By Deb Matsuura

F&L Fall Semester Co-ops Are Here!

F&L is very proud and excited to have four new Northeastern Co-ops this fall. They all wrote their own blogs and will be featured individually in our Happy at Work Blog throughout the month.

Let's meet Juliet! She will be working with our Work Comp/No Fault patients at WORC and learning all about Aquatic Therapy at our Kaneohe pool.

 

What school did you attend in high school and what's your current college?

I went to Kennedy Catholic High School in Westchester, New York, and I just finished my second year as an undergraduate in Northeastern’s 6-year DPT program.

What drew you to physical therapy?

As a lifelong dancer, I have always been fascinated by how the parts of the body work together to produce movement – whether it is as simple as reaching to the top cabinet to put a glass away or as complex as completing 16 consecutive pirouettes en pointe without losing balance. When I was an Achilles tendonitis patient in high school, I was intrigued by the multiple PT clinics I visited and therapists I worked with. Despite having positive experiences, I wished I had encountered a therapist with a dance background, and with that thought, I saw my future self as a potential solution to my situation. Since high school, I have spent time exploring by taking classes in anything that sparked my interest, from stem cells to food justice, and journalism to biopsychology, yet human anatomy remained front and center. I even had the opportunity to work in a biology research lab as a freshman in college, and while I loved the end goal of the lab’s work, pipetting and test tubes seemed far removed from the people I wanted to help. This quickly helped me to understand my desire to take my passion for biology, the body, and problem solving, and apply it in a way that would directly help people to return to an improved physical state. Every day, I return home from working in the clinic and the pool with a growing certainty that physical therapy is a profession that will not only give me a purpose, but more importantly, grant me the opportunity to help others return to their purposes.

Why did you want to do your co-op in Hawaii?

I love to explore, and one of my passions is traveling the world to experience how people of different cultures live their daily lives. I had been to Hawaii with my family on vacation and I fell in love with the scenery but missed out on the culture; it’s tough to get a full cultural experience as a tourist. When I heard about a co-op opportunity that would allow me to be less of a tourist and more of a resident in a place that could not be more beautiful, it rose to the top of my list. Talking with the previous co-ops about their experiences at Fukuji & Lum only fueled my desire to live and work here even more. Hearing their stories about how welcoming the entire work community was and how much they learned about treating patients holistically resonated with my values and goals as a future therapist.

What has your experience been like so far?

My experience has been absolutely incredible. I come home from work every day in awe of how everyone really does seem to be “happy at work,” and I think of how lucky I am to be here. The entire F&L community has been so kind, welcoming, inclusive, and eager to help us learn, and patients have been so happy to work with us even though we are still beginners.  Time seems to fly in the clinic because there is always something to do – a patient to help, a new exercise or skill to master, a note to write, a conversation to have. One of the therapists convinced me to start coming for 6am workouts before the work day, and although I have never been a fan of early morning workouts, something about going in early and starting my day sweating with them has been such a positive experience. Outside the clinic, weekends are packed full of adventures: hikes, beaches, snorkeling, arts festivals, and more. I did not know the other co-ops very well before coming here and it has been fun getting to know them and to explore with them these past few weeks. I am so excited for the rest of this experience and will try to soak in as much as I can before returning to the Boston cold!

What's the strangest thing that you've eaten since arriving?

Lychee! It was extra special because it was from a coworker’s tree back home in Kauai. And although I would not consider it strange, poke is my favorite meal I have eaten (more times than I would like to admit) since arriving.

What is on your to do list while here?

My to-do list already seemed never-ending before I arrived, but after all the recommendations from patients and coworkers, I think I could live here for 6 years instead of 6 months and still not get to everything! The list includes too many hikes to name them all, skydiving, windsurfing & surfing, watch a surfing competition at the North Shore, lots of snorkeling, go to a luau, visit the Mermaid Caves, take a hula class, swim with sharks (maybe?), run the half marathon at Kualoa Ranch, try poke from every spot recommended by patients, go camping for a weekend, kayak to the Mokes, walk/swim out to Chinaman’s Hat… it really just never ends!

On a more personal level, I am really looking forward to using this time away from school and home to discover a greater purpose and to further develop goals for myself as a therapist. I am also hoping to impact the lives of patients and to give back to the community here, even if only in a small way. I’ll follow up on that in the final reflection!

What kind of therapist do you hope to be?

While I am still unsure of which route I would like to take within the PT field, I hope to be the therapist that my patients need at the moment in their lives that we happen to meet. While that is a lofty aspiration, I will work my hardest to make it a reality because every patient deserves a therapist who sees him/her not as an injury or condition, but instead as a person. I want to continue learning long after I graduate to keep up with the latest research that could potentially help my patients. I hope to be creative and to think critically like the therapists at WORC when they come up with exercises that mimic activities in patient’s work environments to help heal and strengthen them before they return to their jobs. I hope to be confident enough in my knowledge base to be able to adapt my style to fit various personalities and lifestyles that patients may lead – be more stern with some if necessary, humorous with others, a shoulder to lean on for someone who may need it at the time – and most of all, I hope to be empathetic and to help my patients understand that they are more than whatever injury or condition might be weighing them down.

Who is your greatest influence in your life?

My parents have always been the greatest influence in my life, although I am so fortunate to have met many other wonderful influences along the way, too. My mom’s compassionate, empathetic nature has allowed her to constantly support and encourage me and to instill in me the importance of giving back to the community. My dad has never stopped inspiring me to be intellectually curious – he reminded me every day before middle and high school that my end goal was to learn as much as I could from every situation, every textbook, every conversation. Whether it was playing the “hard question game” with me on rides to dance and gymnastics as a kid, taking long walks with me on the beach or in a foot of snow to talk things out, or sitting front and center at every dance recital, my parents have never stopped giving their all for me or being my number one fans. Mahalo, Mom and Dad!!

By Deb Matsuura

Mahalo from Taylor

My time in Hawaii has come to an end, unfortunately. A lot of things have changed since my last reflection, I became more efficient with time in clinic, cultivated PT skills, created a new Ohana in Hawaii and my hair grew an inch or two. My time at F&L was very enjoyable from talking story with patients or learning new PT techniques. The staff at F&L created a comfortable and positive environment, to allow students to grow not only in their skills but in their thinking as well.
F&L offered everything; both physical therapy knowledge or tips for after graduating and best spots to check out. I was able to explore the beautiful islands of Hawaii, especially while hiking. All the locals knew where to cruise through and here are some of the beautiful views and Ono grindz Hawaii has to offer. Mahalo nui loa to the Fukuji & Lum PT Ohana for all the great experiences and teaching moments during my six months!
Mahalo,
Taylor
By Hillary Lau

Meet Victoria, our Health Science Northeastern University Co-Op!

F&L was fortunate enough to obtain seven Northeastern University Coops this semester, one of whom is Victoria, a Health Science student. Although she is not a physical therapy student, Victoria is able to use her health science background and knowledge to assist the therapists in many ways as well as experience all the aspects of being in an out-patient care clinic.

Let's meet Victoria and read about her experiences working at F&L and living in Hawaii.

What school did you attend in high school and what's your current college?
I went to Dartmouth High School in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. I currently attend Northeastern University as a 2nd year Health Science student.

Why were you drawn to health science?
I was drawn to health science after interning at my local board of health in my hometown during high school. It was the first time that I discovered the many different paths there are into the health care field and I wanted to learn more about this in college. Health science has given me the flexibility to explore all aspects of health care from public policy to health care ethics and even physical therapy!

Why did you want to do your co-op in Hawaii?
I wanted to co-op in Hawaii because I wanted a change of pace to the lifestyle that I grew up with and Hawaii’s culture and weather were certainly different from what I am used to. The immediate sense of “ohana”, the never-ending feeling of adventure, and the warmth of the sun almost every day of the year were all things that drew me to Hawaii, but most of all it was the opportunity to meet new people and explore new cultures.

What has been your experience like so far?
My experience so far has been amazing!  I will be the first to admit that many things scare me - bugs, heights, sharks, tropical diseases, more bugs, etc... -  but thanks to my incredible friends and fellow-co-ops I have been able to go out of my comfort zone and explore this beautiful island following their lead and sense of adventure. I’ve been able to have a lot of firsts here in Hawaii - my first hike, first kayak on the ocean, first paddle boarding, first cliff jump, first time driving a standard car -  and I can’t wait for the many more firsts yet to come.

What's the strangest thing that you've eaten since arriving?
Natto, a fermented soybean, is probably the strangest thing I have eaten here. It’s not the worst thing I’ve ever eaten, but it’s not great either - it’s definitely an acquired taste. I am glad though that it made my co-workers happy watching me try to eat it.

What is on your to do list while here?
It feels like I’ve already done so much, but I would still love to visit Kauai, perhaps go camping there, continue to learn about the community and people on the island and about physical therapy, and, of course, eat all the local food!

What are your plans for the future?
After graduating with my degree I plan to go to medical school and hopefully work in family medicine or pediatrics with a focus in public health. I’d like to work with the U.S. Public Health Service or other public service to provide aid and medical support to underserved communities at home and abroad. Anywhere I go though, I hope to be a compassionate, knowledgeable, and team-oriented provider like the PTs I’ve been able to work with here.

Who is your greatest influence in your life?
The greatest influence in my life is my Dad. He loved unconditionally, questioned everything, and rolled with the punches. He showed me how to work hard and keep dreaming and I am forever grateful for this life he showed me how to live.

By Hillary Lau

Welcome our Northeastern University Co-Op, Taylor!

We have quite a bit of Coops joining us this semester. Taylor is our 6th PT student to come from Northeastern and he works at our Kaneohe clinic and Kokokahi Aquatic Pool. He shared with us what his experience has been like so far in Hawaii and why he wants to become a physical therapist.

What school did you attend in high school and what's your current college?
I attended Merrimack High School, St. Joseph’s College and Northeastern.

What drew you to physical therapy?
My interest in PT sparked when I got injured and had a good relationship with my therapist but it began to grow as I got more interested in the human body while playing sports.

Why did you want to do your co-op in Hawaii?
There are many reasons Hawaii was my top choice but a few important reasons were; explore a new patient population I have not worked with before, exploring Hawaii, being closer to my Grandfather as he gets older, and the presentation at Northeastern representing what F&L was about.

What has been your experience like so far?
My experience here at F&L has been challenging, educational and enjoyable. From working on my time management skills working with multiple patients or just working on listening to the patient and understand what they are experiencing. I have learned that listening to the patient will be one of the most important skills as a PT as I start to create my own career.

What's the strangest thing that you've eaten since arriving?
The strangest snack I have had here has been the fermented natto beans from Talon.

What is on your to do list while here?
On my to do list is stairway to heaven and to observe a full Initial Evaluation in clinic.

What kind of therapist do you hope to be?
The therapist I want to become is a therapist that can be relied from both peers and patients, along with a constant drive to continually learn about the field of PT.

Who is your greatest influence in your life?
My greatest influence in my life is my mother due to her incredible work ethic to supply everything for my brother and me.

By Hillary Lau

Welcome our Northeastern University Co-op, Sam!

Sam is our 5th Coop to come to us in January 2019. His home base this semester is at our WORC site at the Kokokahi YWCA. Sam is a guest blog for us and here's what he has to say about Hawaii and becoming a physical therapist.

In 2013, I graduated high school from Patterson Mill, a small public school in my hometown of Bel Air, Maryland. After high school I took my talents to the University of South Carolina (GO COCKS). After graduating in 2017 from college, my next venture took me to Boston, Massachusetts to enroll in the physical therapy program at Northeastern University. My path towards physical therapy wasn’t always something validated in my mind until about late in my junior year of college. After originally thinking I wanted to pursue medical school, I began thinking about how I could merge my love and interest of sports, athletic performance and healthcare into a career I could be invested in throughout the rest of my life. Soon after realizing the values and interests I wanted to incorporate into my career, it was easy for me to choose PT as my professional endeavor.

In regards to Hawaii, I never knew there was a co-op available to us until talking with previous students about their experiences here. I have always been very open to stepping out of my comfort zone, especially because in the past it has always opened me up to new opportunities that I would’ve never been exposed to if I hadn’t taken that extra leap into the unknown. I saw this co-op as an opportunity to do just that: a step into the unknown that would offer me the chance to see a beautiful part of the world I had never seen, all while giving me the freedom to learn and continue my journey on the path to becoming a physical therapist.

My experience so far has exceeded all expectations I had before getting here. From work to weekend adventures, there is nothing that I haven’t been amazed by. Just kidding, there is one thing that hasn’t amazed me and that is the nattō that Talon offered me to try eating. The combination of the scent and texture was something that I wasn’t too crazy about so I’m not sure if I’ll ever be eating that again…. but I’m glad I gave it a shot. One of the things that was on my to do list before getting here was to skydive so I could see the beautiful aerial views the island had to offer. I’m happy to say I crossed that awesome experience off of my list already! The next thing on my list would probably have to be the Stairway to Heaven hike… I’ll keep you updated on that one.

Throughout my short journey on the path towards becoming a PT, I have been lucky enough to have worked under many experienced therapists. The one thing that has stood out from the work ethic and character of these therapists is that it never fails that the majority of the patients they work with only have positive things to say about their treatment experience. When patients share with me their compliments and positive things to say about the therapists I can’t help but think that I too want to be the kind of therapist that is highly regarded by his patients, coworkers, and colleagues.

Although I’ve had great influences throughout my path to becoming a PT, I’d still have to say title of “Sam’s Greatest Influence” belongs to none other than my mom. My mom is awesome and I don’t think anything else needs to be said on the matter (she comes to visit in April so I’ll try bringing her around to meet everyone). I’d like to finish up here with this: I’ve never written a blog before so hopefully this fits the criteria and gives y’all a look into myself and my life. Until next time…..

By Hillary Lau

Welcome our Northeastern University Co-op, Armen!

F&L's 4th Coop this semester is Armen. He travels to different clinic sites each day, working at our Honolulu clinic in Honolulu and the Kokokahi Aquatic Pool on the Windward side. We welcome Armen to the family and hopes he enjoys his stay with us. Here's a little about himself and what got him interested in physical therapy.

What school did you attend in high school and what's your current college?
I grew up in Southern California and attended AGBU High School, which is located in the suburbs of Los Angeles. I moved to Boston, Massachusetts to attend Northeastern University’s DPT Program at the start of 2018.

What drew you to physical therapy?
Initially I was pursuing a career as a veterinarian but was introduced to physical therapy after suffering a knee injury. The feeling of being injured for a prolonged period of time was something I was not used to. Unable to do the things I loved such as sports and various outdoor activities, I counted on physical therapy to bring me my happiness back. I deeply enjoy being a part of helping people do the things they love.

Why did you want to do your co-op in Hawaii?
Although I was intrigued when first hearing I could apply to a co-op here in Hawaii, I never thought I would pursue the opportunity. Initially, I was intrigued purely for the fact that it would be in a prime vacation spot with limitless outdoor activities as opposed to enduring a cold winter in Boston. It was only until I spoke to previous F&L co-ops where my intrigue turned into excitement. Hearing about the “Spirit of Aloha” and feeling of ohana within F&L and in Hawaii had me eager to apply.

What has been your experience like so far?
Just nonstop fun pretty much. Whether it’s going for a hike, going surfing or kayaking, or just hanging at the beach watching the kite surfers fly by, there’s always something to do. You can read about and talk to previous co-ops about the experience you are going to have as much as you want but as soon as you touch down in Honolulu you know you’re in for a phenomenal time. It’s apparent everywhere you look how real the “Spirit of Aloha” is and that’s especially true when you walk into work.

What's the strangest thing that you've eaten since arriving?
From the moment I stepped foot here I have been strongly encouraged to experiment with new foods. Some of the stranger things I’ve eaten so far would have to be tako poke, poi, spam musubi, and manapua.. Before coming here I had only tried poke once in my life and nowadays I have been eating it at least 3 times a week and I can’t stop...

What is on your to do list while here?
I just want to make the most of my time here since I know it will fly by. Some of the things I look forward to doing while here would be swimming with sharks, visiting Kauai, and kayaking around a majority of the island.

As long as I’m here, I’d like to hear the waterfalls and birds and winds sing, I’ll interpret the rock formations of the island, get in touch with the ocean, and get as near the heart of the land as I can.

What kind of therapist do you hope to be?
I hope to be a therapist that has the ability to change people’s days and lives. Working in physical therapy requires a certain compassion and attentiveness to patient’s physical and emotional well being that I hope to strengthen and never lose sense of. I’d like to be able to influence people on a level that arouses in themselves an eager want and confidence to be better. The values of F&L is something I hope to have established well once I start my career as a PT.

Who is your greatest influence in your life?
It’s difficult to pick a single person that has influenced my life because there are so many people that have had an impact on me to some level. All of my jobs have taught me that I have the power to influence people and that my positive energy can have a huge impact on others. Rather than following a script, I've learned about the benefits of humanity in the healthcare field. I have had great mentors in my life and I think it’s safe to say I have gained a lot more since starting my co-op here in Hawaii.

By Hillary Lau

Meet Myra, one of our physical therapists!

Meet Myra, one of our new Physical Therapists. We are so happy that she decided to join our family in December. Myra was born and raised in Los Angeles, California and has since made Hawaii her home.

Myra graduated with a Bachelors in Public Health from UC Irvine in 2010 and earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at the University of St. Augustine in Northern San Diego in 2016. She works out of the Kaneohe clinic at the Kokokahi YWCA, doing both physical therapy in the clinic and aquatic physical therapy in the pool.

What is your specialty?
I enjoy working with all types of orthopedic conditions, especially those originating from the spine. I also have a background in treating patients with neurological conditions including post-stroke and spinal cord injuries. More recently, I’ve taken an interest in women’s health.

What made you decide to become a physical therapist?
Being physically active was always a big part of my lifestyle. I grew up bike riding and rollerblading around my neighborhood, ran cross country and played tennis in high school, and found a love for hiking and stand up paddling as I got older. These were the things in life that kept me healthy and happy. In college, I wanted to choose a career path that involved helping others. Physical Therapy sparked my interest after I began volunteering at a local PT clinic during my junior year. I loved how involved PT’s were with their patient’s care, their role as a coach/teacher during the road to recovery, and their advocacy for health and wellness. Most importantly, PT’s cared about their patients' goals, whether it be returning to gardening or running a marathon. I wanted to become a PT to help people get back to the things they love doing; the things that kept them happy and healthy.

Who was your biggest influence?
My parents and husband are my biggest influence. My parents have always been supportive of my choices in life and have never doubted me. My husband motivates me to strive for my goals and always makes me feel like anything is possible.

What is your first memory of Fukuji & Lum?
I remember thinking how friendly everyone was when I first met the staff, and how easy it felt to fit in with the F&L ohana. I also remember saying “wow, I get to work here every day” when I saw the bay view from the Kaneohe clinic!

Not only does F&L care about helping others, but this organization also values its employees’ happiness, health, and wellbeing.

What's your "Why"?
I love helping others help themselves. Getting patients to understand their pain and giving them the tools they need to alleviate their symptoms is my goal as a PT. If I can make a small difference in someone's life, then I know I’ve accomplished some good on this earth!

By Hillary Lau

Meet Our Northeastern University Co-op, Ahaan!

Let's meet Ahaan, our third Coop student, who is studying physical therapy at Northeastern and working with us for the next six months. You can find him assisting our therapists at our Kailua and Honolulu clinics.

What school did you attend in high s vchool and what's your current college?
I attended Inventure Academy, an international school in Bangalore, India. Currently, I’m a Physical Therapy student at Northeastern University in Boston.

What drew you to physical therapy?
I loved sports and biology (anatomy) and wanted to do something along those lines keeping both interests in mind. I wanted to do ‘sports medicine’ and so physical therapy fit my requirements perfectly.

Why did you want to do your co-op in Hawaii?
I had been to Hawaii (Kauai) for a holiday the summer of 2018 and loved the week I had spent over there. Furthermore, I heard only wonderful things from classmates who had done the same coop a year and a half ago. I love to travel and so taking all those factors into consideration, including spending another winter in Boston, it was a very favorable decision to make to come to Hawaii.

What has been your experience like so far?
Two months in, I’ve met a bunch of amazing, talented, friendly, loving and caring people who love what they do and want nothing but the best for people. They have been a major influence in my experience thus far and the way I look at things. Besides the people, Oahu is a wonderful place with a lot of wonderful things to offer, right from hikes to beaches, from restaurants to hangout spots. I love my time here so far and look forward to spending the next 4 months here.

What's the strangest thing that you've eaten since arriving?
Spam! I have tried it a couple of times and unfortunately haven’t developed a pallet for it. Just asking people around what spam is sort of gives you an idea as to how it’d taste. So far, Spam 2-0 Ahaan.

What is on your to do list while here?
Surfing, hiking, golfing and scuba diving and trying out local Hawaiian restaurants/cuisine. I’d really like to explore as much of Oahu as possible and make sure I’ve covered every place suggested to me by people.

What kind of therapist do you hope to be?
I hope to be a therapist that listens to their patients, treats the person and not just the injury and one that is able to influence people in making lifestyle changes rather than just a short term difference. At this point in PT school, I’m passionate about getting into sports PT and working with athletes but am not opposed to another setting, should I seem to love working in that setting.

Who is your greatest influence in your life?
It's difficult for me to pick a person simply because I learn from everyone around me and learn from traits and habits that I think would make me a better person and someone who is happy with myself. I’d say my parents have the biggest influence, with the addition of coaches and high school friends in shaping me into the person I am today. I learnt a lot from playing both team and individual sports and am very grateful for its impact on my life.

By Hillary Lau

Meet Our Northeastern University Co-Op, Kendall!

F&L welcomes our second Coop this semester, Kendall, to Hawaii and to our 'Ohana. Kendall works at our Kaneohe clinics and pool. She shared a little about herself and her thoughts on why she wants to become a physical therapist.

 

What school did you attend in high school and what's your current college?
I attended East Lyme High School in Connecticut and am currently enrolled in the DPT program at Northeastern University.

 

What drew you to physical therapy?
My family led a very active lifestyle growing up. Being always on the move, involved in sports, and active outdoors, I became very interested in the human body. I found myself constantly asking questions about how our bodies worked, especially captivated by the way that we move. Acquiring injuries while growing up, I realized how much we take movement for granted. It is frustrating and debilitating when your body fails you, and as I began to explore career options, physical therapy stood out to me as a way to help people who are struggling with that loss of independence. I enrolled in the 6 year DPT program at NEU somewhat on a whim, but once beginning my classes, meeting inspirational professors, and finding classmates who I share so many values and ideals with, I quickly fell in love with the field and never looked back.
Why did you want to do your co-op in Hawaii?
Growing up in Connecticut and going to school in Boston, I have spent all of my life so far in New England. Although I love the beautiful east coast, I found myself itching to see new places and immerse myself in new cultures. When I heard about the opportunity to work at Fukuji and Lum, I knew immediately that it was what I was looking for. Being able to travel to a new place and experience a new culture all while learning and practicing PT could not be more ideal.
 
What has been your experience like so far?
Being here has surpassed all expectations. Life is busy, as our free time is often spent hiking, surfing, or exploring - we are never bored or looking for things to do. But somehow, amidst all the activity, life is also slow. The laid back "aloha lifestyle" allows plenty of time for self reflection, relaxation, exploring new hobbies, or just sitting and taking in the view. The people here have been nothing but welcoming and are all eager to help us have the best experience we can in our 6 months on the island and I cannot wait to see what else is in store for us.
What's the strangest thing that you've eaten since arriving?
Manapua!
 
What is on your to do list while here?
Just about everything. I may have already filled a whole notebook (or two) with recommendations of things to do and places to see from patients and coworkers. Every time we check something off I find myself adding at least two more to the never ending list. I only hope 6 months is enough time to make a dent. But in addition to the bucket-list items, one of the biggest things I want to accomplish while I am here is to come out of this experience with a greater sense of self and purpose. What better place to find out more about yourself than on an island in the pacific?
What kind of therapist do you hope to be?
That is exactly what I am here to figure out. I came into PT school with an open mind and have been overwhelmed by the variety of different paths you can take in the PT field. My first co-op was in an inpatient setting and I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed it. I still wanted to do my second co-op outpatient so that I could get a feel for both settings. For now, I am focusing on learning from as many different therapists as I can begin to build my own style with pieces from each therapist I have shadowed. However, I can already tell you for sure that I will be carrying the "aloha spirit" with me in my practice for the rest of my life. I have been so inspired by the amount of compassion and attention given to each patient here at F&L. The aloha spirit is true and genuine and I hope to be able to take with me wherever I may end up.
 
Who is your greatest influence in your life?
I have been finding people to inspire me everywhere I go. Initially my parents and family members were my greatest source of inspiration. Beginning school, I found many professors and classmates who have left a great impact on my life and who I am. And now, working in the field, my coworkers and mentors have been proving to be just as influential in who I am becoming and where I want to go in life. 
 
Can't say enough good things about this experience so far. Mahalo, F&L for accepting me in to your ohana (and also for an excuse to miss a New England winter)
By Hillary Lau

Meet Our Northeastern University Co-Op, Samantha!

It's a new year and a new semester in Hawaii for Northeastern students who come every six months to work with our therapists and learn about the physical therapy profession. This semester we are fortunate to have seven Coop students (6 physical therapy majors,1 Health Science major) on staff.

Let's meet Samantha, our Coop student at the Kailua clinic.

What school did you attend in high school and what's your current college?
I attended Fourways High School, a public school in South Africa and then moved to Boston for college. I currently study Physical Therapy at Northeastern University.

What drew you to physical therapy?
Being an active child involved in lots of sports sometimes resulted in injuries which ultimately led me to Physical Therapy. I had a great relationship with my PT and always looked forward to my appointments. I learnt more about the profession through being a patient and was motivated by my therapist to keep up with my rehab. I love to keep active and busy and have always had an interest in human anatomy and movement so Physical Therapy seemed to be the perfect fit! Through my observations in the field and classes to date, I continue to believe that PT will be a very fulfilling profession to enter.


Why did you want to do your co-op in Hawaii?
That magic of Aloha made its way to Boston and the thought of being able to come to Hawaii captured me from the moment I heard of this incredible opportunity. The stories told by previous co-ops about crystal clear waters, movie-like jungle hikes and welcoming, friendly co-workers were hard to forget. Through information sessions about Fukuji + Lum, I found out about their unique model on patient care and how their patients and co-workers became their Ohana. I was intrigued.  Skipping the Boston winter was an added benefit!

What has been your experience like so far?
Every experience I have had since coming to the island has been one for the books! My roommates and I never miss an opportunity to attempt a new hike, find a hidden beach or explore any and every town we come across. There has not been a dull moment since we arrived two months ago.

What's the strangest thing that you've eaten since arriving?
The strangest thing I have eaten here is SPAM! I am glad I tried it for the full Hawaiian experience, but I think I will be leaving that to the locals from now on.

What is on your to do list while here?
I would love to leave the island being able to catch more than 1-wave a day on a surfboard! I need to put in more hours than I have currently been doing to achieve this goal though. I am also looking forward to swimming with sharks soon.

What kind of therapist do you hope to be?
In the near future, I hope to be the kind of the therapist that is interested in my patients as more than just an injury. I hope to use the model that I have learnt at Fukuji & Lum to try to understand my patient as a whole – from understanding what they are going through personally to looking at all their body systems and movement patterns regardless of what they feel is the only issue.

Who is your greatest influence in your life?
My parents are my biggest role models and have the most influence on my life. They are supportive of all my decisions and inspire me to put effort and passion into all I do. They have molded me into the person I am today and I am inspired daily to make them proud.