Describe yourself in 10 words or less.
I have strong core values; I’m generous, hard working, and tenacious.
What has been your favorite class or experience?
My favorite experience was participating in our program’s free neuro clinic as part of our Patient/Client Management neuro class. I was given six weeks to independently examine, evaluate, and develop a treatment plan for a patient post-stroke. My patient was amazing and great to work with. Seeing her face light up when showing me the improvements she was making in her “non-functional” arm was very rewarding. I definitely felt like I had made a positive difference in her life, reminding me of the whole reason why I decided on a healthcare career. During this experience I also really loved and appreciated the immense support given to me by my fellow classmates, instructors, and the Occupational Therapy (OT) students who also participated in my patient’s care. My client and I couldn’t have been successful without all of their help.
What's your favorite thing to do when you are not in class or studying?
When I’m not studying I enjoy working out! Since moving to Oakland for PT school I’ve joined the nearby Crossfit gym and have loved every minute of the grueling workouts they design. I believe setting goals outside of class is important in grad school and having achievable fitness goals have kept me sane through it all. My next goal is doing 50 consecutive push-ups without stopping – for fun!
We understand that you organize opportunities for community volunteering. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
I have always loved participating in community volunteer opportunities, and believe the work I do has the potential to benefit many people. I became my class’ Community Service Chair because I knew that organizing a group of highly-intelligent and motivated student health professionals would only multiply the positive effects on the community. One event I organized was a posture and nutrition class for indigent families at a non-profit organization in San Jose. I have personal experience growing up in a disadvantaged family in East Los Angeles, and I remember how important it was for us to use the services provided to help us move forward. I will always give back to the community, and I am lucky that I have a good group of classmates that also share in my passion.
What is one thing you'd like to tell a new student just entering your program?
I would tell new students to not lose vision of their reasons for choosing to become a Physical Therapist. It can be easy to be overwhelmed by the multitude of assignments and coursework in PT school, but remembering that there is a purpose in achieving their goals is important to stay motivated.
Photos of Wendy Marrufo on a Medical Mission to Panama