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PT student essay: A journey toward mindfulness

May 7, 2021

Congratulations to Neumann University Doctor of Physical Therapy Program graduate student Kelsey Robinson, SPT, the winner of the annual physical therapy student essay contest co-sponsored by the ACAPT Consortium for the Humanities, Ethics, and Professionalism (CHEP) and the Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation (JHR).

Kelsey Robinson, SPT

This writing competition is designed to encourage deep thinking by students about the role and value of humanities, ethics, and professionalism in academic training and professional life. The fourth in an annual series, the CHEP-JHR essay contest offers a creative opportunity to ignite critical reflection in PT students across the nation, to support holistic approaches to patient care.

This year’s essay prompt was:

2020 is defined by crises and uncertainties related to the COVID- 19 pandemic and racial tensions. These impact the moral, social, political and economic foundations of our world, nation, and the profession of physical therapy. Navigating one’s professional identity and formation during this time is undoubtedly challenging, and you may have had unexpected, yet impactful interactions as a result.

Describe an experience that significantly impacted your professional growth and identity as a future physical therapist, with respect to the public health crises of racism and/or COVID-19.

  • What about this encounter was instructive?
  • In what ways did this experience enlighten your perspective on one or more of the core values of our profession?

In her essay, A Journey Toward Mindfulness (published in the Spring 101 issue of JHR), Ms. Robinson reminds us that while we cannot fully understand someone else’s steps through life, we can

“validate life through [our] own shoes. Whether embellished with privilege or stained by tribulations, reflecting on one’s own life experiences will uncover biases, personal revelation, and the means to navigate life as a part of shared humanity.”

Essays from the two additional finalists, Henry Fok, SPT (Columbia University) and Xavier Gibson, SPT (Springfield College), will be published in the Fall 2021 issue of JHR.

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