In my undergraduate experience, the main focus for athletic training students was learning and applying the content (and I think we can all agree that there is more than enough content). One thing I never really got involved with was serving/advocating for the profession I was going to join. I stayed away from professional conferences and involvement in our state, district, and national organizations; possibly due to a lack of time but also because I didn’t think that I needed to be concerned about it. That it was somebody else’s responsibility..
I thought that Athletic Training was just like every other healthcare profession, that is, stable with little controversy or major debates which could alter how Athletic Trainers work. However after being at ISU and learning about the bigger picture of Athletic Training, I have come to realize that it truly falls on every single Athletic Trainer to advocate and inform peers, colleagues, patients, decision makers, and other stakeholders what it is that WE do and how WE can improve outcomes for the patients we treat.
While this may only be a reflection of my experience, I am sure I am not alone in my experience. Let’s challenge each other to do better, get involved, and make a difference in the profession we all chose!
Matthew Schafer LAT, ATC