When I was 14 years old, I realized for the first time what my vocation was and what I wanted for my future. I remember that in an essay on the old topic of “What do I want to be when I grow up?”, I started by saying that I would like to be a physical therapist. That’s not surprising, since I practically grew up in a clinic, playing among the balance training equipment and the laser and ultrasound machines. But as I was writing my essay, I realized I had overlooked an important part: I liked taking care of animals. Not exactly from a veterinary medicine perspective, but something that was more hands-on, more “hands on,” but without the risk of patients being a matter of life and death. So the logical conclusion was veterinary physical therapy. At that time, this aspect of physical therapy barely existed. Some physical therapists treated dogs and horses from time to time (and certainly there were some veterinarians who practiced rehabilitation), but it was not a profession.
Later, at the college choice stage, physical therapy or veterinary medicine were the big options. I knew where I wanted to go, but I had to start somewhere. Once again, the factor of needing a hands-on profession came into play, in a field that is not life and death, but can still make a big difference in the quality of life of patients. That’s how I discovered the essence of my vocation. I graduated in Physical Therapy from the Escola Superior de Saúde de Alcoitão in 2011.
As the life partner of David Rafael Almeida Olsansky, she is concerned about the well-being of our top-class dressage horses and is part of the Almeida-Lusitanos.ch team.