Dr. Lisa Yoon's Advanced Seminar in Pediatrics

Dr. Lisa Yoon's Advanced Seminar in Pediatrics

Dr. Yoon’s Advanced Seminar in Pediatrics is a course offered in our program. It stands out for its effectiveness in teaching students and patients, or in this case the parents of patients. Teaching has become a reoccurring theme in the constantly evolving world of PT. Stories like these are reminders of what makes our program so special. Our third-year DPT student Zenas Singh gave us his own personal thoughts on Advanced Seminar in Pediatrics. At the Columbia University Programs in Physical Therapy, we value this insight and perspective that we receive from our students. Their feedback helps improve the courses for future students. We spoke to Zenas about his hands-on practical experience, and his responses are below.

DPT student with a pediatric patient.

What is Dr. Yoon’s Advanced Seminar in Pediatrics course like? What makes this course special/different from the others you have taken through your PT career?

If I were to use a word to describe Dr. Yoon’s Advanced Seminar in Pediatrics it would be engaging. Each week is tailored to a specific intervention, diagnosis, or setting related to the pediatric field where we have guest lecturers and specialists in their respective fields interact with us. By doing so, we are given a wide exposure to different specialties in pediatrics and what working in them entails.

This course allowed us to work with like-minded individuals thus creating an environment conducive to learning about pediatrics. While we have similar goals, we all have vastly different perspectives and experiences that allow us to have thought-provoking discussions on how to better treat our pediatric population. Also, this track-focused on our individual growth as future physical therapists by intertwining discussions about empathy, family-focused care and learning more about different subspecialties.

How important is it to you to have hands-on practical experience?

Personally, it is important for me to have practical experience as I am a kinesthetic learner and am better able to understand the material if I am exposed to it in a clinical setting. It allows me to reinforce theoretical knowledge and better understand how to effectively work with and treat my patients. As a class, we took a trip to Rifton, a place that provides adaptive equipment for children with special needs, and were able to participate in workshops that allowed us to learn how to use the various devices that our future patients may use. On that note, we were given the opportunity to also explore different fields of pediatrics by engaging in 3 observations and 5 clinical experiences. This allowed me to rotate in a cystic fibrosis clinic, PICU, cardiopulm rehab, CanWarriors, faculty practice, and neonatal clinic in which I got exposure to different aspects of pediatrics and was able to visualize both the similarities and differences in treatments between these groups.

DPT Student with Dr. Yoon and a pediatric patient.

What would you want students interested in the program to know about this course as well as the practical experience you received?

This course is tailored towards those who are invested in working with the pediatric population. Dr. Yoon sets up the advanced track in a way that allows all of us to feel comfortable walking into our first pediatric clinical regardless of our prior experiences working with this population. The track allowed me to grow as a future physical therapist and feel more confident in various aspects of my training, such as becoming an effective leader, creating an open line of communication, and improving my skills in treating patients.

In this advanced track, we were all given the opportunities to visit various sites, see real patients, collaborate with classmates, and have fun doing so. Dr. Yoon gave us multiple opportunities to be exposed to different pediatric settings so that we could determine where our interest in the field lies. Overall, if you are interested in pediatrics, I highly recommend you participate in this advanced track. You will not only get the opportunities to further pursue your passions with like-minded people but also learn from a professor who is invested in you becoming a successful pediatric PT.

** Our January newsletter will feature a follow-up to this story! Please stay tuned!