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)
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.

By Hillary Lau

Talia’s Co-op Reflection

Since returning from Hawaii, I have reunited with many friends and family that I have not seen for 6 months, and I have discovered that most of these interactions begin in the same way. First, they tell me that I look really tan and I assure them that it won’t last long and I’ll be back to my East Coast paleness in no time. Then they ask, “How was Hawaii?”, which always stresses me out because there is no possible way I could answer that question truthfully without talking for 5 hours straight or maybe more. In 6 months I saw more, did more, and learned more than I could have ever imagined. I feel that I got the chance to explore pretty much the whole island, and every new adventure seemed to offer a teaching moment.

There was the time we made the decision on a whim to walk out to Chinaman’s Hat, simply because we were driving by on the way to North Shore and the tide happened to look low. It was something we had been talking about doing for a while but didn’t know much about the best way to get there. People had previously told us that we needed kayaks or at least some kind of flotation device, waterproof bags, etc. but we were completely unprepared so I waded/swam out and climbed to the top of the summit in nothing but a swimsuit and my hiking boots (which were soaked for the rest of the day being the only pair of shoes I had brought). I also left my phone behind completely, which is very rare for me. This ended up being one of my favorite excursions because it was so spontaneous. I was used to planning ahead of time and being able to bring everything we might need for whatever weekend activities we decided to do, but from that moment on I was less worried about that and more willing to go with the flow. I learned to explore my surroundings with an open mind even when I didn’t exactly know where I was going, because it would often result in a new discovery. Hawaii pushed me to venture into the unknown, a task I will continue to take on as I come across unfamiliar classes, people, and clinical settings moving forward with my education.

Diamond Head became my favorite place to surf, and here I learned to revel in the power of the ocean as I spent the majority of my time there getting pummeled by waves. Yet at the same time, I was also able to appreciate the serenity found in nature; one of my favorite routines was to go for a swim at Ala Moana then fall asleep on the sand to the sound of the beach. Our 6 hour hike up Mt. Ka’ala was another beautiful example of finding enjoyment in the outdoors. I originally approached the challenge with the singular goal to successfully summit the tallest peak in Oahu, but I was surprised to find that even though the views waiting for us at the top were pretty cool, I actually enjoyed the entire process of trudging up steep hills and scrambling up muddy rock walls even more. The phrase “it’s about the journey, not the destination” may seem overused, but I truly did internalize it that day. I have since used the experience to remind me not to get so caught up in checking things off my list that I forget to appreciate the process. This is especially important as I return to my busy life at school and my first Gross Anatomy class; I have found I am more conscious now of the way I study and learn, taking the time to revel in the beauty of the human body and how it works rather than simply memorizing what I need to pass the test.

Since my first rock jump at Waimea Bay, I have jumped off of many more ledges and cliffs of varying heights, I have swung on frayed ropes into icy waterfall ponds, I swam with sharks, and I went skydiving for the first time. I won’t lie, I got scared every time I was at the brink of the jump, looking down at the dive I was about to take, regardless of how often I’d done it before. But I never backed down because I learned to accept my fear as an ever present challenge constantly pushing me to test the limits of my courage. Now I apply this skill every time I force myself to go outside into the frigid cold of Boston.

I also biked over the H3 when I did my first Olympic triathlon here in Hawaii, and I will never forget the amazing feeling of flying down the mountain I had just used all my energy to ascend as the beauty of Kaneohe Bay unfolded in front of me. I know I could not have done it without the help of those around me who encouraged me, lent me a bike, helped me transport all of my gear, gave me training tips, and overall provided me with the support I needed to believe in myself and my abilities. The warm and welcoming people I have met in Hawaii have shown me that I should not be hesitant to ask for help, as it can open doors to new and rewarding opportunities. And after everything I have seen and experienced for the past 6 months, it has become clear to me that humans were made to help each other out.

Of course, I did work a bit in between our island excursions. Though my time at the clinic rarely felt like “work” because I loved being around my coworkers and patients so much. I was incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by so many great teachers who were always willing to help me learn and grow as a therapist. From my time at WORC and the pool, I have learned so many unique methods of rehabilitation and exercise that have shown me how physical therapy can integrate creativity, health science, and empathy into a plan of care that encompasses the patient as a whole. This co-op has reaffirmed my choice in career path, and I am excited to return to my studies with the real life context and passion for my job that I gained here.

When I look back on my time in Hawaii, I will definitely miss the warm weather, fantastic sunsets and sunrises, eating poi with a spoon and Foodland poke bowls. But what will stay with me the most is the sense of acceptance and belonging I was given by everyone at Fukuji and Lum. My fondest memories are of the times I got to spend with these people, from holiday potlucks, to crazy outfits, to early morning WODs. I have come to consider them my ‘Ohana and I will never forget the lessons they have taught me in the power of gratitude and compassion. Leaving Hawaii was hard – I lost count of the number of times I cried during that last week – but I will always keep the places, people, and experiences there close to me, as a special piece of Aloha in my heart.  

By Deb Matsuura

New Co-ops for 2018 (Cont.)

F&L has been fortunate enough to bring on six C0-ops this semester. You’ve met Ryan and Scott, so now let’s meet 2 more: Brynn & Emily!

BRYNN
What high school did you attend and what’s your current college?
I went to Lincoln High School in Portland, Oregon and I currently attend Northeastern University.

What drew you to physical therapy?
I was born with Erb’s Palsy in my left arm and grew up going to physical therapy so it seemed like a normal part of life to me. When I was in high school I realized that I could help people just as much as my PTs had helped me and decided that that was what I wanted to do in life.

Why did you want to do your co-op in Hawaii?
I wanted to coop here in Hawaii because I was very interested in aqua-therapy and the hands on experience that the clinics offer. I also greatly enjoy traveling and immersing myself into new cultures so it seemed like the perfect fit for me.

What has been your experience like so far? 
So far I have loved every second of it and I already feel like I have learned so much both from my coworkers and from the patients.

What’s the strangest thing that you’ve eaten since arriving?
Since arriving the strangest thing that I have eaten is dried shrimp. I am not a huge fan of cooked seafood so that was an interesting experience.

What is on your to do list while here?
While I’m here I want to explore as much of the island as I can and go hiking every weekend. I want to experience as much as I possibly can and feel at home here.

      
What kind of therapist do you hope to be? 
I am not yet sure what type of therapist I want to be because there is so much that I haven’t seen and so many different patient populations that I have yet to work with. That being said, I don’t see myself working in an in-patient setting.

 

Who is your greatest influence in your life?
If I had to choose one person who has had the greatest influence in my life it would be my high school rowing coach. He is very driven and dedicated and throughout my 5 years with him taught me so many life lessons that I did not realize until I left the club.

EMILY

Aloha!
What high school did you attend and what’s your current college? 
I grew up in a small suburb outside of Boston and attended Dover-Sherborn High School. I am currently a fourth year physical therapy student at Northeastern University.

What drew you to physical therapy and why did you want to do your co-op in Hawaii?
In 9th grade I loved my biology and anatomy class (MUCH more than math class) and realized that I was fascinated by how the human body worked. I decided to complete a PT internship in a small outpatient clinic in MA and my experience confirmed that I wanted to major in PT. I worked alongside a Northeastern Co-op student who raved about her PT program and I decided Northeastern was my dream school.

I studied abroad in Greece for my first semester of college and I had an absolutely amazing experience. When I returned to Boston I knew that I wanted to embrace more opportunities at Northeastern to travel and experience new challenges. When I heard about the Hawaii Co-op I knew it was something that I wanted to pursue. Previous Co-op students would post amazing photos, share stories about their experiences, and they carried a new positive energy. Who knew that my path at Northeastern would include two study abroad programs (Greece and London) and a 6 month Co-op on the amazing island of Oahu!

What has been your experience like so far? 
The transition to Hawaii was pretty smooth and although the jet lag and adjustment to the “vog” took a slight toll on me, I became immersed in a new lifestyle right away. I got right to work training at the Kailua clinic/pool the first week on the island and before I knew it the first weekend had arrived and promised adventure. So far my friends and I have hiked Kuliouoou Ridge and Koko Head and enjoyed Waimea Bay, Sandy’s Beach, Kailua Beach, and Lanikai Beach. The second trip to the North Shore wasn’t quite as pleasant as my friends and I (along with our phones) got taken out by a wave even though we were standing 50 feet away. On the bright side now I have waterproof phone with a great camera to capture the many memories and beautiful views to come.

What’s the strangest thing that you’ve eaten since arriving? 
The strangest thing I’ve eaten since arriving is Lilikoi.I found the fruit to be pretty sour and a patient recommended that I try it again with honey and sugar which sounds pretty yummy.

What is on your to do list while here?
My ultimate Hawaii to-do list includes the usual- tan at beaches all over the island, snorkel, kayak, paddle board, and hike as many mountains at possible. I also really want to horseback ride and drive ATVs at the Kualoa Ranch, sky dive, and take surfing lessons. I also plan to try as many acai bowls on the island as possible.

What kind of therapist do you hope to be? 
My last Co-op was half inpatient/ outpatient and to my surprise I really enjoyed both types of PT. I stayed on as an inpatient aide at the hospital for weekend shifts which is why I seeked out more outpatient experience for my Co-op. I felt like a lot of the information that we learned in the past three semesters of school could be applied and built upon in an outpatient clinic. I am unsure what setting I will be in when I’m older but luckily I have time to figure it out! As a Northeastern student I am truly lucky that I have the opportunity to be exposed to a variety of physical therapy placements at hospitals, schools, and rehabilitation centers.

Who is your greatest influence in your life?
My mom has a very big influence in my life and I strive to be like her. People love to be around my mom as she is a genuine, kind person and she always puts others before her. She supports me no matter what and never fails to remind me how proud of me she is.My mom loves the ocean as she grew up in a beach town so she cannot WAIT to see the shores of Hawaii :). My friends at Northeastern also have a great impact on my life. We motivate each other to work hard in school and find a balance so that we can get through PT school but also be young and have fun. My friends always have my back and are always there for a good laugh.

By Deb Matsuura

2018 Co-ops Are Here!

Our 2018 Co-ops from Northeastern University have been with us for the past 3 months now. We have 6 PT students, the most we ever had in one semester. They are learning and working at our various clinics in Kailua, Kaneohe and Honolulu. Each student wrote a quick blog to introduce themselves, tell us a little about why they chose to study Physical Therapy and share their experiences so far since arriving in Hawaii.

Ryan & Scott

 Ryan is working at our Honolulu clinic and Kokokahi pool.

What drew you to physical therapy? A whim! After receiving my acceptance into NEU, I began looking more into their programs offered to see which interested me most. I stumbled upon the Doctorate of Physical Therapy program and thought it seemed interesting and something I could see myself doing. After my first co-op my third year, I was hooked!

Why did you want to do your co-op in Hawaii? Growing up on the west coast, I became pretty accustomed to living in warm weather year-round. After spending the past three and a half years in Boston (and in the frigid northeast winters), I felt it was time to give my mind and body the break it needed. I really enjoy traveling and trying new things so coming to Hawaii seemed like the perfect opportunity to do just that. 

[one_half]What has been your experience like so far? Excellent! Everyone at all of the clinics has been incredibly kind and inviting. I’ve been loving the warm weather and going out-and-about every weekend. These first few weeks have me extremely excited for the months to come! 

What’s the strangest thing that you’ve eaten since arriving? Poi! interesting texture and flavor, but not bad! I loved the way it slid down my throat! nice and gooey!

What is on your to do list while here? While here I really want to go skydiving! I also plan on running a half marathon in April and getting in better shape. I also want to be able to touch my toes by the end of June. 

What kind of therapist do you hope to be? As of now, I am unsure exactly what kind of physical therapist I want to be. I hope to one day work in an outpatient setting with a diverse patient population. I am hoping that my time here at F&L will help me narrow down my search and help me decide what I like and do not like. 

   

Who is your greatest influence in your life? The greatest influence I have in my life has been my incredibly caring mother. Growing up, there was not a thing she wouldn’t do to help me better myself and succeed. Her nurturing personality and abounding love motivates me everyday to be the best person I can be. 

 

 Scott works mainly at our Honolulu Clinic.

What I love about PT is the ability to teach individuals about how to safely and efficiently navigate themselves through their environments. With some MD appointments you just go in and out of the appointment. With PT you get to build a relationship with individuals as you guide them through their exercises and provide them with modalities.

I applied to do a Co-op in Hawaii because I’ve always wanted to experience living somewhere far far far away from home. Plus, the beauty that is everywhere on this island and all the stories and adventures I heard about Hawaii made me convinced I had to do my co-op here!

My experience in Hawaii so far has been UNREAL!!! It’s good to be better acquainted with the island now. I love being able to spend my free time on the beach or hiking. All my friends back home are freezing right now and I couldn’t be happier in the warmth! I hurt my leg the day of the big 55 foot waves on the North shore which is a good story I guess.

Have I eaten anything weird since I’ve arrived in the islands? Ryan cooked a medley of peppers and rice and sausage for him and me one night… it was a lot to stomach…. no but really I had never had poke until coming here, and ever since my first taste of kimchee tako I’ve fallen in love!

To do list: Learn how to surf! Hike every mountain I can and do some sunrise hikes! Learn more about Hawaiian culture! Go to the beach and chiiiiiiiilllllll!

   
I want to be a therapist that can analyze impairments and dysfunctions methodically and critically. More so than that, I also want to be the type of therapist that is able to listen and empathize with my patients fully, provide answers to their questions, and help guide them on their journey of rehab.

My greatest influence would have to be my dad. People tell me a lot that I act just like him. He taught me the importance of being easy going and positive while also recognizing when it’s time to be serious and focus. He also taught me a great deal about confidence and determination. Because of him, when I set my eyes on a goal, it’s pretty impossible to tear me away from it until I achieve it. I wouldn’t be the student, future therapist, or person I am today if it were not for him.