CHBS: What is the name of the award you won?

DF: Excellence in Research Award, Volunteer Service Award, and most dear to me the Humanity Award (voted on by my peers).

CHBS: What are your clinical rotations like and where are you doing them?

DF: My current clinical is at Northridge Hospital Dignity Health on the cardiopulmonary unit. Each one of my patients must be monitored at all times due to various diagnoses such as arrhythmia, myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular accident, COPD, and end stage renal disease. Each day I am reminded to be grateful for the most basic functions of life: a heart that pumps and lungs that expand.

CHBS: What do you hope to do with your PT career?

DF: My mission is to help create a lane for the Physical Therapy profession in addressing addiction which requires a multidisciplinary approach. This population is very special to me. I struggled with drugs and alcohol from the ages of 13 to 25 and currently with seven years of sobriety, I have seen the debilitating outcomes addiction has on the body. Physical therapists are rehabilitation specialists. As a PT, I hope to be on the frontline. Working closely with drug and alcohol treatment centers, mental health facilities, and other organizations dedicated to alleviating the damage this epidemic has created.

CHBS: Any advice for incoming DPT’s?

DF: Try not to complain too much. Remember, you wished for this and life granted you this amazing opportunity to be of service. Staying grateful will truly help manage all the difficulty ahead.

CHBS: What motivates you?

DF: People being nice to people motivates me. Witnessing someone experience relief from pain due to a simple act of kindness motivates me. Videos of animals hugging children motivates me. Knowing my grandmother is proud motivates me.