SLU AT Summer Field Experience Spotlight - Madrid, Spain
By: Jenna Ginsberg (SLU MAT Class of 2018)
This summer I did the majority of my clinical experience at a physiotherapy clinic in Madrid, Spain. The clinic is part of the High-performance Centre-Consejo Superior de Deportes, Madrid; a vast government-sponsored facility that houses training centers, dormitories, doctors’ offices, and other sports medicine professionals that serve the elite athletes who live and train there.
I had the privilege to work with physiotherapist Elena Martínez Martínez and her staff, and I learned a great deal from them. Studying abroad was something I always wanted to do, and it was an incredible experience getting to work with so many different athletes that compete in sports at a very high level, especially those that are not as popular in the United States.
This experience brought me out of my comfort zone, as I had to work hard to communicate with my patients and preceptors in a language that I am far from fluent in. My manual therapy skills improved greatly, as did my knowledge of diathermy, which was used on a daily basis in the clinic, unlike in the U.S. where it is less common. I also got to observe a great deal of dry needling and acupuncture (and see what it felt like!).
My favorite thing about this experience was that for all the differences between Athletic Training and Physiotherapy, evidence-based practice and hard work to ensure the best outcome for the patient remain at the center of both.
Students in the Saint Louis University Athletic Training Program have an immersive field experience in the summer between their two professional years in the program. This blog post details a student's reflection on their experience.