PTWebucation.com is pleased to showcase a New Graduate Spotlight on Lauren Bilski PT, DPT, PCBIS.
I had the pleasure of speaking with recent graduate, Dr. Lauren Bilski, to discuss her past and future in the Physical Therapy field. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Dance at Drexel University in 2013 and most recently a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Thomas Jefferson University. She is now putting her degrees to work at Magee Rehabilitation.
During an online interview with Dr. Bilksi, she revealed that her past as a dancer and her childhood curiosity about how neurology worked contributed to her decision to become a Physical Therapist. She says, “Growing up as a ballet and modern dancer, movement has always been a very important and special part of my life. It was not until a young girl in one of my dance classes was affected by a serious neurological condition that I realized how incredibly valuable movement is and how easy it is to take for granted. I was inspired by her rehabilitation process and all that she has accomplished with the support of a wonderful family and an incredible team of therapists.” As a result Dr. Bilski was motivated to start working with children who suffer from brain injury at Camp Cranium. She volunteered during the summers. She says of the experience, “One day at Camp Cranium was more than enough to get me hooked. The stories and achievements I have heard over the last eight years provided me with unyielding motivation and pushed me to realize my dream of becoming a physical therapist.”
Specifically, Dr. Bilksi says she is drawn to the field of Physical Therapy to help others. Her compassion for those in need is illustrated through her work. She goes on to say, “There is not a more perfect explanation than the APTA’s vision statement itself, ‘Transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience.’ I am drawn to the physical therapy field as it is deeply rooted in motivation, empowerment and growth. Physical therapy is based on helping vulnerable people experience their lives to the fullest potential, liberating them to take control of their own health and supporting them in realizing their goals. Being able to play a critical role during this transition in someone’s life is an incredibly special and rewarding privilege that I am genuinely honored to share with them.”
In her studies, Dr. Bilksi especially favored the subject of neurology. She explains further, “There are two major reasons that I fell in love with the neurology coursework. First, there is something about neurology that comes intuitively to me, it makes sense. Being able to follow a pathway from lesion to symptoms is inherently satisfying and truly interesting. Secondly, neurology is rarely defined as black and white; there are so many unknowns and mysteries that have yet to be uncovered. The curiosities of the nervous system are never ending and always succeed in engaging my interests. I could not imagine a more exciting field to study than one that is constantly changing and evolving.
When discussing the hardest part of her coursework, Dr. Bilksi kept her response witty and lighthearted, “Cardiopulmonary was always the most challenging coursework for me. Obviously it is one of the most significant systems, yet it never came as easily to me as neurology and took much more effort until it fully clicked and I was able to take it to heart, no pun intended.”
She recently accepted a position within the Spinal Cord Injury Unit at Magee Rehabilitation. She notes the most rewarding part of her new position is when her patients make a breakthrough. Her favorite part of the job is “to experience the small victories with my patients. Many of them are facing their biggest challenges and have suddenly become dependent on the support and care of others. It is a notably difficult transition. I am very grateful to be present at this important juncture in my patients’ lives, earn their trust, and play a role in helping them regain independence and realize their fullest potential.”
While she is enjoying the new position, Dr. Bilski admits there are some challenges, but her positive outlook shines through even in tough situations. She says, “Not every day is a victory for my patients. With every success comes tremendous obstacles and sometimes failure. In addition to the challenges of being a new graduate and learning to trust my clinical judgment, the emotional burden can be difficult to accept. However, the more challenging the obstacles and sacrifices, the more rewarding the small victories become.”
As PTWebucation.com is a continuing education company for Physical Therapists, we discussed her thoughts on the importance of PT CEUs. She told us, “As a new graduate, I am genuinely very grateful for continuing education. In just three years of physical therapy school, I have personally observed the rapid evolution of the research and practice surrounding the physical therapy field. Continuing education is an opportunity to learn the ‘beyond entry level skills’ and advancing techniques to keep up with our progressive profession and to fully maximize our own internal potential.”
Our goal at PTWebucation.com is to provide interesting, convenient, affordable, and flexible CEUs to PTs and PTAs. When choosing future CEUs, Dr. Bilski says, “I hope to focus my continuing education courses on topics and interventions that will address the recovery challenges I see in my patients every day. I try to choose courses that are based in current research and have demonstrated clinically significant results. The most beneficial CEUs will be those that are engaging, push modern interventions and show the greatest evidence base for improving the lives and recovery of my patients.”
When asked how she sees herself involved in the physical therapy community in the next few years, she explained her plans for the future: “Being a part of the professional association has been a great experience for me and is a role I am excited to keep expanding on. In the next few years, I plan on continuing to take on a significant active role in the association by advocating for our patients and for our profession.” She fully believes in the APTA’s mission and supports its professional values and goals. She say, “The APTA is our voice as a profession, a duty of the utmost importance in unleashing the full potential of therapists throughout the nation. I look forward to continuing to contribute to that voice as well as spread the importance of the APTA to my fellow therapists.”
She sees herself expanding on her neurology studies and work. Dr. Bilski says, “I look forward to continuing to work in acute neurology rehabilitation and eagerly anticipate attaining my Neurological Clinical Specialty.”
It was wonderful to hear such enthusiasm for the Physical Therapy field from this recent graduate. We look forward to following her career and know she will bring her excitement and determination into everything she does.