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Spotlights
ahamlin
"My first clinical rotation was in a sub-acute inpatient setting at Central Maine Medical Center. It had a large impact on my interests as a physical therapy student. I originally was not attracted to working in a hospital; however, I found working with people who have had a stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, and amputation to be very rewarding."

Student Spotlight

Alysson Hamlin

Class of 2013

Degree

B.S., Athletic Training, 2010; Doctor of Physical Therapy, 2013

Major Department

Physical Therapy

Hometown

Merrimack, NH

Biography

I entered the physical therapy program at UNE with my bachelors’ degree in athletic training from UNE. During my four-year stay on the Biddeford campus, I was a member of the Activities Program Board, treasurer of Athletic Training Club, and treasurer of Alpha Chi National Honor Society. 

I was drawn to UNE's physical therapy program because of its small class sizes, beautiful campus, program layout, location, and the ability to have pre-PT designation as an undergraduate for the graduate program. I enjoyed the beaches, closeness of the city, and sense of community. I continued on to UNE's Portland campus because it still offered a small community, small class sizes, and is in a great location.

I became interested in physical therapy after I received services for my pelvis as a child. I also asked many questions to my best friend’s mother, a physical therapist. She encouraged me to observe a physical therapist to see if I liked it. I went to Crotched Mountain in NH and was instantly attracted to the career.  I liked the hands-on aspect as well as being able to help people. When I came to UNE I had to choose a bachelors’ degree first. I took an injury prevention course in high school and played sports, therefore I thought athletic training would be a great choice. I could not have been more right. The undergraduate program at UNE prepared me for interacting with people, using my critical thinking skills, and being able to do hands on work.  It definitely helped make the transition into the graduate program at UNE easier.

What do you like about UNE and your major department?

I like UNE’s DPT program for many reasons. One is the staff are amazing. The professors have been very accommodating and are available to students for extra help. They are also very personable and knowledgeable. I think a great education is not just what is taught, but how it is taught, and the professors have a way of making the material easier to understand and interesting. It is evident they are all passionate about physical therapy. 

The way the program is set up is also appealing to me. I like that it begins with a foundation. There is a full year of classes and then we are able to practice skills on three 12-week-long clinical rotations every-other semester (alternating with classes). By 6 weeks of my first rotation I felt I was finally comfortable with the facility, and by 12 weeks I felt I had a grasp on everything I had learned and could move on. It is the perfect balance. 

What internships, clinicals or class projects were especially important to your professional development?

My first clinical rotation was in a sub-acute inpatient setting at Central Maine Medical Center. It had a large impact on my interests as a physical therapy student. I originally was not attracted to working in a hospital; however, I found working with people who have had a stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, and amputation to be very rewarding. I like to be challenged and these are all diagnoses that are physically, mentally, and emotionally stimulating. I had a chance to see dramatic changes occur, such as a person who had a stroke progressing from being unable to sit up to climbing stairs in less than two months.
 

What are your plans for the future?

After graduating next year and sitting for my boards, I hope to work in Georgia where my soon-to-be husband is stationed in the Air Force. I am not sure what setting I will start in. I have many passions such as prosthetic training, working with veterans, orthopedic physical therapy, and neurologically based physical therapy with populations who have had a stroke, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injury. I may also specialize in the spine and/or foot over the years, as those are two areas that really interest me. After I practice for at least a year, I may try travelling physical therapy for a few years until my fiancé and I settle down back in New England when he is done in the service.

More on the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program
More on the Athletic Training Program