Hello, my name is Isaac Durrington and I’m currently in the Doctorate of Physical Therapy program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center pursuing my dream to become a Physical Therapist. I’ve always had a passion for helping people, and when I become a PT, my goal is to travel the world and help underserved populations. Physical Therapists do a lot every day to improve the lives of the people around them, and I wish to do the same for people who don’t have the same access to healthcare that we have in the United States and other first world countries.
I’ve researched many different opportunities to volunteer abroad as a PT student and I found a program called Work the World. In this program I will volunteer under local PTs in Pokhara, Nepal for 3 weeks and Kandy, Sri Lanka for 4 weeks to learn and get hands on experience helping a wide variety of patients.
In Nepal I will be assisting in the Leprosy and Neurorehabilitation Clinic. Leprosy still affects a large number of people in Nepal, and I will have the opportunity to learn how to help these patients. I will also get to assist patients who have various neuromuscular disorders, soft tissue injuries, and those undergoing stroke rehabilitation.
In Sri Lanka I will be in the Outpatient Department that sees an average of 150 patient per day. I will help patients who have cerebral palsy, fractures, burns, musculoskeletal injuries, Guillain-Barre syndrome, and more. I will also spend time in the Rheumatology Department’s PT Unit. I will get to help with respiratory cases, patients in the surgical ICU, stroke patients, and burn patients.
Lack of access to healthcare is a huge problem in many parts of the world, and I want to be able to do my part to help. I’m really excited to gain a different perspective on my future profession and learn how I can treat patients effectively with limited resources so that I am better prepared to do this when I graduate. The only downside to this opportunity is that it costs a lot of money, especially to me as full time graduate student with no income. However, I think that this experience will be extremely valuable and if you think what I’m doing is worthwhile, I would really appreciate the support!
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