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Physical Therapy Students Gain Real-World Experience at USciences Pro Bono Clinic

By Jenna Pizzi

Published on March 20, 2019

Alexa Mock and Tammy Megedyuk Before they have even started their careers Alexa Mock DPT’21 and Tammy Megedyuk DPT’24 are already perfecting their bedside manner and getting to interact with patients at USciences' pro bono physical therapy clinic where, with faculty mentors, they help to treat residents of Southwest and West Philadelphia.

Being involved in the pro bono clinic has given Megedyuk insight into her future profession.

"Even though I'm unable to treat our patients at the moment I know that I am still having an effect on their lives, which means a great deal to me," she said. Even as a first year student, she has been given exposure to what her future as a PT entails.

The USciences-Mercy Pro Bono Clinic launched in 2002 as a partnership among USciences, Mercy Health System, and the City of Philadelphia. Through integrated clinical experiences students gain exposure working in a real-world environment and get a boost in self confidence and decision making skills. Since its inception the clinic has provided care to more than 800 uninsured patients and countless experiences to students and faculty alike.

"This exposure to patients has also helped me and will continue to help me better my patient bed side manner," said Megedyuk. "Being able to work and communicate with individuals with a wide variety of different cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds is another example as to how the clinic is better preparing me for my future as a PT."

Pro Bono ConferenceMock, Megedyuk, Rich DiGiacomo Jr. DPT’10, and Shaun Varrecchia DPT, assistant professor of physical therapy, represented the clinic at the Pro Bono Network Eastern Regional Conference at Widener University on Sat, Mar 9, 2019. Over 200 faculty and students representing 37 programs were in attendance.

The conference helped Mock and Megedyuk interact and connect with like-minded physical therapy students who are involved in pro bono work.

"The greatest thing I realized being at the conference is that there are so many eager and young students ready to help a population that may often be turned away from care due to lack of insurance," said Mock. "Each patient should be treated with respect and get the same type of care from whomever is treating them."

Mock said she is looking forward to adopting the lessons learned in the USciences clinic.

"This opened my eyes to the real struggles of healthcare and different populations and how to take care of them in a proper manner to ensure that all patients are treated fairly and thoroughly."

Categories: News, Samson College of Health Sciences, Department of Physical Therapy, Physical Therapy, Students, Faculty, Community Service, Philadelphia,