July 20, 2012

SLU AT Student Gets Physician Extender Internship Experience

Athletic Training is "Extending" into a New Setting
By: Sarah Schaefer Reifsteck (SLU MAT Class of 2013)

For the past few months I have had the opportunity to work at the Crane Clinic in Chesterfield, MO with Dr. Matthew Bayes and his athletic trainer Devon Lacy. The experience I have had with the two of them has been nothing but enjoyable. From day one I was treated with the utmost respect as if I had worked there for years. For the first week, Devon took me under her wing and taught me everything I needed to know about the role an athletic trainer has within the physician’s office specifically Dr. Bayes’ office. By the following week  I was essentially on my own with the supervision of Devon and Dr. Bayes of course. My job was to get a thorough history from the patient as well as a complete exam.I would then be expected to present the case to Dr. Bayes so that he had a better idea of the injury or problem that individual was coming into see him about. A good exam and history meant I was able answer any question Dr. Bayes may come up with before going into the room. This is something I have continued to get better at each day, but he often comes up with something I didn’t think to do during my exam. Even though it is often frustrating to forget something, those are the times I learn the most, and I am less likely to forget it next time.

Devon Lacey ATC, Sarah Schaefer Reifsteck, Dr. Matt Bayes
Another important aspect to my job is to prepare and assist Dr. Bayes with procedures, which range from simple aspirations and steroid injections to more complex platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections often combined with stem cells that are harvested from a layer of the patient’s fat. Dr. Bayes typically uses PRP and stem cells to treat chronic tendon and ligamentous injuries in his practice. However, we have done a few hamstring cases, which were fascinating to watch as the fat and PRP filled the holes that were present within the patients’ hamstring muscle bellies. 

All and all, I have had anamazing experience at the Crane Clinic working along side and learning from some really intelligent, well-rounded health care professionals. Most importantly I have gotten to experience what the physician extender role consist of and how much help an athletic trainer can truly be within the physician’s office. I am very grateful for the opportunity Dr. Bayes and Devon gave me this summer, and I am really going to miss working with them.

Students in the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Education Program have a required internship in the summer between their two professional years in the program.  This blog post details a student's reflection on their internship experience.

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