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Benefits of Membership, A Message from Your SSIG President

Friday, September 20, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Matthew Nicholas
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A Message from Your SSIG President: The benefits of student membership

By: Betsy Miller Tolisano, SPT, University of Illinois at Chicago
2019-2020 IPTA SSIG President
When I started PT school I never thought I would be in this position – writing as IPTA SSIG President to fellow students across the state about why they should care about joining the IPTA/APTA. I thought I would take my classes, complete my clinicals, get my degree and move on. But I realize now that there is so much more to the physical therapy profession than just a degree.

This profession is an entire community that cares about people and their health and wants to improve people’s lives. That’s what the APTA and IPTA care about too and they have the power to make amazing changes. In recent years, these organizations have repealed the Medicare Therapy Cap, promoted the prescription of physical therapy over opioids for pain management, protected dry needling within the scope of physical therapist practice, and passed Direct Access in Illinois. If you care about those changes, that’s a pretty good reason to become a member of these organizations. We can’t do all that incredible work without members like you supporting us.

All of the things I just mentioned are important, but as a student, you might be wondering what these organizations can do for you right now. That’s where the Student Special Interest Group (or SSIG) comes in. This student board specifically represents student interests and makes sure you are getting the most out of your membership while you’re in school.

Here are some things the SSIG does to benefit students like you:

  • We give sponsorships for students to attend conferences like CSM
  • We organize community events like the PT Day of Service (coming in October!)
  • We plan professional events to get to know students throughout the state for building your professional and social network
  • We create resources to help you connect to your community, including a PT/PTA resource page and our current work: reaching out to high school students to ensure the future of our profession

I got involved in the IPTA and the SSIG because I believed in these initiatives and wanted to help other students (like you!) benefit from these things too. It’s easy to put off becoming a member and getting involved, but our profession needs leaders and strong voices as advocates now. We are in school because we want to be part of a profession that improves people’s lives. Joining professional organizations is a way to touch even more lives than you thought possible.

If you’re interested in joining the APTA and IPTA or have any questions about getting more involved, please feel free to reach out to me at Together we can improve people’s lives and improve our profession.

Share your thoughts! Comment below!

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