Laura Kromrey - DPT Doctorate of Physiotherapy

Laura Kromrey at Graduation
When Laura Kromrey walked across the stage at P&J Live to graduate with a Doctorate of Physiotherapy (DPT), it marked the successful end of a long journey.

The 27-year-old from Alaska began the DPT at the start of 2020, with the first two years of the degree running alongside the Pre-registration Masters of Physiotherapy course. After qualifying as a physiotherapist in 2021 and progressing to the research aspect of the degree, she also worked part-time as a physiotherapist in NHS Grampian and as a Practice-based Lecturer for RGU’s Physiotherapy course.

She said: “These clinician experiences were invaluable for continuing to progress my clinical skills as a physiotherapist, as well as enhancing the relevancy of my research. I believe completing the DPT has provided me with a competitive edge, with having both research skills, as well as clinical skills. While balancing all these different commitments were challenging, I think that it will open doors for working in a wide range of settings and roles throughout my career.”

During her time at RGU, Laura had to navigate the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic at the beginning of her studies which meant dealing with the impact of lockdowns being thousands of miles from home in the United States.

“My course started in January 2020, so we had three months of the typical physiotherapy course experience, then everything shifted to online with the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, leading to a very unique university experience. It feels like such a long time ago now, but studying in a foreign country during that time was a challenge, but I feel very fortunate to have had supportive course mates throughout the whole degree programme.”  

Gaining work experience while studying was a priority for Laura. The University’s Employability Team was “instrumental” with their support, which led to her part-time physiotherapy role with NHS Grampian, where Laura had the opportunity to work in multiple physiotherapy services throughout Aberdeen City. In addition to the NHS role, Laura also took on a lecturing role in the Physiotherapy course at RGU.

She said: “Working as a Practice-based Lecturer was an amazing opportunity to be involved with the local community and was something I looked forward to each week. My role was to supervise physiotherapy students and manage community-based exercise classes. I feel very fortunate to have had this experience early in my physiotherapy career and will be looking for community engagement opportunities in my future positions.”

With her doctoral research project complete, Laura is looking forward to sharing the findings of her research on the recovery and rehabilitation experiences of adults after traumatic injuries at the national conference for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy in October. Laura is now working full-time for NHS Forth Valley and looking forward to the next steps of her physiotherapy career.

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