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Meet Sean, DPT Student- Buffalo

Why did you decide to enter the field of Physical Therapy?

As far back as I can remember I have always been fascinated with movement. When I was just a child in elementary school, zoology seemed to be my calling. I was just mesmerized by the amazing power, speed, strength and endurance some animals possessed. As I grew older, I became more interested in those same attributes specifically applied to only one species: humans. Once I joined my middle school’s cross country team and began running competitively, I began to really dive into learning about human performance. As training progressed, I ended up suffering a grade 2 ankle sprain. This was a very depressing period of time because qualifying for the state meet was no longer possible. With nothing else to turn to and knowing that my season was done, my family and I turned to our local orthopedic physical therapy clinic. At that time, I was not really considering physical therapy as a career choice, even though my entire life was surrounded by some form of therapy without even realizing it yet. For instance, my older brother, Adam, had undergone two knee surgeries where I watched his Physical Therapist teach him to walk again, twice! Both of my parents are Speech Language Pathologists and I received speech and OT services in elementary school as well. In regards to my own treatment, I bought into what was taught to me by my therapist and ended up returning to running stronger than before I was injured! PT works! There was no going back for me at that point. I wanted to help people feel the way I felt. I wanted to teach people to utilize movement to help them regain lost function, to regain and potentially improve upon athletic performance and to regain lost lifestyles. This is why I decided to enter the field of Physical Therapy. It was probably the best decision I’ve made in my life so far.

 

What is your background?

At the current moment of writing this passage, I am a third year Doctorate of Physical Therapy student at the University at Buffalo as well as a physical preparation coach for Absolute Performance in Buffalo, NY. Before my first day of PT school, I spent the previous 4 years earning a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from the University at Buffalo, which included completion of a 15 week strength and conditioning internship with my current employer. As far as my athletic background, I was not what you would call an aggressive kid, but I sure did have a lot of energy that needed to be burned up! Growing up in the Adirondacks of Upstate New York, my brother and our friends were constantly outside playing. Whether it was cycling, running, roller skating, climbing trees, swimming, kayaking, tubing, snowshoeing, mountain biking, mountain climbing, or backyard pickup sports like football, baseball, basketball, and any other game that came to mind. As a competitive athlete, my main love was running. I ran competitively in cross country and track and field throughout middle and high school. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. After entering college as a freshman, the iron game grabbed my attention. Throughout college, I dabbled in all areas of resistance training including bodybuilding, powerlifting, crossfit, olympic weightlifting, kettlebells, etc. During March of 2019, I competed in my first physique competition at the Mr Buffalo Bodybuilding Championships. In regards to physical preparation, I have experience teaching resistance training specific to multiple athletic disciplines, as well as teaching acceleration and change of direction skills to multi-directional field sport athletes.

 

What is your specialty/niche when it comes to being a future physical therapist?

As a physical therapist and physical preparation coach I truly believe in the power of movement to prevent disease and dysfunction as well as to promote overall health, wellness and performance regardless of age or athletic ability. Specifically, my passion lies with preventing dysfunction and the negative side effects that come with early specialization of youth athletes. The age of early specialization is here. Young athletes are specializing in sports like baseball before they can even hip hinge or squat proficiently. In my future career, I would like to use my platform as a Doctor of Physical Therapy to help young athletes as all ages and athletic capabilities develop a big base of movement variability, strength, and endurance in order to prevent the ill effects of early specialization while managing injuries and dysfunction that comes about along the way.

 

What are you most looking forward to joining the Rehab 2 Perform team?

It is my dream to work with an athletic population and combine my skills as a coach with the skills and clinical lens of a Physical Therapist. Therefore, I am most looking forward to becoming a “sponge” and absorbing as much information as possible. It will be wonderful to improve upon my ability to thoroughly evaluate and treat all sorts of patient cases, from simple to complex. As well as learning new skills and assessment techniques. PRI, FMS and SFMA are really interesting and I am so excited to learn more about these systems.

 

What are your plans on trying to engage and connect with the community?

I plan to engage with the R2P community as much as possible while keeping COVID19 Guidelines in mind at all times. I plan to enter the clinic everyday with a smile on my face and a greeting for the first person I see. I will happily meet all staff, clients, patients and athletes and begin working on day 1 to build a strong professional relationship with each individual. Unfortunately, I am not very savvy when it comes to social media. I know, that sounds weird for someone as young as myself. However, I would like to take this opportunity to learn how to properly engage and connect with the R2P community through social media. Whether it be making posts about what experiences I had that day or week, pictures of diagrams on white boards, or sharing posts made by other staff members and fellow interns.