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Meet first-year student Sam Talisman, MSOT/S '16


Sam Talisman, MSOT/S '16, from Bethesda, MD

What brought you to OT and what do you want to do with your degree?
I knew that I wanted to help heal people and wanted to do something that would put a smile on people’s faces. I shadowed an OT at an outpatient clinic, and saw the importance of each client’s work with their OT to their current and future happiness. I am hoping to work inpatient in a hospital setting or to improve mental health in people with and without mental disorders.

What do you like best about your classmates?
If you want to associate with genuinely caring people, meet OTs. My classmates are some of the kindest and most driven people I have ever met. Everyone here believes in helping other people, whether that is through learning how to make clients live their lives to the fullest or through going the extra mile to include and help their fellow classmates.

What do you think of living in St. Louis?
I am from the East coast, and did not realize until I got here how much St. Louis can offer in terms of human diversity, service facilities, and just plain fun. There is never a shortage of events to attend or opportunities to seize here. With or without a car, people here should never be bored. The people of St. Louis are also some of the nicest around.

What story does your family frequently tell about you?

My family tells the story of how, in sixth grade, I stepped on a glass table in the hopes of skipping stairs on my staircase. I broke through the table and needed nine stitches on my left leg. I have had better moments.

Tell us about something you are involved in (or were) and how it’s changed you?
I sang in an a cappella group in my undergraduate experience. It taught me that a group of people with different backgrounds, cultures, and ideals, but with one common purpose (in this case, to move people through music), can positively affect those around them while becoming closer to themselves and one another.

What word describes you best?

What drives you every day?
The knowledge that I am learning how to positively impact people, in helping others have the same opportunities everybody should have, is what drives me every day.

Are you working and/or volunteering in addition to taking classes? If so, where?
I have a graduate assistantship, which involves working in research in addition to classes. For me, that involves assisting in a study conducted by the Center for Aging at Wash U’s Institute for Public Health.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
If you’re interested in contributing to people’s lives through medicine but want significant personal interaction with those you care for, consider OT. If you want a top-notch, thoughtful, personal education, consider Wash U.

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