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Featured Student Profiles from the School of Rehabilitation Sciences

 

Occupational Therapy

Tina Lai, OTD '20

 

Tina Lai

Doctor of Occupational Therapy '20

 

 

 

 

Why did you decide to work in Occupational Therapy?
When I first learned about occupational therapy, I was immediately drawn to the field because of its client-centered approach that incorporated kinesiology and psychology towards promoting patient independence. The focus of occupational therapy is on interventions that align with the patient's goals, so it is looking not only at healing the patient but also at helping them get back to what they enjoy doing.

What attracted you to the MGH Institute Doctor of Occupational Therapy program?
The program’s culture of collaboration and unique way of teaching its students drew me in. We are constantly working in teams and being hands on; in the future, these are skills necessary for best patient-centered care.

The MGH Institute also offers in depth learning, with teaching, leadership, and research to name a few. Knowledge in these fields will distinguish the OT from others and give a wider range of potential areas to work in.

What about the MGH Institute is special to you?
The MGH Institute emphasizes interprofessional education, which is evident in our required IMPACT course and necessary for streamlining future collaborations with other health care professionals. From our first year, we collaborate with students from other disciplines and learn about how each field focuses on different aspects of the patient while being patient centered.

What impact has your clinical experience during the program had on you?
I recently completed my first Level I fieldwork in the Neuro ICU at Massachusetts General Hospital. Everything I learned this semester came together, such as performing occupational profiles, vision tests, and manual muscle screening that we practiced in class. It was an extremely rewarding experience that reminded me of why I am in this field.

What do you appreciate most about your classmates?
My classmates come from all different backgrounds, but we are all here because of one passion. It is this like-mindedness that brings us together, and everyone helps each other out.

Does the Institute offer any special resources you use?
I use the library when I really need to focus and use the 2CC common area when I want a view while studying and meeting with my team. When I want to relax, I go to HarborView Gym which overlooks Boston Harbor.

What are your plans for after graduation?
My plans are to take the boards, pass, and become a practicing occupational therapist.

Are you involved in any extracurricular activities?
I am currently serving as co-chair for IHP Acts of Service, a community service group on campus that serves the Greater Boston area. Last month, we volunteered at the Boston Brain Tumor Walk and heard many touching stories of survivors. I’m excited for next semester’s events and more to come.

What's your favorite part about studying in Boston?
There are numerous opportunities to work in different facilities, especially for fieldwork. I've also never traveled by ferry before, but it's beautiful in the summertime and conveniently right next to school.

What are your prior degrees?
BA in psychology, with a minor in child and adolescent mental health studies, New York University, NY, NY, 2017

Where did you work before coming to the MGH Institute?
I worked as an office assistant in my residence hall and tutored in my free time.

 

 

Physician Assistant Studies

Marcus Wheeler, Physician Assistant Studies '19

Marcus Wheeler 

Master of Physician Assistant Studies '19

 

 

 

 

Why did you decide to work in the PA profession?
Growing up on a farm in rural Mississippi and eventually working as a law enforcement officer in Atlanta gave me a unique perspective on socioeconomic and health care disparities. When deciding on which health care discipline to pursue, I found PA was a natural choice. The very roots of the profession are to close the gap which affects so many people in my community and family alike.

What attracted you to the MGH Institute program?
The program was attractive due to its affiliation with the top hospitals in the country along with a mix of unique community health centers. I was attracted to the opportunity to participate in the Crimson Care Collaborative, a collection of student-run clinics founded by Harvard Medical School, dedicated to delivering care to underserved populations in the Greater Boston area. I was also attracted to the program's commitment to admitting a diverse population of students to better serve a diverse population of patients.

What about the MGH Institute is special to you?
In my experience, more questions in learning occur when taking information and attempting to apply it. With the Team Based Learning (TBL) approach, the information is learned at home and the application occurs in class. This gives you the opportunity to apply the information and work through practical case scenarios with the support of your team members and faculty.

What impact has your clinical experience during the program had on you?
The first year is primarily didactic, but the opportunities for interprofessional clinical observation at the MGH Institute have broadened my understanding of other health care professions. This adds to my ability to integrate and use all of the resources available to help the patient.

What do you appreciate most about your classmates?
What I appreciate the most about my classmates is the diversity. Our class has nearly a 35-year age span, a healthy mix of nationalities, and a host of experience. This has allowed us all to help each other grow and understand perspectives we may have never been able to have before.

Does the Institute offer any special resources you use?
The online library is great. It provides invaluable access to medical resources through the Partners network such as Up to Date. I am able to use this, and a host of other resources, from class or the comfort of home.

What are your plans for after graduation?
My plans are to go back down south and work. I am keeping an open mind, but as of now my top three fields are Emergency Medicine, Interventional Radiology, and Cardiovascular Surgery.

Are you involved in any extracurricular activities?

  • The Crimson Care Collaborative
  • Mindful meditation

What's your favorite part about studying in Boston?
Boston is full of history, hosts a variety of recreational events for decompression, and has a seemingly infinite amount of medical-educational resources. 

Is there anything else that you'd like to contribute about your experience as a student at the MGH Institute?
The view from campus is unmatched. Being present and taking in the sights and sounds of the Navy Yard is the best way to spend lunch breaks or to decompress after a long day of class.

What are your prior degrees?
AS, Business Administration, Troy University, Troy, AL, 2013
BS, Vascular and Interventional Radiology, Regis College, Weston, MA, 2016

Where did you work before coming to the MGH Institute?
I was working as an interventional radiologic technician at North Shore Medical Center in Salem, MA. Before that I held positions as a radiology aide in Greater Boston, and as a law enforcement officer in Atlanta, GA.

Physical Therapy

miguel-santiago-dpt-2019-profile.jpg

Miguel Santiago

Doctor of Physical Therapy, '19

 

 

 

 

 

Why did you decide to work in Physical Therapy?
The main reason I decided to work in physical therapy is I want to help people. Growing up as an athlete, and working as a strength and conditioning coach, I was always interested in the movement aspect of the human body and getting people strong and healthy. To me, working in the physical therapy profession would give me a deeper understanding of the human body as a whole, and allow me to combine my strength and conditioning background with a rehabilitative approach to examining, treating, and improving human performance in all aspects of life.

What attracted you to the MGH Institute Doctor of Physical Therapy program?
The main reasons I was attracted to this program was its location and its reputation as one of the top programs in the nation. Additionally, the program’s willingness to change their already strong program into a new integrative approach in order to improve student experience was something I knew I wanted to be a part of.

What about the MGH Institute is special to you?
I think what makes the MGH Institute special is the diversity throughout the entire campus. Diversity between the students and the professions allows for a very nurturing environment that encourages students to develop into well-rounded professionals. On this campus there are many students from different areas of the the country and the world, and we are all studying different things, but in the end we are all working together to accomplish the same goal of providing the best possible care to patients.

What impact has your clinical experience during the program had on you?
My clinical experience here at the Institute has definitely had a positive impact on how I approach every medical profession and also my own profession. The integrative experiences offered at the Institute allowed me to understand what it takes to be a good physical therapist and also how to collaborate with other health professions in order to provide the best possible care to patients. Additionally, the clinical experiences are great opportunities to escape the classroom and apply all the information we have learned during class in a real life situation. 

What do you appreciate most about your classmates?
What I appreciate the most about my classmates is how caring and professional they all are. As a cohort we are all in this together and my classmates realize this and really look out for one another. Whether it’s studying for exams or celebrating other life events we all care about each other and have built a tight-knit family focused on success and well being. I know through this experience that I have made friends for life and going forward I will a group of colleagues that will have a profound impact on the profession.

What is your most memorable experience?
My most memorable experience so far in my time here at the Institute involves both the PT faculty and my classmates. Knowing that I am Puerto Rican and that a majority of my family still lives in Puerto Rico, the PT faculty and my classmates showed a tremendous amount of support and interest in my well being following the devastating affects of hurricane Maria. Not only did they send emails showing concern and providing their support, my classmates and faculty surprised me with a card and a $500 check in order to help buy/send supplies to my family on the island affected by the hurricane. Receiving that letter and all their support was definitely an emotional experience and it made me grateful to be around so many great people within my program.

Does the Institute offer any special resources you use?
All the events held by the Institute have been valuable. Whether they were networking events or improving current facilities like the library or the IMPACT center, everything has made my experience here better. The renovation of the IMPACT center has been a great opportunity for us in the PT program to work in a learning environment with real patients.

What are your plans for after graduation?
Following graduation, I would love to take a trip around Europe to celebrate this great accomplishment, and to give me some time to reflect on the process that has lead me to this point. Ideally, after completing this trip, I would love to work in a facility where I could integrate my physical therapy and strength and conditioning skill sets with athletes of all ages.

Are you involved in any extracurricular activities?
Outside of school, I am certified strength and conditioning coach, and work at two local gyms in the Somerville area.

What's your favorite part about studying in Boston?
My favorite part about studying in Boston is the great environment that the city provides. There is so much history and diversity within the city that there is always something different you can see/learn on a daily basis. Additionally, studying physical therapy in Boston is an amazing opportunity because you are in the center of a medical hub where you can gain so much experience from any clinical experience you are a part of.

What are your prior degrees?
BS, Health and Exercise Science, Skidmore College, Sarasota Springs, NY, 2013

Where did you work before coming to the MGH Institute?
I worked as a strength and conditioning coach at Train for Life in Chicopee, MA.