Christina Nowak has had opportunity to grow as an independent practitioner and experience once in a lifetime opportunities, such as working as a Medical Practitioner for the 2015 PanAm Games, thanks to her degree in Physiotherapy (PT) from McMaster.
Graduating from McMaster’s PT program in 2013 was an amazing moment for Christina; this was the start of an unbelievable journey, and the start of what would be an incredibly successful and satisfying career. Holding a BSc in Neuroscience from the University of Toronto, Christina was unsure of what her long-term career plans were. Then, one day, she had the opportunity to assist in the rehabilitation of a young man who suffered an acquired brain injury and needed to learn how to walk again. Through this experience, Christina discovered her passion, and knew that she had to become a physiotherapist.
With the dream of becoming a PT top of mind, Christina started searching for programs that would help her achieve this goal. While searching, she discovered McMaster’s PT program, which is rooted in problem-based, small group, and self-directed learning. “The learning style allowed me to be a problem-solver and work through concepts on my own with my colleagues and teachers as mentors and information sources for me,” said Christina. Christina is also appreciative of the skills she gained as a student in the PT program, and she has utilized them throughout her career. “Instead of avoiding challenges, the problem-based and self-directed nature of McMaster taught me how to seek out resources, and continue to learn and adapt when I need to,” said Christina. “McMaster gave me the necessary skill set to be a life-long learner. That is the best skill you can ever gain, and not something to be taken for granted.”
Christina is still actively involved in the school as a tutor and a preceptor, and is returning in the fall to work with Dr. Ada Tang and pursue her PhD in Rehabilitation Science, researching strength training in an aging population. In addition, she is always looking for opportunities to broaden her horizons and learn in different scenarios. With her passion for exercise-rehabilitation and her love of sports, she decided that applying to volunteer in some capacity at the PanAm Games would be beneficial to her as a Physiotherapist. After a thorough application process, she was selected to be apart of the secondary medical team. In this position, she was instructed to deal with head injuries and concussions. With her desire to continue learning and her experiences working in the field as a Physiotherapist, we’re sure she’ll continue to find success in her future endeavours.