Each Fall Semester, DPT students embark on an unforgettable service learning course to Yucatan, Mexico. The first-of-its-kind elective course for Ohio State DPT students is supported by faculty members Anne Kloos, PT, PhD, NCS and Laura Schmitt, PT, DPT, PhD and other physical therapists who serve as clinical instructors.
The faculty and students work in a variety of locations in the city of Merida, including a school for children with multiple disabilities, nursing homes, a rural rehabilitation clinic, a residential facility for people with disabilities and private homes. They provide services to local residents, which include individualized consultations, screenings, evaluations and treatments.
One of the participants in the program, Kayla Francis, had nothing but good things to say about her experience. “This trip provided the opportunity to fully use the skills I had learned in PT school and helped me to realize the true potential that lies in our profession,” said Francis. “I helped a 33-year-old patient walk for the first time in years, an experience I will never forget. We fixed numerous wheelchairs and provided extensive education to site staff on proper positioning of patients, as many were immobile. This service learning trip allowed my classmates and I to create an ongoing impact in a community with much need.”
While visiting Merida, the DPT students also have an opportunity to experience the culture. During the past trips they have visited the Mayan ruins, shopped in the el Centro, and visited a wetland reserve that is home to vast flocks of flamingoes.
This elective course, HRS 7700S, will be offered each Fall to third year students who successfully completed all the didactic and clinical work preceding the trip. Interested second year students will receive details pertaining to course application, course requirements and travel during the Fall Semester of their second year approximately two weeks prior to the course application deadline. Second year students will be informed of course acceptance approximately two weeks after the application deadline. Enrollment for this course is limited to 12 students.
More information about the trip can be found on Merida Service Learning Presentation.
For additional information, please contact Anne Kloos, PT, PhD, NCS at Kloos.firstname.lastname@example.org