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SHP PT Student Attends House of Delegates Conference

What started out as following social media dialogue and speaking to physical therapy peers, soon developed into an unforgettable opportunity.

Josh Karnowski, second year Doctor of Physical Therapy student, recently returned from the American Physical Therapy Association’s House of Delegates conference where he was selected as one of fifteen student ushers for the event. The event was held in Boston, MA from June 19-21.

“The House of Delegates is the policy-making body of the APTA,” describes Josh. “Each year, peer-elected physical therapists convene to discuss and vote on motions that ‘amend APTA’s bylaws, direct a course of action, articulate an association attitude on the physical therapy needs of the public or the needs of members, or describe a goal the association wishes to achieve’ (APTA website).’” Karnowski’s responsibilities included monitoring who entered the chamber during House deliberations, distributing and troubleshooting audience response system handsets used during votes, and passing notes between delegates to facilitate discussion on motions. He also volunteered as a door monitor during panel interviews for candidates vying for positions with the APTA Board of Directors and Nominating Committee.

Karnowski was pleasantly surprised with the atmosphere and experience of the event. He noticed the hundreds of delegates in attendance loved their profession, warmly welcomed first-timers, and respectfully considered each statement brought about for vote. Debates did not feel labored, rather “there was a real sense that everyone was carefully considering the importance of how the profession presents itself to the public and the greater healthcare community,” writes Josh in the APTA Student Assembly newsletter.

“I learned that there are a lot of very friendly, very helpful therapists from around the country who want to help students succeed and find their niche within the profession. I left Boston with a lot of business cards from PTs who offered me a clinical rotation spot while I’m in school and/or a job after graduation. This was a great unexpected peripheral benefit of the experience. I would love to continue attending the event as a student and then as a delegate once I’m a licensed therapist,” explains Josh.