Reflections of Dr. Laura Blackburn PRS conference 2023

The PRS 2023 Conference was held as an in-person event at Manchester Metropolitan University on the 21st April 2023. We would like to share some insight with you about this day

#PRS2023 is coming to Manchester on 21st April
PRS 2023 held in Manchester April 2023

The Physiotherapy Research Society (PRS) held its 2023 annual conference in Manchester earlier this year, which I had the fortune of attending. Research is not only an important feature in my professional development plan as a pre-registration doctorate student, but it is also a passion that I feel is important for me to share and promote in others. Although I had attended conferences before, all were related to education and psychology and were not specific to the physiotherapy profession. I felt excited and curious to experience the PRS conference when I heard about the event through the CSP website.

I emailed the PRS chair to connect with the students on the committee. Two student members kindly met with me through MS Teams to share their experience working with the PRS and the aims of the conference, which included promoting student engagement in research.

Dr. Laura Blackburn, Lecturer in Physiotherapy, Glasgow Caledonian University
Dr. Laura Blackburn, Lecturer in Physiotherapy, Glasgow Caledonian University

I arrived on the day alone and nervous. After a clumsy moment collecting my conference bag and badge, I headed to the poster exhibition. I met a woman along the way and from that moment, I never felt alone again for the remainder of the event. She and everyone I met after welcomed me to my first PRS conference and although a student, I felt a greater sense of belonging than I had previously experienced in other groups of physiotherapists. Those at the conference seemed open and interested in my journey and research interests. I returned this intrigue, absorbed in the presentations and keynote speeches. Content was easy to follow, communicated in accessible language, without overwhelming amounts of jargon. Hearing others talk, I quickly became inspired for future research, writing, and creative interests. I left with many plans, new friends, and new knowledge to share with my colleagues and student peers.

The knowledge that the PRS offers a space to share your work, experiment with presentations, connect with others, and explore who we are as physiotherapists provides the reassurance needed to submit an abstract for the 2024 conference. Those who attended the conference are all at different stages in their career but share a common passion for the research pillar and the growth of the profession.

If you are uncertain about attending this physiotherapy conference or submitting an abstract, like I was, I hope my reflection dissuades you of fears. I want to make a particular plea to students. Please take this opportunity to develop new skills and engage in the community.

The PRS is keen to support you in your submission process and answer questions.

Please email or see their website for more information.

Author: Dr. Laura Blackburn, Lecturer in Physiotherapy, Glasgow Caledonian University X @DPTBlackburn

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