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Q&A with Rachel Sadinsky

November 30, 2017

CNHP students are unique and amazing. Their dedication to health and healing and passion for their work is incredible. Off the Charts highlights some of these students to show what motivates them to want to help people.

Where did you receive your undergraduate degree and what is it?

I received my Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences from Drexel. I was in the 3+3 accelerated program which means that I completed my undergrad in three years, with one co-op experience, and then began full-time graduate school my fourth year. I knew I wanted to pursue a DPT degree when I applied to Drexel. The requirements of the 3+3 program stipulated I needed to maintain a certain GPA, finish specific classes, pass my GREs and apply to Drexel’s DPT program within my junior year. I wasn’t guaranteed a spot; I had to complete the interview and be accepted to the program just like anyone else.

You’re a third-year DPT student. Why did you choose to pursue a DPT degree?

I want to be able to help people get back on their feet after injury and live their lives to the fullest. I love all the different ways physical therapists help patients through manual techniques, therapeutic exercise, education and progression to independent management of one’s own symptoms. I love how much time physical therapists get to spend with their patients and the relationships we can develop.

What are your thoughts about CNHP’s program?

Drexel’s DPT program is unique because of the professors and staff who help make the program as successful as it is. Each professor is so knowledgeable about their course material and always willing to help the students in any way possible. I would not have been as successful in this program if it wasn’t for the dedication and wonderful personalities of each of my professors. Drexel also has amazing relationships with so many clinical education sites, making for an abundant selection for all students. There is also an opportunity to travel to the yearly American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting conference. And I went on a service trip to Guatemala.

What are your career aspirations?

Currently, I am applying to pediatric residency programs for the upcoming year. I am hoping to pursue a residency and become specialized in this area to better influence the lives of all children.

What is your approach with patients?

Every patient I treat I approach with an open mind, clear head and variety of possibilities. I allow the patient to tell me exactly what is bothering them and how it makes them feel before assessing them myself. I then perform an examination then piece together both objective and subjective information to determine the proper care and treatment approach for that specific individual. I then create a plan, with the help of the patient and any family members present, that will best suit the needs of that patient and help them to feel better.

What is the yoga program and what is your involvement with it?

For my final research project, I was lucky enough to be selected, along with a small group of classmates, to perform yoga research with children at the Blossom School in Philadelphia. Using the work of previous students, we created a yoga program for typically and atypically developing children to help enhance strength, flexibility, coordination and motor control. We went to Blossom multiple times to implement the program throughout different classrooms and perform the yoga with the children. We made corrections and changes to the program based on how the children responded during the session. We worked with children with special needs for the first time this year and adapted the program to best suit their needs. It was challenging and rewarding to find adaptations that allowed these children to participate and succeed. We are currently going back to Blossom to collect data on the children from pre- and post-implementation to assess its effects and benefits. We designed Yoga Flashcards for the Blossom teachers so that they could do the yoga program daily. We conducted teacher surveys to assess the use of these flashcards and utilized the data to make the flashcards more conducive to the classroom environment.

Can you tell me about the Guatemala trip and why you went?

When applying to Drexel’s DPT program, one of the highlights of the curriculum was the opportunity to go on a service trip to Guatemala during my third year. From the moment I saw this trip, I counted down the days until I could participate. I love to travel and am passionate about helping others. I wanted to share my skills and abilities with people who needed it the most. This trip was life-changing—a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. My classmates and I traveled to Guatemala, not knowing what to expect, but quickly learned about the impact we could have on this population. For five days, we moved to different locations treating patients who traveled many miles to see us. The first day we went to a school to set up a “pop up” physical therapy clinic. One of my patients was a barefoot little girl who came in with fractures in both feet and a family who could not afford surgery. We didn’t have shoes that would fit her, so I gave her the ones I wore that day. On the last day of treatment, we went to a nutrition center and participated in the weekly meal for the children of the community. We provided physical therapy services to people in the community and children at the nutrition center.

What was the biggest impact it had on you?

This trip impacted me as a person and the way I approach treatment with all patients. This trip taught me that you couldn't treat every single impairment that a patient has because you would never be able to get anything done. You must focus in on what you can do to help impact the patient’s life the most. I saw first-hand how little these people have and how fortunate we are to live the way we do.

What do you do for fun or in your downtime?

In my downtime, I enjoy running, exploring Philadelphia and spending time with family and friends.

Things I would like to recommend:

Book: Left Neglect and Inside the O’Briens both by Lisa Genova.

TV or movie: I just binge watched Grace and Frankie on Netflix and love Grey’s Anatomy. My favorite movie all time is Mary Poppins.