It’s never too early to start studying for your Level IV exam!!

By Stacy Soappman, PT

My kids are destined to be Physical Therapists; if nothing else, they might just get the degree through osmosis.  During the course of my fellowship my first child was born.  While most people stay home and try to “sleep when the baby sleeps,” I saw that time as the perfect opportunity to do my fellowship hours.  I figured that I treated patients with him attached to the inside of me, so I could do it with him attached to the outside of me as well. (Just as a disclaimer, I worked for the two guys I did my fellowship with so that made things a bit easier).  So off my son and I went to the clinic and I got a big chunk of my hours done.

They say that babies can hear sounds inside the womb.  I took my level IV exam when I was  seven months pregnant with my second child.  I did copious amounts of studying while pregnant with her and spent numerous hours watching Erl’s videos.   To this day, she likes to watch those videos on the computer.  She and my dogs both find Erl’s voice very soothing.

Sometimes though, starting them too early may cause them to stand out from their peers.  My five year old was in a pre-school program this past year.  They do basic science lessons and for a couple of weeks they were studying about the human body.  Everything was going well until one day during dismissal my son’s teacher said, “Jackson has a lot of advanced knowledge of the correct anatomical terms for various body parts.”  All of a sudden I started thinking, “Oh goodness!   What has he taught the rest of the class?”  She then went on to share that while naming body parts that day she used the term knee cap.  Immediately Jackson raised his hand and said, “Actually, Miss Alissa, that is your patella.”  I then had to explain to her that when we go for family walks we often talk about which bones and muscles we are using as a way of helping me prep for the courses that I teach.

The above stories are a light-hearted reminder to not let life’s busyness stop you from studying for your exams or taking the next step towards the fellowship program.  Yes, I might have been a crazy person to have two kids, take my exams, and do my fellowship all at the same time.  And yes, there are chunks of one year that I don’t remember much about. J  But this is to tell you that you can do it.  Don’t listen to the voices in your head that tell you it is too much, because there are very few people who have uninterrupted periods of their life that they can fully devote to studying.  My story is just one of many.  We have all “done life” while trying to get through the program.  That is just one of the beautiful things about NAIOMT.  We fit our program into your life, not the other way around. Look at the list of certified therapists, find someone who interests you and give them a call or email.  We would all love to help you figure out the process and talk about the next step.

One thought on “It’s never too early to start studying for your Level IV exam!!

  1. I really appreciate this post… more than you know! And while I have not taken any exams beyond level 2, I intend to! I let 8 years and 4 kids go by between taking level 3 and 4 courses. I just may be the one who takes the longest! Thank you for inspiring those who juggle careers and motherhood! You do it beautifully! Laura


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