As a competitive gymnast, Janis Konkle, D.P.T. Class of 2019, was well acquainted with the misery of sports-related injury at a young age. As a result, she was also well-versed in the importance of physical therapy. “I was astounded with the physical therapist’s ability to individualize therapy to my goals and help me return to the sport,” she explains. In fact, she credits her formative years as the life events that inspired her to pursue a career as a physical therapist— and ultimately led her to NYMC.
Here she tells us about what she loves most about her chosen field, what makes NYMC’s program unique, and her favorite moment as a D.P.T. student.
What do you love most about the field of physical therapy?
The profound impact that a physical therapist can have on an individual’s functional independence and quality of life. Most importantly, I love how this impact is a result of changing and enhancing movement.
What types of patients do you hope to work with?
From my clinical experiences, I have found that I really enjoy working with a mix of patients—the young athletes with musculoskeletal injuries, and middle-aged individuals following total joint replacement, and older individuals post-stroke. As such, I look forward to working in the outpatient orthopedic setting because this environment will offer a mixture of cases made up of patients of various ages, diagnoses, and functional levels.
In your opinion, what makes this program unique?
The Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program at New York Medical College is unique because of the problem-based learning curriculum. The curriculum places strong emphasis on learning to work in groups. In these groups, we problem solve how to treat patients using evidence-based practice. This program is catered to the individual who loves to learn implicitly through lectures and then immediately transfer the knowledge to patient cases in lab and tutorial.
Can you share a favorite memory from your time as a NYMC student?
During my final day of my clinical rotation in the outpatient orthopedic setting, I completed an initial evaluation of a patient with a traumatic shoulder injury from skiing. I performed a subjective and objective examination/evaluation to identify her impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. I developed a trusting relationship with the patient and she agreed to the plan of care I developed. She left the clinic relieved about the nature of her condition and excited about working hard to return to skiing. Immediately after the evaluation, I looked at my clinical instructor with a huge smile across my face. I was overwhelmed with joy and a sense of accomplishment to use all the knowledge I learned at NYMC to help this patient. There is no better feeling.