National Student Conclave 2013 | Mar 1, 2013

Attending the National Student Conclave conference was a professionally rewarding experience. In addition to socializing with students and faculty from other institutions, I was able to attend presentations and converse with other researchers/clinicians.

As graduation is quickly approaching, I have been faced with the questions of where to work and in what specialty area of physical therapy. After attending many sessions at Conclave, I have decided to focus on neurology; this partly came from the great speaker (Michelle Harris-Love, PT, PhD) who presented on non-invasive brain stimulation. More specifically, I was able to go home with an increased knowledge about transcranial magnetic stimulation. This is a new and exciting development in physical therapy that I feel will be easily applied as an intervention technique when working with individuals who have suffered from a stroke.

Overall, National Student Conclave gave me outstanding knowledge and experience. I would recommend all student physical therapists, especially third year students to attend this conference in the future. You will leave with greater knowledge and an increased drive to learn more.

Sydnie Smith, SPT
University of North Dakota Class of 2013

The American Physical Therapy Association National Student Conclave, or simply APTA, provides a great opportunity for Physical Therapy students to gain knowledge regarding current issues as they relate to the field of Physical Therapy. As a first year Physical Therapy student at the University of North Dakota, I was excited to have the opportunity to attend the 2012 NSC conference in Arlington, Virginia. I believe it is very important to be an active member in the APTA because this organization promotes empirically-supported methods of treatment. Being able to have the opportunity to attend NSC conference, especially as a first year Physical Therapy student, provided me more knowledge on what is going on in the ever growing field of Physical Therapy.

The experience that I had was so much fun and very informational. I had the opportunity to meet other Physical Therapy students from all over the nation. I learned a lot from these students, including where they were from, what graduate school they are attending, and the different approaches their universities utilized while instructing Physical Therapy courses. The NSC provided many informational sessions ranging from Aquatics to Pediatrics.

One of the sessions I attended which I found interesting discussed the importance of specializing within the field of Physical Therapy. As the field of Physical Therapy continues to grow, current Physical Therapy educators are stressing to students the necessity to continue their education after graduating from an accredited Physical Therapy school. There are many programs across the nation that are now offering fellowship and residency programs. For example, students can specialize in Geriatrics. Interested in Geriatrics, I had the opportunity to talk to Becky Olson-Kellogg, PT, DPT, GCS, who is the Residency Director for their Geriatric Clinical Residency program offered at the University of Minnesota. I asked her why professors are encouraging Physical Therapy graduates to continue their education and find a specialty. Additionally, I questioned her about potential benefits I stand to gain if I were to attend supplementary schooling.

Overall, National Student Conclave was a great opportunity both professionally and socially. Professionally, I networked with individuals who I may consult in the future. Socially, I met and created new friendships with Physical Therapy students from across the country. I cannot stress enough to Physical Therapy students, even first year students, how important it is to take the opportunity to go to NSC. Students and current Physical Therapists alike must seek information regarding the field on a national level. Simply relying upon local institutions will not provide enough knowledge to effectively treat patients. Take every chance you can get to learn as much as you can as a student in this fast-growing field and be an active member in the APTA.

Brady Meyer, SPT
University of North Dakota Class of 2015