Taking off the Training Wheels with Dr. Ryan McConnell


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This episode is hosted by Alex Crabill and Hunter Pickens with collaboration from Bruce Jackson and Gabby Perez. In this episode, we interview Ryan McConnell PT, DPT, OCS, COMT, FAAOMPT, assistant professor at Belmont University and former clinic director with BenchMark Physical Therapy in Franklin, TN. We discuss what he has seen from students and CI’s in the past. We focus on full time clinical rotation experiences from the perspective of a student, a CI, and the director of a clinic. Information gathered from polls we presented in our class Groupme showed that while most of our classmates had good experiences and thought highly of their CI’s, there is still room for improvement and that the amount of freedom given by CI’s to their students varies considerably. From the perspective of a CI, we sought to gain insight into what CI’s do, or should do, in order to best serve their students. We also are looking to have Ryan explain what are some of the benefits of taking on the role of a CI and explain why it is worth a PT’s time and effort to commit to having a student. Lastly, we want to know what the director’s role is in this process and how they can manage this situation to provide a good learning experience for students and ensure that their PT’s are able to grow as clinicians by taking on a new role of being a CI.

Based on a small survey from within the Belmont University Physical Therapy class, we concluded that on average students felt they had an 8.5/10 rating satisfaction with their clinical experience and on average had a 7.9/10 rating satisfaction with their clinical instructor. The lowest satisfactory scores were both 4 out of 10. We sought to dive further into how to maximize the experience and satisfaction from both the students perspective and from the clinical instructor perspective to make clinical rotations better

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