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Make the Most of your Mentor Visit!

So you want to learn more about a career in physical therapy from someone who is actually already doing it? That's great! Here are some quick guidelines to make your visit enjoyable for everyone.

  1. Call ahead to make an appointment. Like all of us, some days are busier than others for your local physical therapist. Not sure what to say? See How to Schedule an Appointment with a Mentor below to get some ideas.
  2. Be polite when scheduling your visit. The physical therapist is taking time from his or her busy schedule to offer assistance to you. Have an ideal time in mind, but realize you may need to accommodate the therapist's patient schedule.
  3. Respect the physical therapist's time. Ten minutes on the phone or 20 minutes in the office may be all they can spare. Clarify expectations ahead of time, and leave when it's time to go. You can always schedule another visit later. For suggestions on what to ask during your visit, see Questions to Ask During a Mentor Visit below.
  4. Say "Thank You!" Your mother's early training is just as valid now as you enter the professional realm. A verbal "thanks for your time" at the end of your visit, with a written "thank you" as follow-up, help establish the positive type of interaction that you want to have with all of your future colleagues.

 

How to Schedule an Appointment with a Mentor

When you call to speak with an EWU Mentor, you may need to first speak with the receptionist or office manager. Leave a clear, concise message so the physical therapist knows why you are calling.

"Hi, may I speak with ****?"

"My name is ~~~ and I'm calling about the Eastern Washington University Physical Therapist Mentor program."

"I would like to... [schedule a visit] [talk for a few minutes on the phone] [invite you to speak to my college group]."

"On the EWU website it says you are available for a student to shadow you at work. I'm seriously considering a career in physical therapy and would like to see what a practitioner does in a typical day. When is a good day for me to visit in the next couple weeks?"

OR

"Is there a good time to talk on the phone for about 10 minutes? I have some questions I'd like to ask you, though I don't need to talk in person."

OR

"I'm part of a Health Science Club on campus and we're looking for local professionals to share about their careers. We typically meet on ...[this day]. Would you be able to speak to us sometime this semester?"

E-mail Correspondence

Keep in mind, this is a professional interaction. Don't freak out about having everything perfect (it's not an English Composition you're writing!), but DO present yourself in the best possible light.

  1. Turn on Spell Check under your email toolbar.
  2. Respect the practitioner's time, and keep your first email brief, asking to visit or to send more questions.
  3. Realize not all physical therapists check their email every day. Give him or her a week to respond. Feel free to follow up and ask when you can expect a reply after that time. Again, respect the fact that the therapist is volunteering his/her time to assist you by answering your questions.
  4. Remember to say "thank you!"

Questions to Ask During a Mentor Visit

These are just suggestions to get you started. Feel free to add your own. Keep in mind to respect the therapist's time and personal experience.

Thank you for taking time to meet with me today, ***. I have a few questions for you about being a physical therapist. Why did you choose to become a physical therapist?

What do you like best about your job?

What is the hardest thing?

What do you wish you would have done differently, in school or in getting started in your profession?

Why did you choose to study at EWU?

What advice do you have for me as I consider becoming a physical therapist

I appreciate your time today. If I have more questions in the future, or when I am in grad school, may I contact you again?

Thanks again, ***** for meeting with me today. I appreciate your input..

 

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