Meet the SSIG Members | Featuring Kayla Koren, SPT
Welcome to Meet the SSIG Members! The Student Special Interest Group is made up of student PTs and student PTAs from across the country – and we want to highlight them and their passion for the profession! ‘Meet the SSIG Members’ has the purpose of connecting students interested in pelvic and women’s health by introducing them to one another and our community through the APTA Pelvic Health Student Special Interest Group. We would like this engagement to promote personal development, networking, and friendship opportunities.
Name/Year in School/Program Name:
Kayla Koren, second-year physical therapy student at A.T. Still University in Mesa, AZ
Why are you interested in Pelvic Health Physical Therapy:
There are so many reasons why I love pelvic PT! The opportunity to be that person for an individual experiencing chronic pelvic pain, incontinence, among other conditions/symptoms that are deemed “embarrassing,” and providing the validation and empowerment they deserve is just so special. I have also had my own extensive pelvic PT experiences as a patient, and I believe that having that knowledge as I move into the provider role has both helped confirm that this is the setting I want to be in and has given me a deeper understanding of what these patients go through mentally, physically and emotionally.
What are you most excited for with your upcoming Pelvic Health Clinical Rotation OR what did you love most about your Pelvic Health Clinical Rotation:
I have had the opportunity to take a few courses through the APTA Academy of Pelvic Health during my second year, and I am excited to see how I translate this information into the patient care setting. I am also looking forward to picking up many clinical pearls from my clinical instructor as well as the other pelvic PTs at that clinic, connecting with patients we treat, and just absorbing as much information as I can during my 10 weeks there!
Why do you believe it is important to be an active member of the SSIG and/or what have you gotten out of being a member of the SSIG:
It has been an invaluable experience, being an active member of the SSIG. The SSIG Directors put in incredible effort getting accessible information out to students who are interested in pelvic health through webinars, blog posts, sharing information from the Journal of Women’s Health PT, among many others to promote this amazing specialty. Through being active as a member, I have connected with several students from around the country who have similar interests. At CSM this year we were able to meet up in person for the first time, and it felt like we had known each other for many years. While the SSIG already feels like a family, connecting with fellow involved students on a personal level has given me a close sense of community within the SSIG itself, and I am sure that I will stay in contact with these people into the start of my career and onwards.
Any advice you might like to share for students looking to get involved in Pelvic Health Physical Therapy:
There are so many ways to get involved before starting your career as a physical therapist! I am a women’s health research nerd, therefore I take advantage of the JWHPT issues that are published to stay current on the latest research. I also follow the SSIG and Academy social media accounts, as they are great about posting upcoming events and other opportunities. Following other pelvic PTs on Instagram has also been great for learning more about what pelvic PT consists of, and information on various conditions/diagnoses, treatment ideas, etc. that I have found very useful as I prepare for my pelvic health clinical rotation. Finally, taking at least the PH level 1 course is useful in determining if this is the direction you want to go in your career, and is a wonderful experience to have under your belt if you have a clinical rotation in this specialty.
What you love to do outside of PT school:
In my spare time, I enjoy being involved with my church, curling up with a good book, taking my hammock to new places in Arizona, and long walks with friends. Making time for things that re-fill my cup has played a big role in balancing school responsibilities while prioritizing my own health as well, and it is something I will encourage all PT students to do!
APTA Pelvic Health Student SIG