WOC in PT: Perla Kashouh, MPT
Welcome! Today, for the Women of Color in Physical Therapy series, we are featuring Perla Kashouh, MPT. Perla is from Beirut, Lebanon and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from Antonine University. She is currently finishing up her master’s degree in physical therapy from Lebanese University, where she plans to enroll in their DPT program. Perla has had the opportunity to deliver speeches in two conferences in Lebanon: “How to pass through successful aging” and “Normal vs abnormal aging, preventative or restorative strategy.” Without further ado, let’s meet Perla!
What moment made you decide to pursue PT?
Caring for other people is my passion. I chose to become a physical therapist to help others get back to living their lives the way they were before their injury and much better than that. Physical therapy is dedicated to helping every person acheive their therapy goals, it is one of the most important professions in the health care sector. It's a great field to involve with. In addition, I am always eager to learn more and the research that supports our field is never ending. I'm having now the chance to meet new people everyday and make a positive difference to their quality of life, that's pretty awsome! That's why I became a PT!
Was there a certain challenge you had to overcome as a WOC in PT school and/or at a professional setting and how did you overcome it?
In Lebanon, the official problem is the perception of people regarding physiotherapy where some consider it as massage rather than an advanced medical major. It was a tough challenge to reintroduce people to our major and overcome the stereotypes by spreading awareness about the benefits of physical therapy in many cases.
What advice would you give a fellow WOC trying to break into the PT profession?
They should trust themselves and not let fear monger within them as well as research and challenge themselves and not simply rely on information obtained from university and so forth. They should trigger their curiosity because the major requires a lot of dedication and effort since everything is related to the well being and sanity of the patient.
What woman/women do you you draw inspiration from?
I draw strength and inspiration daily from my mom. She has always been there for me and is truly the reason I am the woman I am today. The reason behind my success is her.
In addition to being awesome, what do you like to do in your free time?
I have my own page that tackles many topics within Physical Therapy and is involved in spreading awareness and knowledge from physio to physio. I also keep updating myself with new studies and research and I also enjoy spending time alone reading, exploring nature and hanging out with friends.
For the new readers, where can we find you on social media?
Thank you so much to Perla for sharing her experience being a woman of color in physical therapy! Be sure to follow her at the social media links posted above. :)
If you are a woman of color involved in the physical therapy world, whether you are just starting as a pre-PT or a practicing PT, I would love to feature you in my WOC in PT series! Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay tuned for the next series feature, we have an amazingly diverse group in the lineup!
Peace, love & blessings,