As a first-year graduate student in the speech-language pathology (SLP) program at New York Medical College (NYMC) School of Health Sciences and Practice (SHSP), the most unique and fascinating experience I have had thus far is learning in the Anatomy of the Speech and Hearing Mechanisms course, in which the first-year students work in the gross anatomy lab. This course, taught by a School of Medicine faculty member, was incredibly beneficial because the medical perspective went hand-in-hand with the curriculum of our other classes, such as neuroscience and dysphagia. It was invaluable to my learning to see the structures that we have learned about, and to be able to visualize the inside of the human body to enhance my understanding of the material.
I have worked with two pediatric clients through our on-campus SLP clinic, affiliated with Boston Children’s Health Physicians. I have enjoyed working with different supervisors, as each has given me a different perspective on my clinical experience with clients. This individualized mentorship has helped me to cultivate clinical skills, such as being able to consult with a patient’s parents after each session and how to appropriately add in or subtract support for each therapeutic activity as needed. It has been rewarding to see the progression of my clinical skills in the last eight months of the program.
My first client primarily spoke Spanish with limited English proficiency, and I was paired with a bilingual clinical educator and supervisor. Having studied Spanish in my undergraduate career, I was able to put my skills into practice, which helped me realize the importance of having bilingual clinicians in our field. This hands-on clinical experience has been complemented by a clinic lab session supervised by the department head and a faculty member. During these sessions, my classmates and I have watched different evaluations and simulations and then engaged in discussion with the class regarding the case.
I have a passion for working with the geriatric population and I am interested in continuing medical studies following my completion of the SLP program. I look forward to bringing the skills I have acquired at NYMC into the field this summer at my first externship experience.
Erin Foxx is a first-year graduate student in the SLP program at NYMC. To learn more about the Speech-Language Pathology Program at New York Medical College, visit www.nymc.edu/slp or call (914) 594-4510.