Home to the nation’s first manual therapy fellowship, KP Nor Cal Graduate PT Education has over 200 graduates practicing, teaching, researching, leading and inspiring across the nation and the globe. Read on to see how one alumna used her experience at KP to launch a successful career.
One of the first program graduates, Lois Boulgarides, used her experience at Kaiser to jump-start a successful decades-long career as a clinician, professor and researcher.
Lois graduated from the Hayward Residency in Orthopedic Manual Therapy in 1981, the second year of the program’s existence. While the program has changed significantly since then, her feelings about her education mirror those of recent graduates. “The program changed the direction of my career and gave me a foundation that allowed me to confidently approach any patient care situation.”
After practicing in orthopedics for 20 years, she transitioned to teaching at California State University Sacramento, first in the kinesiology department and then in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. Her research interests have been in fall prediction and fall prevention in older adults (PTJ 2003: Fall prediction in community dwelling older adults), the effects of yoga in individuals with Parkinson’s disease, and development and testing of evidence-based examination decision tools in orthopedics.
Whether in the clinical or academic setting, Lois emphasizes the importance of “immediate and continual assessment of your effectiveness…treatment with patients or teaching with students, they are your best teachers,” a lesson well learned during her training at Kaiser. She encouraged new therapists to find a mentor saying, “I’ll never forget the lessons taught to me by the many mentors who have helped me through the years.”