Kaitlin Gairdner

 
Vancouver
Canada
 
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

Having volunteered and worked alongside organizations in my community that are focused on improving health outcomes for individuals with neurological disorders through physical activity, I have had the opportunity to witness the positive effects that exercise and social interaction can have on both physical and psychological wellbeing. This has motivated my pursuit of a graduate degree in physical therapy as a means of advocating for greater access to health care resources and to continue giving back to my community by furthering my education so that I am able to make impactful contributions to the health and well-being of clinical populations.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

For me, my education has always been based on a sense of connection to and a means of giving back to my community and it was important for me to continue honouring that into my graduate degree. Being born and raised in Vancouver, studying at UBC really highlighted that sense of connection for me in various ways including the chance to study and gain experience at healthcare facilities in my home community and having the opportunity to participate in an exchange of knowledge with educators, health care professionals and other like-minded individuals who share the same values.

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

Besides the UBC MPT program being the only entry-to-practice program in BC, I am looking forward to taking part in an educational journey that has made a commitment to creating more inclusive healthcare practices and teachings to their program. Living in a community with such diversity, it’s important to me that I am gaining insight into culturally sensitive health care practices that will prepare me for a future career in the field of physical therapy.

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

The best part of life at UBC and Vancouver in general is the connection to nature. We are fortunate to live in an area with access to mountains, forests and oceans all within under an hour of each other.

Living in a community with such diversity, it’s important to me that I am gaining insight into culturally sensitive health care practices that will prepare me for a future career in the field of physical therapy.
 
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

I think everything leading up to now has prepared me for my graduate program, my life experiences, my travels, volunteering, working in the service industry. Everyone follows a different path and I think that each persons unique experiences have value and something worth contributing to our graduate community as a whole and I am looking forward to the opportunity to connect each piece in the next part of our educational journey.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

My advice for new graduate students would be to go for it. Take the leap and trust in yourself.

 
 
 

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