Rehabilitation Medicine Class Notes

Please note: all class notes submitted prior to March 2020 are indicated with an asterisk (*). Any views expressed are those of the submitter and not of the UW School of Medicine.

Physical Therapy


*Beth Wagner, DPT ’08, is writing a book on travel, including several months spent volunteering in Vietnam and Bhutan. She saw patients, taught students and took note of local culture. Here’s a preview.

Dodging scooters in Da Nang, Vietnam. — After being yelled at and nearly run over several times, I learned that it was my job to avoid scooters — difficult when they showed up wherever the rider felt like driving. Thankfully, the skills mastered in the old Atari game, Frogger, came in handy!

Going to the dogs in Thimphu, Bhutan. — I tried to stay calm while five snarling, feral dogs jumped all around me. A friend suggested that I carry a stick: not to hit the dogs, but simply to appear more capable of defending myself. The next week, the dogs and I established a truce.

Meeting the Queen Mum. — An attendant showed me in, and the Queen Mother (one of the four wives of the fourth king) welcomed me with a warm, genuine smile. Settled into an oversized leather sofa, she served me tea, and we discussed Thimphu and American politics.

How did the trip end? — “With a sense of gratitude,” says Wagner, “for friendships and lessons learned.”


Occupational Therapy


Marina Picinich, MOT ’89, writes, “Becoming an OT…one of the best choices I’ve made! I love being an OT! I started in adult physical disabilities and became a dementia specialist. I am now in schools and loving it. OT was the best career choice for me! This year of COVID has been interesting…

  • Remote work
  • Three of my four children experienced COVID graduations (dental school at UWMC, nursing school at Grand Canyon University, high school and Running Start)
  • One of my children is getting married, with all the functions adhering to COVID regulations (showers, rehearsal, wedding, etc.)

What a year!”


*Kelsey Watters, MOT ’11, writes, “I’ve been working at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (now called the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab) since I graduated from the UW Department of Occupational Therapy in 2011. I’ve started doing some teaching of my own at local clinics and universities, which has been an interesting twist. I’ve followed the work of one of my former professors (Dr. Janet Powell) and focused my practice on traumatic brain injury, cognition and vision. They are areas of practice that challenge me daily, but definitely keep me on my toes!”


*Andrea G. Menin, MOT ’14, writes, “I’m the school occupational therapist for two school districts at Lake Chelan, and loving the school environment. I live in a hand-built log house and go swimming and skiing, depending on the season. I appreciate the training and education from the University, and love seeing medical students cycle through our local hospital, as well as my fellow UW OT, Jannel Mikkelson.”


*Suzie Kwon, MOT ’16, writes, “I graduated from the occupational therapy program, passed the boards, started my first job as an OTR/L in acute care, and got married! You could say 2016–2017 was a big year for me! Here’s a picture of me and my classmates (l to r: Kit Johnston, Sheila Dashestani, Suzie Kwon and Aleks Mazurek) at my wedding.”