Timothy M. Haitz
Hometown: Kingston, Rhode Island
Degree Program: Doctorate of Physical Therapy
Anticipated Graduation Year: 2014
Why did you choose Physical Therapy?
I love helping and working with people. I know from first-hand experience what a difference a physical therapist can make in a person's life. I want to be that person.
What inspired you to pursue this career path?
When I was 15 years old I was hit by a car and could not walk for over a year. Physical therapy changed my life.
Why did you choose URI?
I was particularity impressed with the broadening experience. I also liked the way URI's Physical Therapy program has the clinical rotations all in the third year.
What has been the best part of your studies at URI?
In PHT 500 Anatomy, we worked with cadavers. This experience brought my understanding of the human body to a whole new level.
What's been the best part of your whole experience at URI?
Everything that goes into getting a college education, i.e., faculty-student interaction, time management, athletics, the arts, community, etc.
What has surprised you most about URI?
I never realized how much I loved learning until I came to URI.
What do you think of the faculty at URI?
The PT faculty here at URI is fantastic. They have an open door policy, which promotes a learning environment.
What do you consider the biggest strengths of your particular program at URI?
The smaller class sizes.
What kind of internships, experiential learning opportunities, or real-life experiences have you had?
I was involved in a program sponsored by RIGEC and the MHRI Division of Geriatrics which focused on interdisciplinary teamwork. Specifically, this program was a clinical educational series for students of pharmacy, nursing, medicine, social work, nutrition and rehab. The program was a four-part clinical education seminar series, which included home visits and was designed to introduce health care professional students to teamwork theory and practice through seminars and experimental components. Each session started with a seminar on the essentials of building an interdisciplinary team, and was followed by a presentation of a geriatric assessment case by a family resident medicine physician from Brown University. The team then reconvened to develop a plan of care. I had the opportunity to assess and participate on a geriatric assessment team and discuss factors that impact the effectiveness of a team approach. The objectives of the series were the following:
- Identify the necessary components and roles of an effective geriatric team
- Describe the roles of other health care professionals in facilitating collaboration and inter-professional teamwork
- Identify issues of management and important health related outcomes (patient, provider and facility level) discussed by geriatric teams
- Identify the quality indicators for effective geriatric teams and elements of team cohesiveness, including communication, conflict, leadership, role negotiation and advocacy.
- Critique role as a team member in terms of effectiveness
- Discuss the impact of culture, diversity and ethnicity on decisions made by inter-professional team members including older adults
- Participate in an experiential learning activity that provides a place to practice and observe teamwork skills.
What's your "Big Idea"?
I would like to improve healthcare by increasing the understanding and awareness for the need to approach our patients from an interdisciplinary perspective. I would like to be involved in developing a seminar for graduate students at URI who are studying physical therapy, nursing, pharmacy, nutrition, psychology, and social work. The goals of the seminar would be:
- To highlight the value of thinking about the patient from a broader perspective.
- To introduce the students to other disciplines in a way that increases their comfort level with being a part of an interdisciplinary team so that they may be more likely to use such an approach once out in the field working as healthcare providers.
What would you say to someone undecided about where to go to school for your particular major/program?
No matter where you want to go to school, you need to have the grades to get in, so make sure that this is not going to be an issue by doing well from the start. Also, consider getting internship/observation/work experience in your junior year (or earlier) so that you can get a better understanding of the profession. This will help you narrow down the program you will want to get into.