For the Back to Basics column this week, I enlisted the help of Dr. Greg duManoir, PhD, CSEP-CEP who is an instructor in the School of Health & Exercise Sciences at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. Here are his words on education and critical thinking:
I recently had the opportunity to attend the National Strength & Conditioning Association Provincial Clinic in Vancouver. This was a professional development event for me, as well as a time to (re)connect with some excellent colleagues and friends. The plan for this event was to sit back and learn some new things and, perhaps, reconfirm some existing thoughts and ideas. The best laid plans… I never seem to be able to get away from my role as an educator, and one of the first conversations over dinner was along the lines of students asking, “What should I do with my life?” I hear this a lot in my role as an Instructor in the School of Health & Exercise Sciences at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. It was great to hear the varied, yet similar responses of the exercise professionals around the table. The main takeaway was “find what you’re passionate about; devote time and energy to that passion”.
I’m hearing this question a lot more lately, being that it’s spring and the end of the academic year (and academic career for some) is approaching fast. Students are asking, “What do I do next? Should I apply to physiotherapy? Medicine? Chiropractic?” To which I reply, “What’s your passion? And do those career paths fit with your passion?” Of course, what follows next is a big soul searching conversation as the response is often “I don’t know what I’m passionate about”! But I digress.
I often follow up this conversation with a story about my path. This is a long story for another day, but it goes something like “I wouldn’t wish my path on anyone, but it got me exactly what I want and to where I want to be.” (Writing guest blogs for Dr. Nimchuk is glamorous I know!). I knew I was passionate about exercise and exercise science. I knew I wanted to learn more about them, so decided to do some graduate work. During my graduate degrees I discovered that I really loved teaching and passing on the knowledge I gained through my studies. I took some odd teaching jobs, took some temporary contracts and eventually found myself in the Okanagan. Sure, there was sacrifice along the way, but it was well worth it.
The other piece of advice that I give to students is that their learning has just started. In the four years they’ve been a student in our program they have only just scratched the surface and really only just learned how to be critical thinkers and good learners. I implore them to continue with educational and professional development opportunities, to put into practice the theory we have taught them, to gain experiences and critically evaluate them, and to continue to seek out the answers to new questions.
So what does this have to do with the reader? First, I would say that you have a healthcare provider in Marc that has found his passion, continues to educate himself, evaluates his approaches to patient care, and now is starting to educate others. Second, find your passion. Is it running? Resistance training? Painting? Playing with your grandchildren? Finally, find support networks around you that help to facilitate experiences in what you’re passionate about.
If you’d like a slightly different view on the conversation that was had at the dinner table please visit: http://optimumsportsperformance.com/blog/what-do-you-want-your-legacy-to-be-finding-your-passion/
Thanks Marc, for the opportunity to put down some thoughts.
Greg duManoir, PhD, CSEP-CEP is an instructor in the School of Health & Exercise Sciences at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. His areas of expertise include: cardiovascular exercise physiology in performance, aging and environmental conditions, strength & conditioning, and development of teaching and learning opportunities for the qualified exercise professional. He can be found at: http://www.ubc.ca/okanagan/hes/faculty/Greg_duManoir.html