August 15, 2014

SLU AT Student Gets an International Sports Medicine Experience in Madrid

Summer Internship Blog Post - Saint Louis University, Madrid Campus
By: Christian Ahlstrom (MAT Class of 2015)

This summer, I had the privilege to do my internship abroad.  I went to the SLU campus in Madrid, Spain to get experience with physiotherapists Alvaro Garcia-Romero and Angel Basas, with the Real Federación Española de Atletismo and the Real Federación Española de Gimnasia.  I was lucky to work with these Olympic level athletes everyday for the past month and a half.  I was nervous at first because I was in a new country and I had intermediate understanding of the language.  But, the moment I started working with the athletes, that all went away.  They really appreciated the fact that I came all the way over from the states to help them this summer.  I learned that communicate was the key with my athletes.  Some of them would want to practice their English with me, while others would help me with my Spanish.

From this experience, I was able to learn how a different part of the world practices sports medicine.  I assisted in rehabilitation protocols, injury prevention workouts, evaluation of injuries, as well as some administration duties.  In Spain, they rely on a lot of manual techniques, like massage and manipulations, to help their athletes.  They also use electro stimulation and kinesiotape during rehabilitation sessions.  I was able to learn about all of these different techniques and how to implement them into my own rehabilitation protocols in the future.

Alvaro Garcia-Romero, Christian Ahlstrom and Angel Basas
This has truly been an amazing experience and I wish I had more time to work with these physical therapists and athletes.  I have loved working here every minute.  I have learned so much from this internship and cannot wait to bring back what I have learned.

I would highly recommend this opportunity to any athletic training student.

Students in the Saint Louis University Athletic Training 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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