Students posing for picture.

Faculty Spotlight: Colleen Krambeck, P.T., D.P.T.

Adjunct Clinical Instructor, Physical Therapy Institute

  • IL - Downers Grove
"Being a part of the department that provided me with the education to practice physical therapy is a unique opportunity that is irreplaceable."
Colleen Krambeck, P.T., D.P.T., College of Health Sciences – Downers Grove, PT 2013

Years at Midwestern University:
I am a Doctor of Physical Therapy Class of 2013 Alum. I began as an Adjunct Faculty member in the Simulated Clinic for the first- and second-year physical therapy students in 2019.

What are your research interests?
I have a passion for understanding chronic pain and improving patient outcomes. Recently, my focus has been the investigation of screening for the presence of hypermobility in individuals with chronic spinal pain. My desire is to improve the screening processes for these patients to ensure the best outcomes in physical therapy. Another area of interest of mine includes cervicogenic dizziness (dizziness with neck pain), and, more specifically, I would like to contribute to the investigation of incorporating the best tests, measures, and intervention strategies in this population.

What is the most rewarding part of being a member of the Midwestern University faculty?
Being a part of the department that provided me with the education to practice physical therapy is a unique opportunity that is irreplaceable. When working at the Physical Therapy Institute, I enjoy working alongside my colleagues, and assisting in developing the best path of multidisciplinary treatment of our patients. I value greatly working with students to share clinical pearls and improving their understanding of application and differential diagnosis.

How do you engage students in the learning process?
With clinical application, I prefer to encourage dynamic discussion with the creation of safe spaces for critical thinking and questions. Self-discovery of new information through case review tends to be more impactful and allows it to carry over into real world application in my experience. I hope to motivate students to commit to becoming “life-long learners.”

What do you hope students learn from your classes?
I hope to provide a wide variety of clinical experiences that allow students to take the knowledge gained on paper/in the classroom and appropriately apply this during their rotations.

What lessons would you like students to take with them in their professional careers?

The physical therapy world is vast and broad, allowing for many areas of specialty. It is important to be open to alternative career trajectories, as anchoring on a specific track early on may inadvertently limit your clinical experiences as a student. In my time since graduation in 2013, I have had a variety of experiences that have fit my needs as a professional, while also being able to support my work-life balance. Keeping this in mind will contribute to clinicians having a fulfilled life and career.

What about your profession should people know more about?
Physical therapists can serve the population in a wide variety of ways, many of which the general public is not knowledgeable about. It is imperative physical therapists continue to educate themselves, and the community to serve as primary care providers for musculoskeletal disorders. Our training allows us to provide effective differential diagnosis ensuring the patient receives the most appropriate care in the least number of steps. In order to do this, community education is essential. 

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