Jonathan Coelho and I are creating a toolkit to identify the barriers associated with student uptake in private practice. Currently, there are too few placements offered to accommodate students. We are designing a survey to gain information from clinicians about their concerns associated with accepting students. As a physiotherapist working in a busy private practice, I see the need for more clinician/student interaction. Taking on students might seem daunting, however, clinicians may not be aware of the process itself or the many benefits.
I’ve experienced the benefits of teaching and mentorship first-hand, initially as a Queen’s student during my clinical placements, then as a new graduate undertaking my manual therapy levels, where I spent hundreds of hours with clinicians and teachers, and later as a mentor and instructor. The interactions and experiences I had with these clinicians determined my professional path, and gave me the opportunity to decide if private practice was right for me. They also played a major role in the development of my skill-set throughout my education.
As an instructor, the knowledge that students bring, their energy and keen attitudes, are inspiring. Mentoring is an easy way to stay current- exposing clinics to the latest evidence based research through students can make their clinics more desirable, and therefore, more marketable.
My mentors and students proved to be the most important and influential parts of my learning. Our toolkit will hopefully lead to solutions that can eliminate the barriers associated with taking on students, stream-line the uptake process into a simple, accessible format, and provide students exposure to private practice during the time in their schooling when they need it the most.
By: Renata Szado, FCAMPT, MScPT, GunnIMS