By Deb Matsuura

Aloha Emily!

Emily, our second Co-op this semester, travels back and forth over the mountain from the Kailua to the Honolulu Clinic every week. She shares a little about herself and her experience so far being on the island.

I am a 3rd year physical therapy major at Northeastern University in Boston. I grew up just outside Philadelphia where I attended Methacton High School.

My greatest influence in life has always been my mom. She is such a kind-hearted person who always puts the needs of others before herself. She is a pediatric physical therapist and her endless passion and love for the job is what first inspired me to pursue physical therapy. My family also runs a therapeutic horseback riding program, which I have volunteered for ever since I was a kid. This experience teaching kid’s exercises and seeing the impact that physical therapy can have on a person’s life reaffirmed my desire to enter this profession. I hope that my exposure to using various therapeutic methods with different types of patients while on co-op will give me a better idea of what type of physical therapy I want to specialize in. I also love teaching, so someday I would like to become an instructor for courses and train other therapists skills that they can use to help their patients.

I knew that I wanted to do my co-op at Fukuji and Lum after having coffee with some of the previous co-ops. They emphasized how the clinic values forming relationships with patients, using a holistic approach to patient care, and creating a positive atmosphere to make physical therapy fun. This resonated with the type of therapist that I aspire to be and was something that I felt I would not find in any of the clinics in Boston. In addition to everything that Fukuji and Lum had to offer, the previous co-ops also talked a lot about the aloha spirit and relaxed nature of people living in Hawaii. I want to grow as a person while on co-op and I hope that living in this atmosphere for 6 months will help me learn to slow down, live in the moment, and take time to appreciate the people and events going on around me.

My experience here thus far has been incredible. Everyone at the clinic has been so welcoming and helpful as I get settled in. The way that people all treat each other like family here has made it very easy to feel at home. The views everywhere are unlike anything I’ve ever seen before and I love how every weekend there is always something new and exciting to do. It has also been amazing to try some of the local foods the island has to offer. The strangest thing I’ve eaten so far was poi. It’s color and texture made it so different from anything I’ve eaten before, but I ended up really liking it! While I’m here, I can’t wait to go on as many hikes and explore as many beaches as possible. I would also love to go skydiving, ziplining, camping, kayak to the Mokes, snorkel, do yoga on the beach, and learn to surf.

By Deb Matsuura

Here’s Maddi!

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

I grew up in central Massachusetts and attended Tantasqua Regional High School, which combines my town, Sturbridge, and four other small neighboring towns. For college I attend Northeastern University as part of the 6 year DPT program. 

What drew you to physical therapy?

When I was in high school I went to PT for an injury from running track. I had a great relationship with my physical therapist and loved how figuring out the best exercises for me was sort of like a puzzle, or putting the pieces all together. When I went off to college I started as a Biochemistry major, because I thought I wanted to go to medical school or do research. After first semester and getting to be exposed to what each of those routes would be like, I felt out of place. My mind just kept circling back to how interesting I’d always found physical therapy (I even did a project on it in high school!) and how it just felt like such a better fit. 

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

I really wanted to get out of Massachusetts for a while, and I wanted to go somewhere completely different. All of the previous co-ops I talked to spoke about how much they felt this experience helped them to grow both in their career aspirations and also as an individual. I felt like I was at a time in my life where I really needed that change and to immerse myself in a new culture and setting. Doing my co-op at F&L seemed like the perfect opportunity for what I was craving. 

What has been your experience like so far?

I can’t even begin to describe how positive it’s been! It’s been one month since I arrived and since then, I’ve been blown away by everything I’ve seen and everyone I’ve met. Everyone who has worked with me so far can confirm that I’m loving all the hiking the island has to offer and am eager to get out and explore so much more. I’ve been trying to learn to surf and while the wipe outs aren’t fun, I’m still enjoying it. One of my favorite experiences I’ve had so far was waking up to go see the sunrise from Lanikai pillboxes on my day off. Overall I’m really enjoying the lifestyle Hawaii has to offer and it’s causing me to adapt and adjust to the differences between here and New England (like the speed limit?!? Everyone drives so slow)  

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

I haven’t eaten anything “strange” yet, so I think you guys need to work harder… I’ve tried poke which was awesome, kalua pork, taro chips, purple yam ice cream, and some various Hawaiian candies. I guess the strangest thing I’ve eaten then would have to be haupia because I ate it before I had any idea what it was. 

What is on your to do list while here?

To get through the giant lists everyone has given me of recommendations. A couple of my big “to-do’s” include getting to the Mokes, Chinaman’s hat, Crouching Lion, Olomana, and (the legal way to) Stairway to Heaven. Overall, I want to get in as much hiking as possible! I also want to explore the North Shore more and go to Waimea Bay. I’d love to get over to Kauai and see the Na Pali coast. Juliet and I also signed up to do the Xterra half marathon at Kualoa Ranch in November, so whether I like it or not that’s on my to do list too. 

What kind of therapist do you hope to be?

A good one. But actually… I want to be the kind of PT that develops a good relationship with their patients. I want my patient to be able to trust me enough to develop a program that works for them, and I want to be the type of PT that they feel is invested in their progress. I think being a physical therapist requires a lot of problem solving, and then also requires you to be able to explain the solution. I want to be a therapist who is able to work with different patients so that they feel their plan is personalized and targets them as a person and not just a diagnosis. As far as specifics go, I haven’t quite figured out yet what type of population or setting I want to work with/in. 

Who is your greatest influence in your life?

Is it a cop out to say my family? My parents have each influenced me immensely in their own separate ways. My mom inspires me to have a thirst for adventure and to be unapologetically myself and has really been there as a strong female role model throughout my life. She reminds me to always pursue new experiences and has taught me that change and forced independence are great teachers. My dad has shaped how I think about and view the world so much. He forces me to challenge myself and to look at problems with a different perspective to find a better solution. He is one of the smartest people I know and has always described to me the importance of pursuing your passion. My sister teaches me how to love people with your whole heart and is one of the strongest people I know, she influences me with her perseverance and passion for what she cares about. 

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 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)