Skylar Bown – Meet the first MPT-North Cohort

Skylar Bown

Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario

What inspired you to pursue your program?

Growing up surrounded by sport led me to be exposed to all sorts of sport-related occupations – sports psychologists, physiotherapists, athletic therapists, and coaches. I set a goal in middle school to become a physical therapist. Though my mind changed many times along the way, I found myself back at square one, which is right where I belong. I strongly believe that movement is medicine, and in the power of physical therapy to add to or regain a wholesome quality of life.

How has your experience in the MPT-North program been so far?

Let’s put it this way, I cannot speak about my experience as an MPT-N student without a genuine grin from ear to ear. The advocacy from our site leads and MPT faculty in the North is unbeatable. Our family of 20 students have unconditional support for each other, whether that be a product of pandemic restrictions, school stress, or as a question for the local students on where to find PG’s best pizza (at Crossroads by the way!).

Where are you hoping the MPT-North program takes you?

I am hopeful that the MPT-N program will allow me to practice decolonized and stable physical therapy, specifically in women’s health and in Indigenous settings. I am passionate about both gender and racial equity, and I believe that this program has the ability to subject me to new, and sometimes uncomfortable, experiences to face and challenge these inequities in health care.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?

I think the best piece of advice I ever received was from my mom in 12th grade when I was deciding whether I should choose human kinetics or applied sciences as my top choice in my university applications. She encouraged me to practice using my wise mind, over a solely reasonable or emotional mind. Emotionally, I was passionate about sport and movement, but reasonably I was proficient in math and physics. In the end, I chose what makes my heart sing, while considering that kinesiology incorporates physics as well as my love for human movement. If I hadn’t learned to use my wise mind, I may have never ended up in the MPT-N program.

What was your first job?

My first job was as a coach, for both soccer and track and field. I think this shaped me and built up my leadership skills. I am thankful for the extra push I was given by my parents to go out of my comfort zone. It now feels intuitive within me to coach, and this reflects in all aspects of my life.

Favourite hobby or recreational activity?

I love to move my body, be it hiking, yoga, walking, spinning, lifting, or most recently (new to me) cross-country skiing! Being surrounded by like-minded class- and house-mates has motivated me to explore new ways to get moving and stay social. This is especially true since the pandemic, as outdoor socially distanced activities have been, what seems to be, a saviour to mine and many other’s sanities over the past 11 months.