Can you tell us a bit about your educational and professional background?
I completed my B.S. in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from the University of Nevada, Reno, and my M.S. in Medical Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Washington. I am currently completing my Clinical Fellowship at VA Puget Sound and I plan to continue working there when my Clinical Fellowship year is complete.
Why did you choose the University of Washington?
I chose the UW for its high MedSLP ranking and renowned faculty. I wanted to attend a program with a comprehensive yet specialized curricula, robust research opportunities, and invaluable professional connections. Plus, the UW campus is magnificent and Seattle is a cool place to live.
Why did you decide to take a speech-language pathology program with a medical focus rather than a general SLP program?
My goal was/is to specialize in medical SLP, so attending a speech-language pathology program with a medical focus was the logical route to go. In addition, I received advice from many seasoned SLPs to obtain as much medical SLP didactic coursework and clinical experience early in my career as possible.
How did the clinical rotations in the program help you advance your career or shape your goals?
My rotations in totality provided me a well-rounded graduate clinical experience that not only allowed me to learn across the spectrum of ages and disorders, but also reaffirmed my enthusiasm in working with the geriatric population and neurodegenerative disorders. This reaffirmation facilitated my search for medical SLP clinical fellowships relevant to my career goals. Having clear professional goals along with pertinent clinical experience made me a competitive candidate for medical SLP clinical fellowships.
How did your training in evidence-based practice help prepare you to make determinations about the types of treatments and procedures you use and practice? How have you applied your EBP training to what you do now?
Absolutely. The SLP grad program instilled in me the importance of EBP, and my commitment to provide optimal patient care drives me to employ EBP in all of my clinical work. Currently at the VA, I explain my clinical decisions to patients, caregivers, providers, and fellow SLPs using the EBP model. The EBP model has also shaped how I counsel patients and caregivers, in that I emphasize respecting patient/caregiver values while upholding best current research and my own clinical expertise.
What is your overall evaluation of the MedSLP program?
10/10. Prestigious program. Outstanding curricula. Incredible professors/supervisors and mentorship. Unforgettable experience.