Gilbert PT - August 2019

gazette

August 2019

717-591-0955 | www.GilbertPT.com

SCHOOL IS DEFINITELY NOT FOR FOOLS! The Importance of a Lifelong Approach to Learning

For most of us, it feels like summer has barely started. But in my household, the race to get ready for the first day of school has already begun. With one of my kids heading into third grade, the other starting fourth, and my wife preparing her instruction materials to kick off another year as a second grade teacher, there’s no shortage of excited energy around here. Whenever this time of year rolls around, I can’t help but be transported to my own experiences in school. While I haven’t been a student in a classroom for some years now, I still use so much of the material I learned. All the way through school, I gravitated to any subject related to science, which, of course, makes sense now considering the career path I opted to follow. I always wanted to break everything down — objects, plants, animals, humans, technology — to see how they fit together and worked. “Even the less complex cases I see at work take me back to those early, eager moments as an intern using classroom formulas to build mechanical limbs.” I had several great professors in college who facilitated an environment conducive to my way of thinking, but my biomechanics professor, who actually allowed me to do an internship with him and the department, made the biggest impact. We developed a device to measure the moment of inertia for

mechanical limbs, which, in turn, ultimately helped us create a more usable and functional limb for patients who were learning how to navigate life without their arm or leg. I remember the elation I felt actually utilizing the equations I spent years studying in school in a practical situation, an amazing experience. Fortunately, now I get to do that on a daily basis. While those college years were certainly the most transformative in all of my education, continuing my favorite aspect of school is a daily reward for me. A

patient might come into our office and start doing exercises without fully realizing the routines our team recommended were planned with ample foresight and brainstorming. We consider the patient’s story and map out a full body diagram to analyze and consider various forces to determine which treatment approach is best. Even the less complex cases I see at work take me back to those early, eager moments as an intern using classroom formulas to build mechanical limbs. It’s all so fascinating! Furthermore, all the years I spent absorbing as much material as I could sparked a more well- rounded curiosity regarding everything else in

life. I no longer look at school as a terminating event. Learning never really stops, and, if you notice it does, then you need to take stock and make a change. People often underestimate the value of a lifelong learning approach. You might have graduated from high school, college, or graduate school, but the world is now your classroom. So, take advantage and learn as much as you can from it.

–Michael Gilbert

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