They themselves also complemented me and told me to keep up everything that I had been doing. This was very rewarding information and made me feel as though all my hard work hadn’t been going unnoticed.

This lesson reassured to me that that working hard work and giving your best is always the right thing to do, whether people notice it in the beginning or not. At the end of my time at TOA it was brought to my attention that not everyone at TOA knew I was an intern. This was a very big compliment as well with me grasping all the duties of a full-time tech.

Another valuable lesson that I learned while interning was considerateness. This lesson was very vital with in the field of physical therapy. The patients that come into the facility are usual in pain or experiencing discomfort. With that being said, the patients tone or delivery may not always be the best. Regardless, it is always important to respect other opinions and wishes. Being thoughtful, friendly, and courteous are always important.

Carmen Desmond

Central Coast Family Care

Carmen Desmond - Central Coast Family Care

The next most notable experience I had was actually with one of the MDs in the office. He was injecting a knee and called me over to watch. The patient receiving the injection was a candidate for a total knee replacement but was trying to avoid surgery. So to avoid surgery the doctor was removing some of the synovial fluid in a patient’s knee joint and replacing it with a synthetic serum which is supposed to mimic the synovial fluid and relieve some of the patient’s pain. The coolest part of this experience was that after the doctor removed the fluid from the knee, he squirted some onto my hand to I could see what synovial fluid really felt like, it was similar to motor oil and it was really awesome to see in person.

My favorite task was when Adrienne would let me scribe for her. I would type the history of present illness for the patients while she dictated, while we were in the room. I really enjoyed this because I felt like I got to get more involved in the patient visit.

Adrienne and the MDs in the office all work well together and collaborate often on patient care. Adrienne is very effective at time management and sees her patients in an efficient and timely manner. She works well with others, is very reliable, trustworthy and intelligent, I think that almost every employee in the office goes to her for medical care.

Jared Rice

Carrell Clinic Physical Therapy

Jared Rice - Carrell Clinic Physical Therapy

Every member of the clinic was always proactive, organized, and working hard, which ultimately says a lot about the manager. The clinic had one of the best cultures I have ever experienced and Carrell Clinic set the bar high for any other place I work in the future. I enjoyed my time interning for them this summer and I am very thankful for the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing team and clinic.

The second lesson I learned was that a little goes a long way. When working individually with patients, being just slightly happier and more positive than you normally are can really impact the mood of the patient. There were plenty of times where I could see how my positive attitude and mood rubbed off on the patients and made them excited to be there. This lesson in patient care will be valuable to me when working with patients or customers in the future.

Lastly, I learned that work doesn’t always have to be serious and boring, and that it is ok to have fun. The PTs and aids that I was fortunate enough to work alongside were all great people and the clinic felt like a family. We had fun at work every single day and our patients had fun as well. Carrell clinic allowed me to see work as something fun and enjoyable, and not something to dread.

McKenzie Adams

Carrell Clinic Physical Therapy

McKenzie Adams - Carrell Clinic Physical Therapy

I learned that in the field it is vital to stay current on the newest treatments and information so that you can treat the patients to the best of your ability. Being in this field you must constantly be learning and that is one of the most attractive aspects about this field to me.

I’m very thankful for this internship because it taught me more than I could’ve even imagined. For example, it taught me the importance of networking and selling yourself to the people around you. I came into work every day with a lot of energy and worked hard and by the end of the internship they offered me a job to be a physical therapy tech and all insisted if I ever needed anything just to let them know, including helping me with applying to physical therapy school which will be helpful because I don’t know much about that at all.

Lance Brooks

Harvard University – Strength and Conditioning

Lance Brooks - Harvard University Strength and Conditioning

The amount of involvement with the athletes that we received as interns really allowed us to test how good we are at connecting with athletes. The “customer satisfaction level” would refer to the happiness of the athletes and would manifest in their eagerness to come train each day. Based on my observations, I was not able to pinpoint a single athlete that wasn’t happy to be there each day.

The full-time coaches were always willing to field whichever questions that we had about any number of topics related to the profession and were always working extremely hard to make sure that every objective was met on a daily basis. As interns, we were held to an exceptionally high standard and pushed to our limits on most days.

Jake Camp

Jake Camp - Southern Methodist University Strength and-Conditioning

Southern Methodist University – Strength and Conditioning

Strength and Conditioning interns at Southern Methodist University have 3 duties: seek knowledge, uphold the standards and traditions of the department, and add value to the department. Seeking knowledge should be the number one duty at any internship, however, here it goes beyond learning the day to day activities of the paid individuals on staff. Interns are expected to learn outside of the weight-room, football field, or soccer field.

Although we learned about the importance of culture in the internship prep class and memorized the saying that “culture trumps everything,” it is another thing to see it put into practice and feel a culture of excellence. After being part of an amazing culture, I leave feeling both changed for the better and optimistic that I can emulate that culture in my future organizations.

Ursa Bezan Petric

SURF Program – UT Southwestern Simmons Research Center

Ursa Bezan Petric SURF Program UT-Southwestern Simmons Research Center

In order to comply with SURF program my main duties were to design a project, create a hypothesis, collect the data, analyze the results and interpret the data on the poster for final presentation. Furthermore, in the lab I also had a duty to help the post docs with their studies and at the weekly lab meetings report on the work in progress.

The collaborative environment between different fields of sciences and health care professionals really drives the progress forward and optimizes the effectiveness of UTSW to its maximum. All the amazing hands on opportunities that are provided for students are very valuable in order to create and educate leading professionals in their fields. I really believe that UTSW research center specifically to my experience operates with high effectiveness.

Alyssa Rubio

White Rock Gynecology

I would to first begin by stating that this internship was hands down one of the best experiences I have ever had. Without having this opportunity, I think I would still be tossing back and forth between which career I would like to pursue: nursing, PA school, or medical school. I was very fortunate that I had the opportunity to discuss my future plans with Dr. Garcia.

I surprised myself with how much I was able to absorb in a matter of roughly three months. The first main duty that I did on a daily basis was to triage patients by checking blood pressure, pulse, weight, jotting down significant medical history, and accurately listing all medications. It was important that I greeted each patient with a smile and instilled that first gesture of trust.

Spring 2017 Applied Physiology & Health Management Internships

Izzy Eastment



My main responsibilities as an intern evolved throughout the time I worked at Equest, but there were some duties that stayed consistent throughout. I worked with both Equine Therapeutic Riding clients as well as the hippotherapy clients which I really enjoyed because it gave me experience with the two main types of therapy that they offer at Equest. The majority of the classes I worked with were hippotherapy classes in which the clients have a greater variety of disabilities and use the movement of the horse to help physically strengthen different areas of their bodies.

One of my biggest weaknesses as a person is that I am very unwilling to try new things and I heavily prefer things and activities that are familiar to me. Therefore, this internship pushed me out of my comfort zone in a way that allowed me to experience something new while still feeling familiar in a horse setting. Not only did I become more experienced with interacting with disabled people but I also gained more experience working with just people in general. With every lesson there is a new group of volunteers or a different instructor to work with, and everyone has to learn to work well together so that the lesson may run as smoothly as possible and so that the client can get the most out of their riding time.

Overall I consider myself lucky to be involved with an organization such as this one and I plan on staying involved with them as long as I live in the DFW area. From working with both the staff and the clients at Equest I was able to not only learn about equine assisted therapy but really develop a passion for it and for the individuals that it serves. Equest truly creates a community that makes you want to give back and makes you feel so rewarded to experience how the lives of their clients are truly impacted through their program.

Megan Hecimovich

Institute for Leadership Impact and Center for Global Health

Megan Hecimovich at the Institute for Leadership Impact and Center for Global Health

Working for Dr. Bing in the Institute for Leadership Impact and Center for Global Health I was exposed to a lot. Most of the daily responsibilities were administrative tasks and were centered on Dr. Bing’s Global and Public Health class. These tasks included things such as printing/copying documents for class, technology assistance during class, and setting up the classroom before and after class on Thursday nights. Eventually I was able to become the official Teaching Assistant for the class so my duties then included Canvas management, grading, and correspondence with students.

Another experience that I would like to highlight falls in this same category of being attached to my future career as a teacher. Dr. Bing gave me the opportunity to lead a portion of one of the classes. I lead the discussion on the Aravind Eye Care Case, which was actually my favorite case from taking the class last year. This is a highlighted experience because not only did I get to take on more of a teacher-like role in the class, but it forced me to prepare for the class in advance and be ready to not only follow along with the discussion but lead it.

Finally, probably one of the most important lessons that I learned this semester is the power of listening. This is not necessarily something that I have mastered but I learned it from observing Dr. Bing and his interactions with his students this semester. Dr. Bing made the point to me one day that “all students have value” and really the only way to find that out is by talking to students one-on-one and really listening to what they have to say. Dr. Bing did this with a few different students who he had noticed struggling in the class and just from having a conversation with them it was amazing to see the improvement they showed. This is definitely a skill that I intend to practice in my own teaching career with my students in the fall.

Hannah Dart

Carrel Clinic

An intern at Carrel Clinic is expected to fulfill the role of a physical therapist’s technician. Technicians act as a physical therapist’s co-pilot. They assist with retrieving patients from the waiting room, helping patients with exercises; specifically when therapists have more than one patient scheduled, cleaning tables after each appointment, and retrieving hot packs/ice for patients prior to or after an appointment, keeping areas clean and clear of excess equipment, and laundering the pillowcases and towels. Technicians are an integral part in allowing the appointment to go smoothly.

Throughout my time at the clinic I learned to anticipate this and slowed down my explanations because the name itself did not act like a prompt on these patients like it did on younger patients. Technicians have many jobs so it is important that they are able to multitask and learn to become efficient so that they can tend to patients when needed.

I learned a lot during these past months. I learned how easily my attitude would rub off on the patients. If I am too bubbly or hopeful with the patients and they have a bad session they will feel even worse about their lack of progress. But, if I am helping a patient who is stuck in a recovery rut it is important to keep their mind off the lack of progress. Knowing the patients I was working with I learned how to change my tone, pace of speaking, and topic of conversation depending on how they were feeling that day and where they were with their recovery.

Chris Anders


The culture found at my internship made all the difference in helping me to learn and realize that an organization’s uniqueness is what makes each business standout. My internship at the KinetikChain afforded me the privilege to experience learning in an environment that welcomed my thoughts and ideas in a relaxed, professional culture. As an intern at the KinetikChain, my position was not only to increase my knowledge and skill level working in a clinical business setting, but it was a great opportunity for me to prove my passion and determination.

I thoroughly enjoyed my internship experience at KinetikChain from the relationships built to the knowledge gained. The environment of the clinic is one that most people dream of working in or hope to create for their own employees and cliental. The formula and process this business follows is so successful that I feel even in the constantly changing world of healthcare they will continue to experience success.

I soon realized that learning and cultivating my emotional intelligence and self-awareness was as paramount as my clinical education was during my internship. The first important lesson I learned during my time at KinetikChain was to increase my patience while working with patients and a better understanding that my expectations, if not controlled, could be detrimental to a patient’s progress. Being self-aware that I hold myself to high expectations and those expectations may not be realistic or fair to hold others to make it possible for me to step-back and appreciate the process.

Kelsey Gorney

Mednet Surgical

Throughout the semester I had many duties as an intern at Mednet Surgical. Since we sell a product, not a service, I had learn my product like the back of my hand. I needed to know how it worked, how to explain it to a heart team at the surgery table, what potential things could go wrong using it and who our competitors were. My company sells two types of sternal closure systems that included cables and a plating system. In the beginning I spent many days in the office learning how to handle our product and watching videos of it being inserted into a patient.

Another part of my job as an intern was to promote sales in the DFW territory and generate new sales. I had to do some research on what doctors were at certain hospitals and what they were currently using to close up the sternum whether it be wires or another competitor’s product. Some doctors are really hard to get a hold of or do not take meetings so as a salesman you have to figure out how to get their interest. I had to schedule lunches and demo meetings with surgeons so we could deliver a sales pitch.

Another great experience during my internship is when I got to go down to Houston for a couple days and shadow Elisa. At my company, and from being in the hospital and meeting other reps, I have noticed there are not many women in this field. Therefore, it was nice to see how she did things and connected with doctors. I felt very comfortable with her, which made it easier to ask questions that I probably would not have wanted to ask my male co-workers.

Fall 2016 Applied Physiology & Health Management Internships

Brandon Niven

Excel Pediatric Physical Therapy Rockwall

Brandon Niven Internship

Excel Pediatric Physical Therapy Rockwall provides physical, occupational, and speech therapy to children and adolescents. Patients with a multitude of neurological, orthopedic, and developmental diagnosis are treated at this facility. The staff specializes in working with children with autism and ADHD. Many of these children have sensory disorders and require innovative therapy as well as traditional care. It is owned and operated by two physical therapists, one of whom was my supervisor.

One of my main duties for this internship was to check off all of the exercises that the children did while in session with [my superviser]. This helped reinforce the knowledge and nuance between the exercises and the work done on the nervous system. The exercises were categorized by the sensory system they predominantly used. Occasionally, I would help begin a child’s therapy session if [my supervisor] was having a parent conference or updating a parent on the specifics of a child’s progress or condition. Not only did I learn the administration of the initial exercises in [my supervisor] absence, but I also learned the importance of communication between the therapist and the parents.

The staff at Excel is very friendly, and they clearly have a unified team relationship. It is a positive place to work. My supervisor is a great teacher and life encourager. It is evident that she deeply cares about children, and seeks to provide the best care and equipment for her patients. The collaboration, the environment, and the experience of working with the Excel staff was a great experience.

Taylor Bowker

Lindsey & Bobbie Embrey Sports Medicine Complex

Taylor Bowker Internship

This Fall I was able to work in the Lindsay and Bobbie Embrey Sports Medicine Complex located here on SMU’s campus. While working in the training room, I was able to work with the Men’s Soccer team, the Women’s Soccer team, the Rowing team, and the Women’s Tennis team. In working with these teams and the athletic trainers that are responsible for these teams, I was able to help with practices and competitions as well as various treatments and rehabilitations for the sports. The main duties that I preformed in the athletic training room were setting up and breaking down the fields for both practices and competitions. When setting up for practices and games, I was in charge of making sure that all the emergency equipment was taken out. Another duty of mine was helping the athletic trainers with treatments and rehabilitations of student athletes.

A highlight of my internship experience was helping the Women’s tennis athletic trainer with two tennis tournaments that were hosted by SMU. During these tournaments I was able to aid the tennis players not only from SMU but that athletes that attend other universities. I was in charge of setting up and breaking down of the game day equipment on the courts. I was also able to provide first aid to any of the athletes that came into the training room needing help. The athletics trainers were able to give me hands on experience in a controlled environment so that I was able to better learn.

While I have been working in the athletic training room before I started this internship, I was able to gain a better understand of the athletic training profession and gain more knowledge through this internship. The staff is truly a family and I was thankful that I was able to be a part of this family not only for the semester that I spent gaining my internship hours but also for the 3 years that I worked there. When I transferred to SMU, I was still unsure of what career I wanted. It was not until I started working in the athletic training that I found my passion. The staff truly took me under the wings and taught me more that I could have expected. I am truly thankful to the SMU Athletic Training Staff for helping to further my knowledge as well as their support in my future as an athletic trainer.

Dan Mulammoottil

Student Athletic Trainer with SMU Football

Dan Mulammoottil Internship

As a student athletic trainer, many duties are given to me throughout the week in order to assist the head athletic trainer, the assistant athletic trainer, and the football athletic trainer. My interest in this internship was specifically working with the SMU Football team, so many of my duties revolved around football treatment times, practice, and breakdown time. Student athletes come in at appointed times for treatments. Several advanced treatments took place, along with physical therapy, and concussion protocols. Treatment modalities allowed to be administered by students consisted of Electronic Muscle Stimulators (or stim for short), Ultrasound therapy, HIVAMAT deep oscillation therapy, Normatech air compression, and Gameready cold therapy. Various other therapies that were also allowed to student trainers included an ice massage, muscle scraping, and muscle rolling.

Being a part of this large organization came with many learning moments and memories. A positive highlight was when everyone was travelling for the Eastern Carolina University game. Everyone who was there worked very efficiently and assisted the ATC team effectively. Away games are always a logistical challenge, and travelling via plane, and then immediately jumping out of business professional clothes, into athletic wear, and then moving 300-400lb chests and numerous amounts of equipment is no easy task. No one complained and everyone kept a positive and upbeat attitude, which contributed in finishing the work very quickly.

The lessons I learned from being a student athletic trainer for the football team include the importance of constant communication, quick decision making skills, a strong work ethic, and the importance of teamwork. Learning how to face the problem and how to have constructive dialogue with a coworker are skills I surely improved on this year. Teamwork is what made this boat continue chugging along and it is also, what made the boat stick together.

Shara Janolo

Southwest Sports & Spine- Katy Trail

Shara Janolo Internship

Since November 2015, I have been working as a student intern at Southwest Sports & Spine – Katy Trail in Dallas, Texas. Initially, I was observing and shadowing the physical therapists for a few weeks and then was assigned the position of physical therapy technician. The primary duties of a physical therapy technician include assisting the therapists by staging equipment, cueing the patients of their exercises and updating therapy notes/flowsheets. About 6 months into the internship program, I was cross-trained to assist the front desk receptionist. During the remainder of my internship at the clinic, I was assigned to complete duties for both positions.

Besides learning several vocabularies mainly used in physical therapy including: anatomical directions (supination, pronation, anterior, posterior, abduction and adduction), exercise therapy names (“Thomas stretch,” “Figure 4,” “Leg-Over,” retraction & protraction) and different types of exercises (isotonic, isometric and eccentric); I experienced working next to experts who have been in the field for at least five to ten years. My experience provided an opportunity to understand a specialist's perspective regarding the field of physical therapy and expanded my knowledge as a student.

Another highlighted experience I had at the clinic is providing service to the patients. I met an average of 24 patients per 8-hour shifts which immensely improved my bed-side manners. The clinic serves adult population and a few adolescent patients that are active or working around the Dallas Uptown area. The main physical therapy goal is to restore the condition of these patients before the injury. A few memorable times working at the clinic inlcude seeing the patients start out therapy using crutches/braces or right after their surgeries and eventually walk and run again after a few months of physical therapy. It is very rewarding watching patients recover and improve their gait.

Dillon McDonald

PhysAssist Medical Scribe

My primary role as a medical scribe is to increase the efficiency and speed of medical care. I perform this role by completing the medical charting for my designated physician. This means that I record personal medical history, surgical history, drug allergies and previous consultations of individual patients while the physician is examining them. Additional duties include transcribing physical examinations and documenting test results, including scan and EKG interpretations, plus accurately noting follow-up care and recommendations. Along this process, I was fortunate enough to work with brilliant doctors who were kind enough to give me some pearls of medical knowledge while on the job.

The greatest lesson I could have learned from this job is the importance of patient care. Our role as a medical provider is to treat and care for the well-being of our patients. There is no better feeling than seeing a patient’s life saved or improved due to the medical care we can provide. After we treated my very first patient on the job, I knew what my purpose was in this world. I want to improve the lives of others. I am fortunate to have decided to work in a setting where I can see examples of this every day. This gives me hope.

Personally, my work ethic has improved not only in school but my outside life as well. I see how these physicians manage their time even in their daily lives. They have inspired me to go to the gym more regularly and the importance of fitness. Of course, I have been learning about physical education and activity through APSM. However, it holds a bit more weight when medical doctors are relaying similar information on physical activity and work ethic in and outside the hospital. If there is any student who is borderline serious about medicine as a profession, I would HIGHLY recommend applying for a scribe job in the DFW Metroplex.

Stephen Burglass

TexStar Physical Therapy

For the past four months, I have been an intern at a physical therapy clinic named TexStar Physical Therapy. During this time my duties have fluctuated but I was always given the opportunity to understand the intricacies of what goes into to being part of a physical therapist. My duties during this semester were a combination of office work and therapy help. If the physical therapists had an evaluation of a patient, my main duty was to lead the patient through his or her exercises and stretches. That usually looked like me stretching their hamstrings or providing them with a Thera band or an exercise ball. One of my main duties that were given to me during the semester was to go through the exercise and stretching program that the therapist had written up for that patient. I particularly remember leading two women in their exercises and it gave me a lot of experience on the job on how to talk to and instruct someone on how to perform an exercise.

From this internship, I learned a physiological lesson about the body. The physical therapist showed and talked me through the lessons and processes of how the back is the central cause nerve damage and pain in a person. They taught me about the fluid between the discs and physically showed how extension and flexion affects the hip, leg, and arm pain. Also after Anatomy, I understood the impact of the nervous system in the body, but I never saw up close the physical impact of stretching the back has on arm and hip pain. I saw after 2 minutes of extension that had he more flexibility and reduced pain.

The mission statement of Texstar is, “We are a TEAM of committed, passionate and positive physical therapists who strive to give you the best opportunity to heal. We take pride in the very best possible care for patients in our clinic.” The effectiveness of the clinic to this mission statement is very true. They are committed because each physical therapist will work at least ten hours a day one time a week. The positivity is there because they always try and mention the littlest improvements in range of motion. This clinic takes pride in providing the best care. I know this because I fill out the initial forms for discharges and in the past month over 20 people have been discharged due to them not needing therapy because they healed or are able to function. I view that as proof that they provide the very best possible care and treatment for patients.

Summer 2016 Applied Physiology & Health Management Internships

Faith Pizzey

Holaday-Parks, Inc.

Faith Pizzey at Holaday-Parks, Inc.

This summer I interned at Holaday-Parks, Inc. which is a mechanical contractor that specializes in heating and air conditioning. While there, I worked under the director of safety, June Nailon with the main task of creating a new stretch & flex program. Throughout the construction industry, crews go through a morning warm-up in order to prepare for the day’s work and to mitigate strain injuries. This opportunity allowed me to better understand the physical impact that manual labor has on the body and helped keep me focused on the stretch and flex program’s key areas. Working in the office, I was asked to support other departments when necessary which gave me the opportunity to see other sides of the company that otherwise I would not have. This allowed me to learn more about not only our company but the construction industry in general which helped me in the long run understand the best way to present my program. An understanding of your industry, no matter what your job title is, can help you to be way more effective than a narrow view. Perhaps the most important lesson I learned, was that being healthy is not something only people in the health and fitness industries care about. I was able to apply the things I’ve learned in my anatomy and health management classes while working at a construction company which wasn’t something I had thought could happen. This internship opened my eyes to the possibilities of using the skills I’ve learned through my degree in a field I never expected.

Dalia El-Hag

The Institute for Sports and Spine Rehabilitation

Dalia El-Hag at The Institute for Sports and Spine Rehabilitation

One thing that I did during this internship was observe the physical therapist evaluate patients and teach them exercises. The PT that I mainly followed was very thorough in his patient evaluations, and I think that is definitely one of the things that makes him good at what he does. A lecture that I watched was about gluteal tendinopathy and it included the condition’s definition, its common causes, how to diagnose it, and current research regarding it. I was able to understand a lot of the concepts covered in the presentation, thanks to my previous applied physiology & health management classes (especially anatomy and biomechanics). Seeing that these experienced PTs are still learning new things and are still making changes to their treatment strategies has shown me that there is always more room for learning no matter how experienced you are in the field. I really enjoyed my internship at The Institute for Sports and Spine Rehabilitation and I learned a lot. All of these experiences and lessons put together helped me confirm my dream of becoming a physical therapist one day.

Rene Johnsen

The Carrell Clinic

Rene Johnsen at The Carrell Clinic

I am beyond grateful to have had the incredible opportunity to work for The Institute for Orthopedic & Sports Rehabilitation at The Carrell Clinic, summer 2016. I could not have asked for a more passionate team of people to surround myself by for my APSM 5310 internship. Three experiences that were particularly notable during my internship include observing and learning about the benefits of dry needling, performing an ultrasound on two patients and working at the front desk for a day. Overall, I think that The Carrell Clinic’s operational effectiveness lines up directly with their mission statement, which is “defining the global standard for the therapeutic experience.” The lessons I have learned at the Carrell Clinic are invaluable as I continue steps towards figuring out my own career path. I know that my future career will be informed by the strong knowledge I have gained from this incredible opportunity.

Cayenne Price

DNA Stat

Cayenne Price at DNA Stat

Throughout this summer at DNA Stat, I was exposed to several things I had never experienced in a professional setting and learned countless lessons from the experiences I was able to have. I was able to truly see the ins and outs of the company and how it affects and contributes to the world of healthcare. Interning with the company enabled me to get an over-all view of how it operates from every angle. A notable experience happened near the end of my internship when I was able to shadow a nurse practitioner in one of the clinics that works with DNA Stat. This was my first shadowing experience and it was incredible. It was so amazing being able to apply the knowledge I’ve learned at SMU this far to real-world patients, have a decent understanding of what’s going on in their bodies, and to intelligently be able to discuss their cases with a nurse practitioner.

Rena Clayton Rolfe

STAR Physical Therapy Clinic

RenaClayton at Rolfe STAR Physical Therapy Clinic

Since my first day at STAR, I have been afforded several opportunities and responsibilities to grow, learn, and work in a variety of areas. A highlight was getting to lead patients through their flow chart of exercises by myself. ‘By myself’ is a loose term because a therapist was never far, but I felt fairly independent. It gave me a glimpse into the future to what it will be likely to be a licensed therapist one day. It was rewarding to put the skills I have learned to use and confidently treat patients according to their plan of care. I am thankful and grateful for the experience to step out on my own with patients. STAR’s mission in the simplest terms is “To Serve.” I believe STAR operates with great effectiveness related to its mission statement. The organization as a whole made me feel welcomed and valued from my first day there. I will always be thankful to STAR for providing me with not only an excellent internship experience but also an environment to grow and learn as a future physical therapist.

LaQuencia Dorsey

Inner Strength Fitness

LaQuencia at Dorsey Inner Strength Fitness

My time here at Inner Strength Fitness was an incredible experience. They taught me the basics and more of what is important to become a successful trainer and businesswoman. In the end I wouldn’t change my decision because overall the people I worked with cared and were genuine about me receiving proper knowledge and experience in my journey to open my own business. If I could do it all over again, this was beyond some of the best internship work a student could ask for.

Lily Fisher

Fluor Corporation

Lily Fisher at Fluor Corporation

This summer I interned at Fluor Corporation under Health Fitness. My duties consisted of doing research to ultimately design a proposal describing the importance of investing in employees geared towards mid-level managers. I also collaborated with Mr. Scovill to create an article that is going to be published in Fluor’s quarterly newsletter about the dangers of excessive sitting and solutions to the issue. I helped the benefits department by organizing and constructing reports related to the health fitness program and other programs related to Fluor. Finally, I designed several interventions focused on preventing excessive sitting in the workplace by researching and brainstorming ideas with coworkers. This was very insightful since I have been focusing on the wellness side of a corporation for most of the summer.

Iqra Parupia

UT Southwestern Clinical Center for Multiple Sclerosis

Iqra Parupia at UT Southwestern Clinical Center for Multiple Sclerosis

The UT Southwestern Clinical Center for Multiple Sclerosis is a facility that has an incredible team of neurologists, physician-assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, technicians, research coordinators, and MS social workers. I’m truly grateful to have had the opportunity to intern here and learn from such a dedicated team. One of the biggest reasons that collaboration between team members at the MS Clinic exists is the strong work ethic that is expected from every member of the team. I enjoyed being a part of Dr. Okuda’s team because the amiability that exists between everyone is truly amazing. Overall, this internship was an incredible experience that I am sincerely grateful for. This experience allowed me to discover what I am passionate and ultimately helped me decide to pursue a career as a physician assistant. I hope that the knowledge I have gained here will help me to one day become the best clinician that I can be and to make a real difference in the field of medicine!

Rose Montonchaikul

Southwest Sports and Spine Institute

Rose Montonchaikul at Southwest Sports and Spine Institute

During my time at Southwest Sports and Spine I served as a PT technician for the two therapists that practice there, Meg McCormick and Doug Harvey. Everyday had something new to offer and as the weeks went by I got to branch out from PT tech duties and learn more of the office and management side of physical therapy. I feel as if my duties as a PT tech shed light on the clinical side of physical therapy as well as the insurance, marketing and paperwork responsibilities of any medical facility. I gained so much from the internship and will continue to implement this knowledge throughout my career as a student and beyond.

Camille Hidalgo

Key Biscayne Physical Therapy

Camille Hidalgo at Key Biscayne Physical Therapy

My experience as an intern at Key Biscayne Physical Therapy (KBPT) was remarkable. Not only did I learn about the field itself, but also I grew as a person. I developed skills that I would not have learned had it not been for the hands-on experience with the patients that I treated and the professionals that I worked with. I had numerous experiences that were particularly notable throughout my internship. Although I learned many lessons at the clinic, the four that I will remember the most are: to be understanding, to be patient, to be persistent, and to always do what I love. This is an awesome environment that I was happy to be a part of. In fact, it will provide me with the essential ingredients when I am looking for work in the future. I am grateful to have had this experience as an intern at KBPT and I am looking forward to applying the skills I have learned to my academics and future career.

Ariana Dubelko

Integrated Physiology Laboratory

Ariana Dubelko at Integrated Physiology Laboratory

I enjoyed seeing myself progress throughout the internship. My experience interning in the Integrated Physiology Laboratory was very hands on. There were so many cool experiences that have really stood out during my time in the lab. I really enjoy working in the lab, so it is easy for me to work hard and be reliable, which lead to the opportunity to be on a publication. I think this lesson applies to many facets of life. If you enjoy what you do, it is easy to work hard and if you work hard, you progress. I had an incredible internship experience and I really cannot say enough good things about interning in the Integrated Physiology Laboratory.

Kaci Rood

Mattalino Orthopaedics

Kaci Rood at Mattalino Orthopaedics

This summer I had the pleasure of working as a scribe and clinical assistant to Dr. Angelo Mattalino, MD. When I started working, I felt as though I had a unique perspective, because I was a patient, that the others scribes did not. I experienced the level of care the doctor gave, and I understood what happened on surgery days. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time working for Dr. Mattalino. The lessons I learned are countless and I am forever grateful for this opportunity. I know this experience will help me in the future as a physician assistant and put me a step ahead of the rest. I would highly recommend an internship like this one to anyone interested in the medical field. This gave me so much affirmation that this is my passion and the medical field is exactly where I should be.

Raina Scruggs

Thumbs Up Sports

Raina Scruggs at Thumbs Up Sports

This summer I had the privilege of interning with Thumbs Up Sports in Arlington, Texas. This organization creates an environment for youth to learn about sports and participate in them in a fun, positive atmosphere. Thumbs Up Sports helps kids stay physically fit through their childhood into adult life. This summer I was able to have the chance to serve as an assistant coach for the track team and represent Thumbs Up Sports as a coach for the College For Kids program at Tarrant County College. The season provided many experiences I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. With Thumbs Up Sports I was able to get an enriching experience that taught me many skills and lessons when working in the professional world. I thoroughly enjoyed each day and experience. I’m looking forward to possibly helping out next summer as well.

Raina Scruggs at Thumbs Up Sports

Spring 2016 Applied Physiology & Health Management Internships

Brenden Lee

Michael Johnson Performance Center

Michael Johnson Performance center is an elite level training facility for athletes who strive to become to the best in their sport. Michael Johnson used his training and techniques to establish the facility located in McKinney. I was grateful enough to be a part of this prestigious facility as well as be mentored by its high level coaches. As I arrived on site at MJP, it was slow and started out with basic tasks such as cleaning up the weight room, managing the facility, making sure there were clean towels in the facility, preparing shakes for athletes, and assisting coaches with set up of their stations for their groups. Then as January began, NFL combine and Pro Day athletes accelerated and increased my workload. My tasks during this portion of the internship consisted of body composition, RPE levels, pre-workout shakes, post-workout shakes, cool down, and recovery. Overall, this experience was an eye opener, this internship allowed me to learn more about myself as a coach and as a person.

Holly Ross

Lumin Health Center

My internship at the Lumin Health Center with Pattie Warren was a great learning experience for my future plans as a nurse anesthetist. The main duties performed at this site was procedure observation, gathering equipment, preoperative and postoperative care, and charting. One thing I learned was to take your time and pick a profession that you truly enjoyed. Another lesson learned was the importance of communication; without good communication in the workplace things can get hectic and disorganized. I also learned the importance of taking your time when charting information. Overall the biggest lesson I learned was the importance of being a good coworker and helping out in any way possible when needed. Even though you are in the health center to do your job, it goes a long way when you help others with theirs. These can be minor tasks like getting extra equipment for the radiologist, gathering charting information for the doctor, or even just simply helping with assembling medical clothing. Overall the experience at Lumin Health Center was great. I would recommend Lumin Health Center for future students who want to work in the medical field. This center allows you to get an everyday idea of what it would be like to work in a health care setting.

Christian Ramirez

Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine

I chose to complete my internship requirement at the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine. I was very intrigued by how the thermoregulation lab operated and what their studies were trying to investigate and accomplish. My first day was welcoming and from the start I was learning a lot about what happens in a lab. One of the expectations set for me as an intern was attending the Monday meetings for the entire lab faculty. I personally enjoyed Works in Progress presentations because I always started my week learning something totally new or reinforcing the knowledge I already had from school or from helping with the studies in our lab. I can confidently say there were many highlights to my experience during my internship. I can say without a doubt that the IEEM is a very respectable and admirable institution that strives to better understand exercise as a form of medicine and taking part in the well-being of individuals. I would recommend the IEEM to people who can participate in their research and encourage them to take part in the advances of medicine.

Madeline Allnatt


Madeline Allnatt at CryoZone

Without a doubt, my time at The CryoZone this past year and semester has been a remarkable journey. My responsibilities varied immensely, as I was involved in both the local and nonlocal aspects of the business. One of my primary tasks for this semester was to help my business partner continue to progress in our establishment of the Santa Monica location. During my time at the CryoZone I have learned many valuable lessons. All in all, it is not an exaggeration to say that the CryoZone is a remarkably exceptional organization both inside and out. The work ethic and congeniality of the staff are nothing short of superior with each and every staff member committed to making every costumer’s experience as good as the last. I am so fortunate to be able to work for such an amazing company and look forward to seeing where my professional life will take me in the upcoming years.

Ashley Davis

Cooper Fitness Center

Ashley Davis at Cooper Fitness Center

My experience at the Cooper Fitness Center was nothing short of memorable. I established great relationships with managers and friendships with coworkers that made for an overall great experience. My daily duties could be categorized into four different sectors: working the fitness floor, the service desk, Cooperized kids, and project time. Another experience I encountered was that of creating the “Spring Incentive Program”. It was an amazing practice in generating a workout regimen for the people of Cooper. As I have stated several times over the course of my internship, I was in love with Cooper. It was my favorite place to go to, and I really felt like I was making a difference in people’s lives. In all, Cooper Aerobics really is a fantastic place to work and I feel so privileged to be part of something this great. Being hired on at the end of my internship is the greatest compliment I have ever received.

Lissi Lonsberry

Breakthrough Performance

Lissi Lonsberry at Breakthrough Performance

Working at Breakthrough Performance this spring was nothing short of an introduction to a strenuously busy, yet rewarding and engaging atmosphere. I discovered new things about myself, I learned how to deal with mistakes and failures and turn them into learning opportunities, and most importantly I learned to never stop learning. As an intern I was responsible for checking equipment on a daily basis, cleaning up before and after workouts to prevent any injuries and create a clean workout environment, and sustaining the flow of clients when Mr. Brewer became increasingly busy throughout the day. From small interactions among parents of clients, to quickly thinking on my feet when handling situations, working at Breakthrough Performance allowed me to gain experience on various levels. Seeing these athlete’s attitudes change and uplift when they completed an exercise (they had previously struggled with) made them feel stronger and more confident. There is so much more to just helping these athletes train. Getting the opportunity to watch them grow physically, mentally, and emotionally was an incredibly satisfying feeling I gladly experienced all throughout spring. I quickly learned that the ability to distinguish appropriate behaviors among teams came with being a coach/trainer. As the spring progressed and clients of all ages continued to come in, I had to broaden my social skills in order to communicate effectively. This was challenging to start, but as time progressed I started to feel more comfortable and confident in my social skills. The best lesson I learned was one I will always carry with me: it is okay to make mistakes. Lastly, I learned that I can do anything as long as I believe in myself and trust that I am prepared for my future. For that, I am incredibly grateful to have been Mr. Brewer’s intern this spring.

Jennifer Foster

Centre Hospitalier de Haguenau- France

Jennifer Foster at Centre Hospitalier de Haguenau - France

My internship at the Centre Hospitalier de Haguenau was a truly amazing experience, and I am really grateful to have had the chance to be here and profit from so much knowledge. My duties were simple: I shadowed doctors, medical school interns, nurses, nurse aids, midwives, and educatrices who worked in the pediatrics wing of the hospital. It’s very difficult to pick only three notable experiences to highlight. I would have to say the first would be discovering the role of the educatrice des jeunes enfants and the game room. It was fantastic to be able to see the overt value of the role of educatrice in the hospital like that. The second notable experience would definitely have to be my time with the midwives. I only spent three days shadowing them in their service, but it definitely made an impression. The third most notable experience would be my time in the neonatology unit. There wasn’t any one instance that stands out the most; it was mostly the care everyone took to look after the comfort of the newborns.

Nate Halverson

SMU Sports Medicine Center

Nate Halverson at SMU Sports Medicine Center

While working at sports medicine center at SMU there were many of memorable moments that I will take with me for a lifetime. Being an athletic trainer means that you must build personal relationships. I learned that one of the best ways to build a relationship is to engage someone in a conversation of their interest. I saw the importance of having a good trainer/coach relationship and how it can be beneficial in having an effective communication and forming a relationship. Over the semester most of my main duties would be determined by the day and what the rowing or tennis team would be doing. As I became more settled in the internship and more comfortable with training room equipment, I was able to perform some rehabilitation treatments of my own. My most exciting time over the semester during my internship at the SMU sports medicine center was during one of the woman’s tennis matches specifically when they played Oklahoma. This was one of the most exciting times for me because it really made me realize why I wanted to do this. The Sports Medicine Center at SMU is among one of the top collegiate sports medicine centers in the country. The effectiveness of this program, I believe, comes from the level of communication that is involved with this rehab and training facility.

Fall 2015 Applied Physiology & Health Management Internships

Sarah Woodruff

SMU Sports Medicine Department

Sarah Woodruff at the SMU Sports Medicine Department

I worked closely with 12 professional athletic trainers, three team physicians, and 14 orthopedic surgeons that specialize in different areas of the body. I worked with these individuals before, during, and after practice, assisted on the sideline during all of their home games, and traveled with the program for away games. As the professional intern, I was held to the highest standard of all student workers in the SMU Football Training Room. I was the leader in a group of 13 other student athletic trainers, and was therefore able to teach and mentor my peers.

An unexpected yet invaluable part of my professional internship came in early September when I was asked to serve as a research liaison between the SMU Football Program and the Simmons School of Human Development and Education. Over the course of the semester, I recruited 12 student athletes for baseline testing, as well as nine others who suffered a concussion and participated at all data collection points of the research protocol. This was an incredible opportunity because I was able to see data the researchers collected, and thus the real-time applications of research to understand athletic injuries. Having dealt with concussions throughout the season, I was able to learn how research on these injuries will be used to create positive change in our understanding of human physiology .

Many lessons were learned throughout my internship. At times my patience was tried, my stress level went through the roof, and there were some days that I considered giving up, but all of these experiences taught me valuable lessons. Throughout my internship I was also working in the SMU Admissions Office as an ambassador, volunteering in the SMU Football recruiting office, and completing schoolwork. I really learned how to balance all of my obligations, while making sure I gained the most experience out of my internship. Two other lessons I learned throughout my time as an intern were teamwork and to ask for help. Overall, I really enjoyed my time as an intern for the SMU Sports Medicine department.

Dominique Conley

FitSteps for Life

Dominique Conley at FitSteps for Life

When coming into the office, my first task was to open the center. After checking my calendar and emails, if I had someone on the schedule, I would prepare myself for their first visit. If I had a new participant, I would have them fill out all the forms that were necessary and I would ask a few questions to get to know them and their goals for the program. I also took their blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen saturation. After recording all of these things, I would introduce the participant to the treadmill and have them walk for 12 mins, while continuing to get to know them. At the half way mark, I would measure their heart rate and oxygen saturation once again. After walking on the treadmill, we would head to the chairs to learn the stretches, leg exercises, and core. Following the exercises in the chair, I would show them the exercises with the arm bands and dumbbells, and then finally show them the exercises on the wall and bosu ball. Following the exercises, we would head back to my desk where I would take their blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen saturation one last time. We would also chat about the program and their thoughts on the program. Finally, I would offer them the exercise nutrition manual that we sell for $10, send them home with the new exercise bands I cut earlier, and encourage them to come back soon.

I would log every participant and every initial visit online in our database on salesforce. I would also make the phone calls for fit steps and schedule the new participants. Two other important tasks I had were to keep my office clean and germ free and to promote fit steps for life. One of the most valuable lessons I have taken away is how to love people differently and at a better capacity. In addition, I learned the importance in organization. My overall opinion of Fitsteps is that was an incredible experience that I am beyond grateful for.

Diana Huynh

Southwest Sports and Spine

As a PT tech, I had a list of duties that I needed to perform while on the job. Every morning that I worked, I would unlock the clinic doors and prepare for the day. I would then proceed to write on a dry erase board which we hang on the wall; I update the date and write a different trivia question each morning. Throughout the day I was expected to greet patients and guide them through their stretching and exercise routines according to the patient charts. I also prepared heat packs for the patients who needed a less active way to warm up their tissues.

Not only did I learn a great number of exercise and stretch routines during this internship, but I also learned four very valuable lessons that will benefit me in physical therapy and in life. Lesson #1: Confidence is key. Lesson #2: Review class material. Lesson #3: Communicating with the patients is vital. Lesson #4: Insurance can affect patient treatment. I think customer satisfaction was impeccable because I have heard multiple patients thank me and the therapists for all our help throughout their rehabilitation journey. Southwest Sports and Spine is definitely a respectable place to go to because it always puts the patient first.

Amanda Smith

YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas

Amanda Smith at the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas

During my internship I worked as a healthy lifestyles coach for Get Up and Go, so most of my time was spent with that program, though I did get to help out significantly with the others as well. When I was not coaching, I was working in the administration office alongside my supervisor, Tracey Burns, Director of the Healthy Lifestyles department.

My duties included keeping in touch with the employees at Children’s Health, whom the YMCA has partnered with in order to provide the Get Up and Go class. As part of my duties helping with the Diabetes Prevention Program, I was in charge of putting together binders for each participant and sending out updates to the participants’ doctors informing them of their patient’s progress throughout the program. Part of my time was also spent helping develop the Salsa Sabor y Salud program, a healthy lifestyle program for low-income families that teaches participants better ways to shop for and cook their food, while at the same time preserving their culture.

Throughout this internship I feel that I grew significantly both personally and professionally, and learned many valuable lessons. One was improving my leadership and speaking skills. I feel that collaborating with another coach in teaching this class made me want to work harder to do a better job so we both could see success. Communicating effectively is a vital skill for anyone in any workplace, and one that I was able to develop more through my experience in this internship. The positive atmosphere that this creates makes the YMCA office a great working environment. Overall, my internship with the YMCA was a great experience that I am thankful to have had, and I am excited to see what comes next.

Summer 2015 Applied Physiology & Health Management Internships

Erin Roughneen

Cardioplex Surgical Services

I had the wonderful opportunity to complete my internship at Cardioplex Surgical Services. In addition to shadowing, my main duties included creation of a website, patient correspondence, online record updates and event preparation. I also helped facilitate patient correspondence. This included, mailing letters, faxing reports, and updating charts .

This experience made me fully understand how fortunate I am for my health. I will never forget Dr. Davis saying “you guys need to memorize this now because it will not go away”. Dr. Davis was absolutely right. It was so rewarding to apply the knowledge I learnt in exercise physiology to a real patient. This taught me that knowledge is power.

A memorable experience during my internship was being apart of an event to discuss the changes of healthcare with a variety of physicians and Senator Ted Cruz. I plan to become a healthcare lawyer, so this was particularly enlightening for me. This taught me to not judge so quickly before making an opinion.

Throughout my internship I gained deeper insights in medical business administration, patient care, patient rights and the impacts and changes associated with healthcare system. It has taught me many valuable lessons and experiences that will help shape my views on healthcare and as a person.

Jasmine Richardson

Baptist HealthLink

During my internship at Baptist Healthlink, I was required to take care of most cleanliness tasks around the clinic: cleaning the patient tables and making sure the equipment is taken care of and put away in its proper place. Towards the end of my internship, although the cleanliness tasks stayed the same, I progressed in my responsibilities with the patients.

One incredible lesson I learned from my internship was the importance of a positive attitude. Not every physical therapist is going to have a great day every day; however, it is important to make sure that despite what you’ve encountered in your life personally, you can’t let your personal life interfere with the quality of therapy you deliver. Another lesson I learned was the importance of patience. One thing to remember as a future physical therapist is that every patient is different and each patient has different personalities you have to cater to; moreover, you can’t approach every patient’s needs the same way. The third lesson I learned is the importance of time management. And the last lesson I learned throughout my internship was learning to lean on your coworkers. As a physical therapist, your expectations of success remain the same despite the tasks you’re assigned.

My overall experience at the clinic was one of the best because my clinical instructor helped me every step of the way; he gained trust in me quickly and allowed me to lead the patients through most of their therapy session, but remained accessible whenever I had a question. I am proud to say that I was one of the most impactful interns the clinic has ever had, and will remember all of the important lessons and memorable moments I shared with every therapist and patient at Healthlink.

Kendall Keane

Autism Treatment Center

My main duties at the Autism Treatment Center (ATC) included: creating art projects and skill building images, learning how Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) works and how to work with the kids, and helping out wherever I was needed. My experience at ATC has been incredible.

The three most notable experiences were observing my first day, working with the kids, and learning about how ABA works. However, working with the kids was definitely the highlight of my internship. The four most important lessons I learned were the value of “simple” achievements, a deeper appreciation for individuals who work with autistic children, the virtue of patience, and a greater amount of respect for autistic children. I think we often forget that “simple” accomplishments to some are momentous to others.

Working with the kids at ATC has genuinely built my respect for them. When I first began my internship at ATC, I did not know what to expect. However, I was immediately welcomed with open arms by all ATC staff. I absolutely loved being involved in the ABA program; it has led me to a career that I am excited to pursue.

Abby Lowman

Theraplay Associates

Going into my internship at Theraplay Associates, I didn’t really understand what Occupational Therapy was. I had never really heard of this profession until late in my college career, but I became interested in the field when I discovered that it combines two things I am passionate about: health and children. One of my main jobs during this internship was helping teach Handwriting Camp. When I wasn’t getting ready for handwriting camp (making copies of worksheets the kids were going to do, looking on Pinterest for easy arts and crafts activities, etc.), I was observing Karen’s one-on-one sessions.

Four of the most important lessons I learned about Occupational Therapists are that they must be patient, flexible, optimistic, and observant. It takes more time for the clients to do tasks than it would take for a typical kid to do the same task. Therefore, OTs need to always be patient, but firm when instructing a client. . Optimism is important to OTs because sometimes a client does not want to be there or is in a bad mood or discouraged, and it is important to create a safe and positive environment for the client.

I had a wonderful experience at Theraplay Associates and will definitely be keeping in touch with Karen, as she was a great supervisor!

Mary Bumpass

Southwest Sports and Spine-Katy Trail

My summer semester internship at Southwest Sports and Spine – Katy Trail taught me a lot about the world of physical therapy. The hands-on experience showed me the wide range skills it takes to be a physical therapist. I had many notable experiences with this internship; one is the interaction with the patients. Another noteworthy experience is how much I was able to learn overall. This internship was very hands-on and valuable.

Everything I had learned in my science and physiology classes came in to use! On a different side, I am really glad I was able to get some experience with the paperwork side of things. I learned a lot about how insurance and billing works and all the different policies and coverage. One of the most important lessons I learned is how important it is to have a good relationship with your patient. My overall opinion of this internship is that I honestly believe I could not have gotten a better experience from anywhere else. Every day at this clinic has reassured me of the fact that being a physical therapist is the career I want.

Claire Johnson

Aspen Valley Hospital

My internship at AVH this past summer was truly eye opening. Over the course of two months, I spent 250 hours observing and learning so much from my supervisor, Katie Powell, and the other physical and occupational therapists of the Rehabilitation Services Office. From outpatient physical therapy of all types, to inpatient occupational therapy, and hand therapy and wound care, my knowledge of the therapy world and the healthcare field has grown tremendously this summer.

Throughout my 250 hours spent in the hospital, I learned four important lessons. First, people need to take their health and healthcare into their own hands. The second lesson I learned is that empathy for others is important, but so is “tough love”. Third, injury and death becomes more commonplace for anyone in the healthcare field. Finally, like everything else in life, location related to healthcare is everything!

Interning at Aspen Valley Hospital was a great opportunity in itself, let alone working in an important department, being the Rehabilitation Services Office. My internship at Aspen Valley Hospital as part of APSM 5610 was truly one of the best experiences in my college career. I learned about the real world: injuries, aging, insurance, 10 hour work days, and 40 hour work weeks. But I most importantly I learned about myself, and finding a career that allows me to help change peoples’ lives.

Sarah Levin UT

Southwestern Health System Planning & Performance Analytics

This summer, my primary focus was on process mapping. As the Performance Analytics team, it is up to the individuals in my office to have a firm grasp on nearly every nuance of the inner workings of UTSW as a whole. Each day was different, and my attention was primarily directed towards whom/what had the closest approaching deadline.

In my one-on-one meeting with Dr. Nwariaku, I was able to ask him questions about the Public/Global Health field that will help me in my upcoming visit to grad schools. This opportunity to talk with him and reach out to him in the future was so unique that I feel beyond fortunate to work for an organization where everyone is willing to help and share their expertise. First and foremost, doing the grunt work makes such a huge difference. Second, the more willing you are to take on different types of projects, the more you will learn. Third, I learned the importance of a positive attitude. The last lesson I learned, that I know will stick with me forever, is the importance of understanding your work environment. I had an incredible experience on this team, so much so, that I may look into coming back in the spring as a part-time intern.

Veronica Virgin

University of Miami Hospital-Pain Management Clinic

My primary duties as an intern were to wipe down tables after every patient use, change pillow cases after every patient use, get hot packs and cold packs as needed, file, fax, answer the phone, grade Alex's class quizzes, organize equipment and occasionally run to get one of the PT's a smoothie from downstairs.

One really important lesson I learned, which I believe can be applied to many areas of study, is that there are things you cannot fix. A second important lesson that I have learned is that there are two kinds of people in this world: those who can face their pain head on sword in hand and death growl in their throat, and those who would rather cower in a corner and pray that the pain goes away. The third lesson I learned I feel can also be applied to a majority of specialties. There is something bad about every job. And the last thing that I have learned from this internship is that our patients rely heavily on us for support and direction. On the whole I really enjoyed my time here and I believe that I learned from this experience.

Devin Burnett

Kaplan Pediatrics

After the first week within my internship I started doing what I would be doing the rest of my time with Dr. Kaplan. This was shadowing Dr. Kaplan and going to see all of his patients with him. While we were seeing the patients Dr. Kaplan was able to show me how to use each of the instruments necessary to perform a proper physical and diagnose patients. . The learning never ends and even Dr. Kaplan who has been practicing medicine for 25 years is still learning to this day. Of all of these lessons I learned during my time in the internship, four lessons stood out more than the others to me. The first of these lessons was how important bedside manner is when seeing patients. The next lesson I learned is that when seeing patients, take your time or as much time as the patient wants to be seen. Another lesson I learned during my time at my internship is that the amount of knowledge needed to see patients and become a nurse, doctor, or physician’s assistant is immense. The last important lesson I learned during this internship was that in order for the office to run smoothly and for the highest efficiency in seeing patients, teamwork was necessary and each individual had a job they had to fulfill.

Coming away from my internship with Dr. Kaplan, I am excited for what my future holds as I pursue going into the medical field. Working for Dr. Kaplan over the summer has been an honor and a privilege. I would not change this experience that I have had for anything. Dr. Kaplan is an incredible person and I don’t think I could have found a better place to intern at or a better person to intern under, in order to learn about the medical field and get a firsthand look at how things work within a medical office.

Claire Trotter

Peak Physical Therapy Sports and Performance Center

I had a range of responsibilities, however the main ones were working the ultrasound machine, washing tables between patients, helping patients warm up for their treatments and doing miscellaneous tasks when needed, such as laundry. I was also given the opportunity to shadow physical therapy, dietetics and performance training, as well as attend three promotional events for the integrative health business.

The most important lesson I learned during my time at Peak Performance was that having personable attitude continuously throughout the day is key to providing good care. Another important lesson I learned during my time at Peak Performance was that it is very important for me to explore every possibility for my future before I decide what to do. A third important lesson I learned was that it is important to be professional in the work place, but not allow your supervisor to push you around. A fourth lesson I learned was that it is important to pick a career path where one can support themselves easily without working an insane amount of hours every week.

Without an internship experience I would entering the career field blindly and negligent to my blindness. This experience was beyond valuable.

Zach Wood

D1-Training Facility

The facility coordinator is Scott Irwin, who is a young guy that played football at Texas Tech University. Scott told me he wanted me to begin with just shadowing the other trainers so I could get a feel for the type of atmosphere that D1 offered. Also, he wanted me to learn the lingo and explained to me not to hesitate to ask questions if I didn’t understand a concept or drill. Another duty of mine was to study for my CSCS certification every Tuesday and Thursday in the mornings after football.

I learned how to be more detailed and clear when coaching clients and helping them understand what it is that I am asking of them. I learned how to train the older population by watching the boot camps and strength classes. I also learned that I have to train the bigger athletes differently than I can the smaller ones.

D1’s mission statement is “Iron sharpens iron”, which I believe they upheld the whole time I was there.

Sydney Clarke

Hanissian Health Care

While I spent a majority of my time at HHC triaging patients and logging their information into their online charts, I also got experience with ordering blood work, office paperwork, cleaning the rooms, getting medication samples, and writing prescriptions. One of the best parts about interning at HHC was that I could gain proficiency in so many areas of the medical field.

By working with four different types of medical professionals I was able to watch and learn the various techniques used for each skill. I found it enormously beneficial to have the opportunity to get to know how different people work because it expanded my ability to work with anyone no matter their style or personality of working. I arrived my first week and was simply shadowing, but by the end of my time there I was fully triaging patients and completely confident and comfortable with the office flow.

My biggest take away was that I cannot judge a job at first glance, because where I started and where I ended were vastly different. Over the past eight weeks I got experience and learn more than some students get to over a whole year of interning and for that I am incredibly thankful for Hanissian Health Care .

Christian Chamagua

Grand Prairie Airhogs

In the first week my main duties consisted of pregame set up. Also within my first 5 games Brent wanted me to learn the players’ names, because athletic training is all about developing trust with players, therefore if they see that I know their names then that would help the trust between athletic trainer and players develop faster. After the first week my duties progressed into pregame warm up with players. As the summer progressed Brent introduced me to the two main modalities of treatment, which are ultrasound and E-stem. The duty that held the most responsibility was doing entire rehab protocol with two of the players. It was solely up to me with some supervision on what modalities and exercises we would do to ensure proper rehabilitation of the injured areas .

The main lesson I learned about athletic training is that this profession is very social, and to be a successful athletic trainer you’re social skills must be very developed. The second lesson I learned was to have confidence in your evaluation of an injury. The third lesson that I learned was to be open to multiple ways of treatment. Overall I felt that this internship helped me see what athletic training was really about. The internship allowed me to develop a good sense of time that is required to for this career. This internship has helped me acquire a vast amount of knowledge about my perspective career choice.

Spring 2015 Applied Physiology & Health Management Internships

Stephanie Kalu

Consolidated Healthcare Services DFW

During the four months I interned at Consolidated Healthcare, I learned important skills and information that I can use, both in my daily life and in future employment. It is has a very amicable and hardworking staff who maintain a great level of professionalism and genuine care for their patients.

I learned many business-type skills at Consolidated Healthcare, including working with patient information, payroll and billing, and verifying contact information. I learned a great deal about how HMO’s work and the changes in home health care as a result of the Affordable Care Act. One interesting change is that when health attendants come to a house, they must electronically check in and out, which has eliminated a lot of false visits.

I had the opportunity to shadow a physical therapist on a home visit. Our visit coincided with both a nurse’s visit and a visit from a caseworker from the Department of Aging and Disability Services. Seeing these healthcare and social worker professionals in a patient’s house simultaneously, all looking for different things was an interesting experience which helped me realize the value of each on a patient’s well-being, and how one’s mobility and physical strength is so important, especially toward the latter years of life.

I also had the opportunity to physically train the administrator at Consolidated Healthcare on a daily basis. It was amazing to witness her bodily changes and energy levels increase. It made me want to seriously consider personal training as a side career. I love making a difference in people’s lives via personal training and fitness.

Four of the most important life lessons earned were to be patient, know how to communicate and interact with people properly, keeping your word and being dependable, and learning to solve problems on your own.

I feel very honored and happy that I interned at Consolidated Healthcare.

Sarah Bailey

Applied Physiology Laboratory at SMU

I enjoyed a wide-range of duties as an intern in the Applied Physiology Laboratory here at SMU. Under Dr. Davis’ supervision, I learned a great deal about the industry, which helped me make decisions regarding my future.

One of my main duties was recruiting subjects for lab studies. I would then regularly help the subjects as they came in for the studies. One study examined autonomic cardiovascular response to simulated blood pressure change. Another study I helped with looked at thermoregulation during exercise in an environmentally controlled room for MS patients vs. a healthy control with similar characteristics. I also worked as a teaching assistant for the Exercise Physiology class, helping students make the mask used with the metabolic cart, calibrating the carts, and grading papers, which gave me a better understanding of the material and gave me a better grasp of the thought process behind various assignments.

Attending the Texas ACSM conference was a highlight, as it gave me a chance to see all the different research conducted by other schools, and was a great chance to meet many different researchers and students in the same field.

I learned many life lessons in the AP lab with Dr. Davis, including the importance of strong communication skills, the importance of planning, flexibility and staying alert to ensure all data is correct. I also learned it is important to be proactive as I am learning, asking mentors questions, and asking for additional resources. I am truly grateful to Dr. Davis, Mu, and Dusty for creating an environment that is welcoming and relaxing, and which helped me learn skills that will help me in my future endeavors.

Anthony Ruiz

Living Well Dallas

Interning at Living Well Dallas (LWD) was a life-changer for me. After experiencing the holistic approach to treating patients, I’ve decided to become a D.O., rather than an M.D., which I had wanted to be my whole life. LWD opened my eyes to a whole new aspect of medicine.

I was given the opportunity to shadow LWD’s providers, including physicians, aestheticians, massage therapists, counselors, life coaches, nutritionists, acupuncturists, phlebotomists, and chiropractors. I also got to work at the front desk learning the business side of LWD.

I learned that medication is the not only way to reach optimal health, and I believe LWD is the epitome of holistic medicine. I also learned that it is important to know every aspect of medical practice, including the business side. I was able to experience the services of LWD’s providers, which helps when you are marketing such services. When you have tried the product/service, it is easier to be genuine and authentic with patients when explaining the product/service. I learned the importance of using such an integrated model of providers to improve a patient’s health.

Caroline Bartelsmeyer

UT Southwestern Clinic

I am very pleased with the clinical experience I’ve gained as an intern at UT Southwestern, shadowing Dr. Okuda and Katy Wright, PA-C, performing basic physical exam procedures, and working on a research project defining criteria to isolate misdiagnosed multiple sclerosis patients. I learned how to interact and touch patients in the most effective way, while also learning necessities for the physical exam to be used in almost any specialty.

Witnessing a patient that had been wrongly diagnosed for 10 years illustrated for me the importance of always thoroughly examining a patient and their records and MRI scans, as well as asking follow-up questions. Slacking off in any of these areas puts the patient at risk for a life-altering misdiagnosis.

Recognizing a patient’s discomfort during a physical exam made me pause and ask the patient if she didn’t like to be touched. This led to a discussion of her anxiety and personal space issues due to a physical abuse incident she experienced as a teenager. Dr. Okuda commended me on recognizing this, and I learned that day to always follow your instincts and remember that a patient’s comfort comes first.

I was reminded of why I want to go into the medical field one day when a woman came in who had been taken off her drug therapy due to debilitating side effects. Dr. Okuda had started her on an alternative therapy that doesn’t require drugs, and giving her a supplement. On this day, the woman stated that she was feeling so much better that she was able to go hiking in New Mexico!

Life lessons I’ve learned include 1) being confident in everything you do, since patients become uneasy if you seem unsure; 2) putting the patient’s comfort before anything else, since they are more likely to communicate truthfully about their condition; 3) the importance of patience, since some patients tend to be noncompliant, and the only way to get them to cooperate is through communication and compromise; and 4) communicating with co-workers, which makes your work day more enjoyable, makes the entire office more efficient, and there is no unnecessary work done.

I am very grateful for the opportunity I had interning with Dr. Okuda, Katy Wright, and UT Southwestern Clinic.

Zach Harward

W.B. Carrell Memorial Clinic

Interning at the W.B. Carrell Memorial Clinic was an absolute blessing in my life, a place where the entire staff works together to produce highly positive health outcomes, and learned an immense amount of information about physical therapy.

My main duties as an Intern were to observe new patient evaluations, guide patients through their prescribed exercises, and walk patients from the lobby into the physical therapy clinic. I had the opportunity to shadow a 13-year veteran physical therapist, Jeremy Eaton, who taught me invaluable techniques that I will absolutely utilize throughout my own physical therapy practice. One of my most memorable experiences involved working with an extremely anxious patient. I learned how to direct such a patient into helping diagnose the problem. This patient felt a great relief upon hearing the diagnosis and was finally able to relax, which was extremely rewarding to witness.

The most important lessons I learned included patience, keeping a level head and not getting bogged down by a patient’s emotions, and not getting involved in drama and gossip in the workplace, which adds no value (in fact, takes away value) to the task at hand. Additionally, I learned the value of proper pelvic stabilization in maintaining correct posture.

In my opinion the Carrell Clinic lined up 100% with their mission statement, which is “to define the global standard for the therapeutic experience.”

Savannah Smith

SMU Rowing Team

I began as a member of the SMU Rowing Team, then coached the team for four semesters, and finally interned as a coach for one of those semesters. I learned that coaching requires many different styles, depending on what individual athletes respond to. Additionally, coaching requires recruiting, scheduling, budgeting and nationwide networking skills, as well as team relationships and working with parents—all skills not always learned from a book.

I am very thankful for these real-life skills I might never have learned otherwise. It has definitely been a rewarding experience.

Shannon Canty

Center for Global Health Impact

My internship opportunity with Dr. Bing was such a unique experience. It exposed me to Global and Public Health from several different angles. Aside from the administrative duties, there were also tasks that required more creativity and personal insight. I assisted Dr. Bing in designing projects for the class and developing lesson plans. Under the guidance of Dr. Bing, my experiences during this internship made me not only aware of the opportunities available in global and public health, but also inspired and empowered to take advantage of these opportunities to create an impact.

There are a few experiences that specifically stick out in my mind. The first highlight experience was when I visited two public health related organizations in Dallas with Dr. Bing to learn more about the organizations. The organizations we visited were Resource Center of Dallas and Brother Bill’s Helping Hands. I realized that I didn’t need to fly across the world to another country in order to create impact. There are problems right here in Dallas that are opportunities for impact. The second highlight experience I had was helping Dr. Bing structure a debate. I researched the debate topic, gun related suicide, and wrote and rewrote the content material for the debate. Researching these topics opened my eyes to how in depth and multi-faceted many challenges in global and public health are. It was one of the first experiences I had where I realized I was not going to lose interest in the field.

Fall 2014 Applied Physiology & Health Management Internships:

Jennifer Rogers

Cooper Wellness Strategies

Jennifer Rogers at Cooper Wellness Strategies

Cooper Wellness Strategies is an affiliate of Cooper Aerobics. The mission of Cooper Wellness Strategies is “Get Cooperized”, but they aim to accomplish this goal in the workforce because “Healthier employees are a critical people strategy that's necessary in today's competitive marketplace”. Cooper Wellness Strategy accomplishes their mission through wellness consulting, fit to lead business executive seminars, and the leading a fit life online course. I mostly spent the semester in a supportive role to our consulting and took the “leading a fit life” online course before to rollout to look for any bugs in the program. The fit business seminar is given by some of the upper management at CWS and is directed towards the executives at different companies. The idea behind that program is that business leaders should have fitness as a priority to be able to change the employees at a company for the better (improving employee and business health).

The overall environment of CWS was good. Everyone wanted to see each other’s successes and work towards the end goal of making people healthier and bringing in revenue/business for the company (since CWS is one of the affiliates under Cooper Aerobics that Is for profit). Delynda was a great supervisor. She worked hard and came in early every day and stayed late if necessary to finish her work. She ensured that I and the other intern always felt comfortable and were busy in the learning environment. I never felt like I didn’t have anyone to ask when I got stumped by something at work.

Brooke Landrum

Carrell Clinic

I have learned a lot from my time at the Carrell Clinic. As a future therapist, I want to try to create treatments uniquely to the patient. I have learned how to treat patients with respect and patience. I am very thankful to have worked at the Carrell Clinic for a year total when I will finish because I have learned so much.

Brooke Landrum at Carrell Clinic

Summer 2014 Applied Physiology & Health Management Internships

Paul Anderson

Integrated Physiology Lab – Simmons Hall, SMU

Paul Anderson at the SMU Simmons School's Integrated Physiology Laboratory

My experience as an intern in the Integrated Physiology Lab was an amazing experience. I had the opportunity to familiarize myself as a physiology researcher, to help guide me in the best direction for my future. My daily duties in the lab varied from day to day, but were typically the same. Most days we conducted research, but on non-research days we had journal club or discussed how we could improve our research designs. The journal clubs and research design discussions were parallel with each other with the same intended results; to understanding research procedures and how to affectively read journal articles. For journal club we would read over an article that was relevant to our research projects and discussed the details of the research design. I also had the opportunity to look over grant requests, research project requests, and journal publication requests. The discussions helped to get a better understanding of a well-ran study and a bad study, ethics in scientific research, an understanding of the amount of time and effort put into publishable articles and article publishing requests, and it helped to expand my knowledge of physiology, science, and creativity of research design. In accommodation to the journal club and research design discussion, we had two research trials going this summer. The main study was a neck pressure and neck suction project studying blood pressure responses in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. The second study was my own study looking into thermoregulation in healthy control subjects.

In conclusion, my overall experience at my internship was amazing. I am blessed to have the guidance I did from everyone I worked with and the opportunity to learn true research. I am excited to continue helping with research and conducting my own from here forward. I learned more than I expected I would and found that I love research and physiology even more!

Bryce Carroll

Top Rank

Bryce Carroll at Top Rank

Upon arriving at Top Rank for the first day of my internship, it became apparent immediately that they wanted me to experience every aspect of the company. I was going to perform various jobs within the company and was not going to be designated to just one department or one specific job. I was happy to hear this because I was not exactly sure which job at the company I would like the most. Some of my main duties while interning for the company involved going over contracts with the company lawyer, researching fighters with the matchmakers, and going over potential advertisements with the head of marketing.

In my opinion I believe that Top Rank is a very well-run company. Every task seemed to be done efficiently and in the quickest yet most effective way possible. I think this is largely attributed to the way the chairman of the company believes things should get done. He practices what he preaches and he is very strict when it comes to business. I also believe that because the company has been doing what they do for so long, they have it down to a science. If there ever is a problem with one of the operations it is usually fixed by the end of that day.

Every employee at the company seemed to have an incredible work ethic and enjoyed what they did. There did not want to disappoint the chairman of the company and I think this motivated them to work as hard as they could on a daily basis. Due to this, I think this is why customers are so satisfied with the fights that Top Rank puts on. They are very professional events and the company makes sure that the customer has the best time possible.

Briana Gaines

BodyMax Physical Therapy and Sports Training

Briana Gaines at BodyMax Physical Therapy and Sports Training

This summer, I worked as an intern at BodyMax Physical Therapy and Sports Training. I can say completely truthfully that this was one of the best experiences that I’ve ever had. Not only did I learn more than I ever thought I would, but I met people that I will never forget, and who have changed me for the better.

There were many different experiences that stuck out for me during this internship. One was just working in a PT clinic and being in the environment. I had never done anything like it in my life and I think that it was good for me to see how it would be in a nice, relaxed environment like this.

All the staff are very close and work well together and effectively. The whole time I was working here, everyone seemed to be in high spirits everyday and if one therapist got behind, another one would help out and take over so patients did not get impatient and annoyed. Laurie, who is the supervisor, did a great job of keeping everything in working order. Patients were very satisfied with the work they were getting, many brought in pastries and snacks for everyone just to say thank you. This experience was one of the best in my life and I would not trade it for anything.

Kristen Hamm

The Move Project

Kristen Hamm at The Move Project

Laura Henderson

Institute of Orthopaedic and Sports Rehabilitation at Carrell Clinic

Laura Henderson at the Institute of Orthopaedic and Sports Rehabilitation at Carrell ClinicFor my internship at the Institute of Orthopaedic and Sports Rehabilitation at Carrell Clinic, I performed the duties of a Physical Therapy Aide. My responsibilities included checking the scheduler for patient arrivals, getting the patients, assisting the physical therapists with patient exercises and checking out patients.

Overall I found that Carrell Clinic ran very efficiently and proved to be a great internship site. All of the therapists I worked under were very personable and were really invested in helping me learn everything that I could. All of the therapists were willing to help each other out with patients who needed to be fit into the schedule and it was great working in an environment that was so cooperative. The patients always seemed to be satisfied and the clinic had a great reputation among all the patients; many drove far to receive care from Carrell Clinic.

My site supervisor was very effective in how he managed himself, and the entire clinic. He was in charge of all the therapists and really put in his full efforts into keeping the clinic running effectively. He took the time and care into answering any questions I had and providing useful feedback when needed. The clinic held very high standards of cleanliness and everyone worked very hard to keep the environment as safe as they could for both the therapists and the patients.

Kaitlyn Maffuid


Kaitlyn Maffuid at AAIPharma

This summer I had the opportunity to be an intern at AAIPharma in Wilmington, North Carolina. I had been an intern the previous summer, and was excited to join the company again. This summer I learned a lot about how a company functions, the importance of planning, and how to be a leader. An internship at AAI is not just a normal internship, they really throw you into the lab and expect you to perform at the same level as the full-time employees. They really want the interns to get a taste of how intense the pharmaceutical industry is, and the work ethic that is required to work there. It really is a great glimpse into the real work and what is expected of an employee. It also teaches you valuable life lessons that I know I will be able to take not only to future jobs, but also into the classroom as well.

Based on my two summers at AAI Pharma, I think that the company’s operational effectiveness based on their mission statement, collaboration level, working ethic and congeniality of the site’s staff, customer satisfaction level, my supervisor’s level of effectiveness, and the overall facility’s maintenance and environment is exceptional.

Everyone at AAI is always on top of whatever project that they are working on, and always strive to meet their goals. AAI has a great reputation with clients and the FDA alike. My supervisor Jonna is awesome. Not only is she great at supervising herself, but also she leads a spectacular group. Everyone at the company knows how great a boss she is and everyone wants to be in her group. It really has been a privilege to work for such a great boss.

Braeden Newton

Clinical Center for Multiple Sclerosis at the University of Texas – Southwestern

Braeden Newton at the Clinical Center for Multiple Sclerosis at the University of Texas - Southwestern

I have spent the past couple months working as an intern in the Clinical Center for Multiple Sclerosis at the University of Texas – Southwestern. It has been a very exciting summer, as I’ve been able to experience medicine from both the clinical and the research perspective. I’ve also been extremely lucky in that I’ve had an amazing mentor throughout the process, Dr. Okuda, as he put a great deal of his (very limited) time into teaching me about medicine and the basics of being a clinician. He also taught me about the business and political side of medicine by having me sit in on his meetings with other companies or physicians. I consider myself very fortunate to have had this opportunity.

Overall, the Clinical Center for Multiple Sclerosis Center is very well run and they truly are some of the best in their respective field. Patients travel from all over the world to come see these doctors, and there was not one patient left the clinic unsatisfied with their appointment. In fact, most patients that saw Dr. Okuda left feeling very thankful and appreciative of the way he practices, expressing how poorly they had been treated by previous physicians and how happy they were to finally have someone explain to them what was happening.

I am very pleased that I have been able to spend the past couple months working here, and feel that I have learned so much more than I had expected too. This experience has certainly given me a new perspective on how to be a clinician, and I can only hope to be a same caliber physician as the one’s I’ve worked with this summer.

Anne-Marie Soza

Edge Systems

Anne-Marie Soza at Edge Systems

Alex Vasile


Alex Vasile

My internship with HealthFitness spanned from 10 June to 25 July. I worked on the Fluor account under the supervision of account manager, Mark Scovill. I was responsible for creating flyers with health tips, developing presentations covering various topics, packaging and mailing rewards and prizes, assisting Mark with communication to his champions, scribing testimonials, and helping pilot Fluor’s global walking challenge. I was also present for discussions and/or procedures having to do with any of the aforementioned activities.

Fluor employees operated at a highly professional level. People were responsible and accountable for their time and work accomplishments. They all seemed to work toward a common goal while contributing their individual specialties and perspectives. The office work environment was friendly, but there was never any question that everyone was there to work.

I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to have worked with two leading edge companies in their respective industries—Fluor and HealthFitness. I would be happy to work for either company and will absolutely pursue employment when I apply for a full time position. I would highly recommend this internship for other AP&E students, as my experience with Mark has been rewarding and memorable.

Olivia Warner

AMPD Golf Fitness

Olivia Warner

Over the past five months I have been fortunate enough to be an intern at AMPD Golf Fitness, which is a small fitness facility that focuses particularly on sports performance training of golfers. The main goal of this company is to redefine what it takes to build golf-athlete champions by using a systematic program approach of Assess, Move, and Perform to develop Dynamic golf-athletes. This is accomplished through a vital partnership AMPD has with Fusionetics Sports Science, a company founded on evidence based technology athletic programming.

I have been extraordinarily lucky to work with such knowledgeable people who not only taught me about the sports, and more specifically the golf industry, but who have also taken the time to get to know me and work on my not so strong aspects. Working for AMPD has been a great learning experience but more importantly I have enjoyed every second of my time with this organization. The employees here are always in a good mood and joke around with the clients to improve their days. Facilities like these are incredible because clients are not just a source of income, they are family and it is incredible to be able to see their progress over time.

I have been given so many opportunities to learn and grow as a strength coach and as a person at this internship. My time spent at AMPD has only encouraged me to strive for what I want and given me a taste of what personal training could be like and what running my own business could be like. My coworkers have made this internship a great experience and the small facility has given me a chance to get close with our clients and form relationships that would never have been possible at a larger training facility.

Spring 2014 Applied Physiology & Health Management Internships

Jessica Bartol

Dedman Recreation Center - SMU

Jessica Bartol at the SMU Dedman Recreation Center

I am very happy with the experience and knowledge I have gained in the fitness industry from working at Dedman Recreational Center center since January. There are many things that I gained from my experience both positive and negative. I did many different things that allowed me to get a wide range of knowledge on how a fitness center or gym would be run. I came into this internship excited to learn about the fitness center and how it was run because I wanted to own my own gym one day. However, after my internship I don’t think owning my own gym is something I would like to do in the near future. I learned how hard it is to be successful and how competitive fitness centers are. I also got to be a part of how expensive the upkeep for all the equipment is as well. I feel like this was a great eye opener for me. Overall, I am grateful for a wonderful experience and a lot of real world knowledge I picked up along the way.

My overall experience at Dedman was great. Everyone there was very nice and were always there to help me with anything I needed. The operations were very smooth, from what I could tell. There were many employees there that were in charge of different things. If someone needed help or had any questions, there was always someone to talk to or contact. Everyone in each department worked very well together to keep the operations of Dedman running smoothly. The work ethic that the employees have at Dedman was very high. Everything was always so clean and organized every day when I came into work. There is definitely a sense of pride and happiness that the employees have for working at such a nice facility as Dedman.

Marcus Holyfield

SMU Strength and Conditioning Facility, The Loyd Center

Marcus Holyfield at the SMU Strength and Conditioning Facility, The Loyd Center

This semester was a very interesting semester for me as an intern at the SMU Strength and Conditioning Facility known as The Loyd Center. I was able to learn many new things about training, coaching and teaching I could not have learned if I had not gotten the experience I was able to get through the internship. I was glad that I was able to be spoiled with great teams to coach, and I was also glad that I was surrounded with great fellow employees and coaches. Experiencing another dimension of athletics as oppose to just seeing it is very different than I expected. Some things may only be best understood when one actually goes through the experience.

My internship at the SMU Strength and Conditioning Facility went well. I learned many things about the weight room and the people who are in it. My fellow employees were very helpful and nice. They helped me through everything I had to do and they assisted with everything I needed help with. They showed me the most efficient ways to get every job done the right way. They always worked hard and looked out of reach other so that no one was alone while doing a job if it required more than one person to do. My supervisor, Mel deLaura, was always there to help me and he always helped me coach better when it came to any questions I had. He helped me place myself in the right place when coaching the athletes so I could always see them; he was very knowledgeable.

Teresa Solano

SMU Women’s Soccer Team

Teresa Solano with the SMU Women's Soccer Team

This semester I had the opportunity and privileged to intern with the Women’s soccer team here at SMU. I enjoyed the traveling, filming the games, getting to know the girls as well as the coaches, but I felt like that there was more for me to learn. Therefore, when the opportunity came to look for internships I asked Nicole, the assistant coach, if she would allow me to intern with them in the fall. She then talked to the head coach, Chris Petrucelli and boom I got the internship.

My overall opinion about working with SMU Women’s Soccer Staff is positive. I believe that it is a great working environment for people who want to coach at Division I school, not only will they learn about coaching, but they will learn what it actually takes to run a sport at a collegiate level. Since I worked directly under Nicole I was able to collaborate more with Nicole. Than if I had gone to a different internship site where I would be working alongside an assistant to the Manager or Owner. I would recommend this internship to other students who are looking for an opportunity to understand what goes on “behind the scenes,” with college sports teams. The staff was very friendly with me and they kept their workplace very nice and clean. One downside of the job was that Nicole traveled a lot during the semester. If she left me project to do and had any questions I would have to contact her via email. I realized one thing during my internship, which is that I really want to work at a University’s Athletic Department, preferably with soccer.

Fall 2013 Applied Physiology & Health Management Internships

Shelby Sanderford

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas

Shelby Sanderford at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas

My desire to learn and engage in the healthcare world was actualized when Dr. Britt Berrett gave me an incredible opportunity to complete my internship at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. My Internship would be under the president himself, a position that didn’t even previously exist. In my mind this was an impossibly kind invitation to explore the healthcare field. People don’t often think about what it takes to run a hospital, myself included, so I can say I didn’t understand the complex business strategies I was getting myself into. Quickly, I realized the learning opportunities for me were infinite. I had access to any department in the hospital and was virtually free to explore whichever fields I wished. I took this gift very seriously and wanted to be the best possible intern and it was my job to figure out how to get the most out of this experience.

This internship made me understand why some people say hands-on experience is the most valuable method of learning. It allowed me to understand instantly if I liked or disliked a field. Most importantly, I was learning by example, example displayed by successful leaders. After all, my permanent mark and dream is to be a successful leader with the ability to change the lives of others. I was surrounded by people who do that every day and love doing it primarily for the satisfaction of knowing they are making other people’s lives better. Aside from reinforcing that my dream is truly my dream, this was an experience that will remain with me for the rest of my life.

Summer 2013 Applied Physiology & Health Management Internships

Alex Adler

Carrell Clinic

Alex Adler at Carrell Clinic

Being a part of the Carrell Clinic family this summer has been extremely memorable. One of my favorite experiences was the Friday when we worked a half-day and the company took the whole staff to Top Golf in the afternoon. This really showed me that the company cares about their employees and wants to make our work environment fun and inviting. The fact that the staff gets along so well outside of the clinic is very nice and uncommon for most work places.

I have learned so much while interning at the Carrell Clinic Institute for Orthopaedic & Sport Rehabilitation. With the Carrell Clinic being the big clinic it is, with 10 physical therapists and 8 aides, I have learned it is very important to work as a team. Teamwork is what helps the clinic run as smoothly as it does. I have learned how to communicate better and work as a team member to get the job done.

My personal supervisor, which was different than most other intern’s supervisor, was excellent. She was always willing to teach and help me improve in any areas of the job I needed improvement. For example, I am more comfortable working with knee patients than shoulder patients. When I realized this, I expressed interest in wanting to know more about shoulders and understand the exercises better. She was very helpful and easy to ask questions to. She never made me feel bad for not knowing something and was willing to explain things when needed. My supervisor was a physical therapist that I work with on a daily basis and who really knows my strengths and weaknesses in a job, and can help me improve.

Caroline Aston

First Merchants Insurance Group, Indianapolis, Indiana

Caroline Aston at First Merchants Insurance Group, Indianapolis, Indiana

Over the past few months at First Merchants Insurance Group, I worked closely with a small group of insurance agents to analyze medical claims and research and present wellness programs and initiatives and indirectly learned more about corporate employment than I had expected. As the wellness intern at First Merchants, I took part in more significant tasks than most interns. I attended several meetings with my supervisor, Kevin Mandrell, and the other insurance agents to become familiar with the insurance industry and be introduced to many of their clients. In the office, I researched information about other wellness initiatives, collected information about how to change the current wellness initiatives at First Merchants, and analyzed medical claims of First Merchants employees and the agents’ clients.

Reflecting on my time at First Merchants, I would say my three most highlighted experiences were writing the letter to the employees of First Merchants from the President/Chief Executive Officer of Fist Merchants, attending the business breakfast with Novia Care Clinics, and lastly, visiting Girtz Industries in Monticello, Indiana where I presented a wellness program to all 300 employees of the company. All three of these experiences allowed me to apply my education and skills from previous work experiences.

I truly believe that my experience was valuable in terms of relating my education and a potential career path but the four most important lessons that I learned at First Merchants this summer are reflective of my personal growth and preparation for a corporate environment.

Katrina Beavers-Gutierrez

The Cooper Fitness Center at Craig Ranch

Katrina Beavers-Gutierrez at The Cooper Fitness Center at Craig Ranch

The Cooper Fitness Center at Craig Ranch was the perfect opportunity to learn more about the practical application of fitness and health in a facility dedicated to “getting Cooperized,” “working on the whole you—mind, body and soul, exploring potential, maintaining health and enjoying yourself in the process”. I was able to apply knowledge of research-based training methods in order to give advice for fitness and wellness prescriptions, as well as aid in the management of fitness and health programs. The main duties of my internship set an amazing foundation for enlightening experiences and invaluable workplace lessons. The overall operational effectiveness was instrumental in providing the optimum environment for a successful and memorable internship.

Cooper Aerobics’ mission statement is simple, direct and a powerful tool for its employees: “Create Happiness”. Each and every employee knows the mission statement and follows it on a daily basis. The work ethic is outstanding at Cooper Fitness Center at Craig Ranch. All employees are proactive in looking for what needs to be done, or what could be done to enhance the members’ experience. Employees strive to create a comfortable and congenial atmosphere. They will go out of their way to provide the best customer service possible, even if it means taking the time and effort to place an extremely valuable watch from a member in the on-site safe out of the way to put one’s mind at ease.

The overall facility’s maintenance is impressive. The overall environment of the intern site organization is also amazing. Cooper Fitness Center is just large enough to encompass all the programs that a member might need such as personal training, spa services and fitness classes just to name a few. Yet, Cooper is still small enough to enable a friendly environment which feels like you are part of a family. All of the wonderful qualities of the center including the fantastic group of employees are what make it such a wonderful intern site and incredible opportunity to create memorable experiences.

Katie Eastman

Orthopedic Institute of New Jersey

Katie Eastman

My main tasks at the Orthopedic Institute of New Jersey were caring for the patients, looking after the equipment, and handling paperwork. It was my responsibility to make sure each patient was overseen and they feel that they are given the proper amount of attention while they were in our care. The two main aspects of caring for a patient were mental and physical. For the mental side, there were many things to be considered. Although the main goal was always to strengthen patient’s muscles or relieve their pain, the patient’s mental focus also was key to this.

The Orthopedic Institute of New Jersey had an excellent overall operational effectiveness. The Physical Therapists did a great job at this by taking a large amount of time with each patient when they are evaluated. Besides me everyone had been working there for a long time, so the level of collaboration was very high between all of my coworkers. They worked as one unit; almost were able to predict what each of them was going to do next. All of the customers that I talked to had a positive experience at the clinic.

The supervisor for my internship was effective in overseeing my actions at the clinic. This included scheduling my hours, making sure I understood their facility, and reviewing my evaluations with me. The facility itself was beautiful. Being only a few years old allowed for a clean look and feel. One wall was even made completely of glass that created a wonderful openness in the facility. The environment was friendly and inviting. Whenever you walked in the clinic, you could just feel the buzz of energy as people were busy everywhere. Overall, this was an amazing experience that allowed me to both create memories and learn information that will help me while I pursue my physical therapy career.

Julian Fletcher

Carrell Clinic

Cameron Gibson (on left) and Julian Fletcher (on right)
(Julian is on the right)

The Carrell Clinic has provided me with an excellent background into the physical therapy industry. I am learning everyday about the responsibilities and educational training that it takes to become a therapist. Physical therapy combines the wellness and rehabilitation industry together. A properly educated therapist can help by shortening the amount of time patients spend in rehab, and knowing the stages that each injury heals. Discovering my personable skills has helped me in the wellness industry with patients.

I got an idea of the entire clinic through shadowing the front desk personnel, and a personal trainer. Having a clinic that provides personal training can provide an edge to any competition in the DFW area. There is much more to offer than just physical therapy at a clinic, and the Carrell Clinic does a great job at providing a well-rounded staff that can provide therapy and wellness for the patients. There is also an athletic trainer in the clinic, who gives functional assessment tests to clients who believe they need physical therapy.

Overall, the orthopedic rehabilitation that I have experienced at the Carrell Clinic has given me great background in the industry. The patient management and care is one of the most important aspects in this industry if you want to be successful. Physical therapy is more than just athletic training and going through exercises with patients, it has a scientific background and it is important that you are well educated when dealing with patient injuries. I have seen many patients come to Carrell Clinic from other PTs around Dallas, and they are behind in rehab or have other injuries because they are overcompensating parts of the body from their initial injury. It is important to follow procedure, and build a plan of care with each patient. Communication is what keeps the industry going, and I believe that it will be a growing industry for our generation in the future.

Cameron Gibson

Carrell Clinic

Cameron Gibson (on left) and Julian Fletcher (on right)
(Cameron is on the left)

This summer I had an amazing opportunity to be a part of an internship at the prestigious physical therapy department of the Carrell Clinic. Being a college senior and knowing enough to understand what was going on in the clinic, I was able to gain valuable experience not only watching what was going on, but also to work one on one with patients. This was a very treasured thing for me because I love to be hands on while I’m learning and it kept me interested throughout the entire summer.

Overall I enjoyed my time at the Carrell Clinic. Never once was there a dull moment in my time there. The staff is very friendly and for the most part very warmhearted and welcoming on a daily basis. Seeing how many patients that come through the clinic and the high profile of some of the clients is not surprising after seeing how effective the PT’s are with these certain people. They tend to do a great job of creating a friendly and warm environment for the patients and are always willing to lend a helping hand to not only the clients, but for me as an intern as well. They operated very effectively and upheld all of the values that I feel a good physical therapy clinic should uphold. What I also observed is the line of collaboration and communication between the doctors’ of the patients and the PT’s themselves. Most of the patients were from the actual hospital portion of the clinic and were referred to the PT’s from the specific doctors. This helped a lot because if there were every any questions about what someone should or should not do, the doctor was literally only a phone call away.

Hands down, the Carrell Clinic is one of the best physical therapy clinics that I have ever been to and I would easily recommend it to anyone else, whether looking for an internship or coming to get therapy.

Manall Jaffery


Manall Jaffery at Fitsteps

I had the opportunity to work on some special projects in addition to helping with daily tasks. I designed an exercise prescription form, so that patients would remember the exercises they were assigned to do. I also designed a nutrition guide showing healthy foods and what proportions to eat them in. I updated the Fitsteps’ Facebook page, and just started working with them on a Dallas Marathon fundraiser. The Baylor center also conducts research on the effect of exercising before chemo to reduce side effects. I was able to be involved in this, and meet with new research patients, take down their information and explain what the study entailed. This was great exposure for me, because I got a chance to get to know the patients in our study. In my previous research experiences I have not had this opportunity.

The mission statement of Fitsteps is short and sweet: “To enhance the quality of life and survival for individuals living with cancer.” they achieve this mission through their vision statement: “To incorporate individually tailored and supervised exercise programs as a standard of care in oncology practice”. I saw these goals achieved on a daily basis. Since it is up to the patients to come in and exercise, the fact that they were even making it to workout speaks volumes. Patients were satisfied enough with their health, and the staff to come back again despite the fatigue of cancer or other health issues. Many of the patients are very attached to the staff, this is because the staff is not just a smiling face but genuinely interested in the patients progress, health, and lives. The staff is very committed to their positions and their patients.

The people I worked with were all genuinely happy people, which made it a lot easier to deal with them. I noticed that the staff’s culture is very different than anywhere else I have previously been employed. Each of the facilities I worked at had professional environment and was well organized and fully sanitized at various points through the day. The culture and environment of Fitsteps was also maintained day after day of my internship.

Dan Nguyen

CVS Pharmacy

Dan Nguyen at CVS Pharmacy

My APSM internship at CVS was carried out over the summer; however, much of what I have learned will be recalled from when I started working here to now. At CVS I am classified as a certified pharmacy technician, which is a title that is acquired through examination on the national level with the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board as well as registering with the state. Typical duties for a technician are typing prescriptions that are either brought in from the patient or sent in directly from the doctor’s office, counting medications to fill prescriptions, reconstituting powdered medication, and lastly to check patients out.

My overall opinion of the CVS workplace is that it is an awesome place to work at if you were to pursue a pharmaceutical related profession. CVS’s mission statement relies on customer service and customer satisfaction. Although many CVS pharmacies do not have a high reputation for customer service, my store has had numerous patients who love coming to our pharmacy as well as people who transfer from other CVS pharmacies just to come to us. The overall work environment is a fun environment to be in. The pharmacists and technician really get along. I am actually extremely lucky to have this as my first job.

My opinion of my pharmacists is equally as high if not higher. First off, I am extremely grateful they took a chance on me and hired someone without any experience. Furthermore, they are just really good at what they do. I have had numerous pharmacists come in the whenever my pharmacists are gone and they are nowhere near the level I’m used to. They really know their stuff, and have taught me more than I could imagine. I have learned so much from them and it’s awesome to see how much growth I’ve had as a pharmacy technician working under them.

Jennifer Robb

Taos Center for Rehabilitation and Sport Medicine in Taos, New Mexico

Jennifer Robb at the Taos Center for Rehabilitation and Sport Medicine

For the past two months I've had the privilege of being an intern at the Taos Center for Rehabilitation and Sport Medicine in Taos, New Mexico. Coming to Taos, to complete my APSM internship requirement, has turned out to be an experience that far exceeded my expectations. Through this internship, I got to work with eight phenomenal physical therapists with different specialties and years of experience.

As an intern I got to observe a different therapist weekly. I got to assist and instruct patients, and I got to sit in the treatment rooms for manual therapy and evaluations. Not only were my questions answered, I also gained a vast amount of additional knowledge and skills. But, most of all, I gained a deeper passion for the field of physical therapy.

Taos Center for Rehabilitation and Sport Medicine is an outpatient orthopedic facility with two satellite locations. The Center also has full access to the Taos Youth and Family Center's warm water therapeutic pool, for aquatic therapy. Aquatic therapy was very interesting because it's a field of physical therapy I had never experienced. It was amazing to see how much progress a patient could make in the warm water with movements that seem nearly impossible or too painful on land.

I'm leaving Taos Center for Rehabilitation and Sport Medicine and Holy Cross Hospital with eight new mentors, that not only taught me the skills you learn from the books or a great course, but the work that comes from the heart. The physical therapists have taught me the compassion and care that isn't always taught, but is simple from one's being. The staff members taught me all aspects of a complete physical therapy center, and all the back scene work that needs to be done to keep it going. And the patients, the patient showed me how one person can change so many lives. Every smile, every "thank you", every "good luck", and every "you have it in you," from the patients made this internship an experience that has opened my eyes and one I will cherish forever.

Kathleen Snell

Sydney Kings

Kathleen Snell at the Sydney Kings

This summer, I was an intern for the Sydney Kings professional basketball team in Sydney, Australia. The Kings are just starting to get back on their feet after taking three years off due to money issues, and it has been a valued experience getting to help with that process. As an intern, I got to work on both the sport management side as well as the physiology side, and learned a tremendous amount about the sport scene in Australia. My duties included working with the membership manager to help grow member numbers, working with the commercial manager to market corporate hospitality and sponsorship to companies around the Sydney area, working with the team manager on player training, development and recruitment and gained exposure to community events that promoted the Kings brand.

The Sydney Kings are overall a great organization that is striving to become better each day. There is no particular mission statement but the main goal is generating and keeping members as well as getting the maximum exposure possible. I believe the staff’s collaboration level is excellent because they only have a six-member team. Their work ethic is laid back but they always get things done on time and are seriously committed to what they do. The work environment made me comfortable right from the beginning because everyone is so nice and welcoming. They wanted to get to know me on a personal level, not just as the “intern.”

Overall, I would say that this was one of the best experiences in my life so far! Having the opportunity to travel to Sydney to work for the Kings, being immersed in a completely new environment, and experiencing a new culture, is something that will take me a long way in my work career. I believe I have an even more diverse outlook on life than before, and this internship has only solidified my drive to work in the sports and health industry!

Summer 2011 Applied Physiology & Health Management Internships

Kathleen Hoogland

Camp Gladiator

Kathleen Hoogland

There were many lessons I learned throughout my internship. The four most important lessons were the importance of working hard; motivating other people to find a healthier lifestyle, learning to give and take constructive criticism, and sales. When I look back at my summer I appreciate what Camp Gladiator is doing to the world. Even though it has A LOT of expanding to do, Camp Gladiator has already changed so many people's lives and that is my (and should be others) goal to life. Click here for details.

Robert Nyakundi

Southwest Sports and Spine

Robert Nyakund at Southwest Sports and Spine