Alumni Profile- Sarah Poinski-McCoyCU Physical Therapy Oct 6, 2020
What is your current position?
I am currently at the UCHealth Central Park location. I treat orthopedic conditions, pelvic floor, and I work with the Integrated Transgender Clinic seeing patients post-operatively and beyond. I am also passionate about educating on how to be more inclusive in our language and actions as a healthcare team.
What’s the best part of your job?
This is a tough one because I love what I do. But to be specific, I love to make people feel like they are empowered to take charge of their own wellness, and to normalize their experiences. In the pelvic floor realm, patients often feel a lot of negative emotions about their condition, and they might feel they are the only one dealing with that problem. So when I can report that what they are experiencing is not abnormal and it’s also treatable, it’s pretty amazing. It feels good to give people power after months or years of feeling powerless over their bodies.
What drew you to the field of Physical Therapy?
Initially I had dreams of becoming a professional ballerina. After a stint in the professional dance world I was called to the field of massage therapy. I loved using touch to help make people feel better. But after a few years as a massage therapist I wanted to do more for people. This is what drew me to PT: I get to combine my love of manual therapy, movement and dance, and helping people.
Were there any faculty in particular that were influential while in school, or as you started your career?
It’s really difficult to pick any one of the faculty since they all had a large influence on my trajectory from school to practicing PT. But if I had to pick, Cindy Armstrong was hugely influential in my clinical education experience. She provided me with support during a tough situation and gave me courage to be myself and not to compromise my personality. This faculty is amazing in that they all instill a drive to be the best we can be, and to realize our own individual potential.
What is a fond experience you can recall from your time as a DPT student?
I remember prepping for our very first practical exams, and nearly the entire class stayed late and practiced together in the lab rooms. We were there so late we had skipped dinner, so we all ended up ordering a huge takeout Thai order coordinated by one of my classmates. It was a great early bonding experience and I felt like it set the tone for how close our class was for the rest of the program.
Can you talk about your experience with the post-grad internship?
I was drawn to the internship program from the beginning, it was one of the reasons I chose to go to CU for my DPT education. I can’t stress enough how integral that program was to my development as a clinician. I was accepted as the UCHealth intern, which was subdivided into 3 rotations lasting 4 months each. I was able to experience the culture of 3 different clinics and had intensive mentorship in 3 different areas of practice. The first year out of school is a difficult one...I struggled with imposter syndrome and trying to figure out my work/life balance. I was so grateful to have support through my mentors as they shared their wisdom and clinical pearls.
What adjustments have you had to make at work with COVID?
I sat down with my husband and we talked about the amount of risk we both were comfortable with. We both agreed that no matter what, I should be of service in any way possible. During the initial quarantine period, UCHealth deployed healthcare workers to areas of higher need. I had the opportunity to assist with PPE on a COVID ward, which gave me a lot of perspective on the toll this virus can take. Since then, we have ramped up our hours on the outpatient side and are now seeing patients with the option of telehealth. We have extended our hours, which gives me fewer days in the clinic, which I have really enjoyed.
What are your hobbies, what do you enjoy on your off days?
I enjoy camping and backpacking in the summers, and skiing in the winter. I am a major bookworm so I am constantly updating my list of books and authors to read from patient suggestions. I get most excited about multi-day backpacking trips. I love to detach from stress and read a good book while situated in a gorgeous landscape. And I am equally excited to spend the day shredding the slopes in the winter and early spring.