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Athletic Training Spotlight

Meet Dr. Megan Brady.  Dr. Brady is currently the Director of Athletic Training Experiential Education and Assistant Professor of Athletic Training for Drake’s Master of Athletic Training (MAT) program

Name:    Megan Brady
Current Job/Position:    Director of Athletic Training Experiential Education and Assistant Professor of Athletic Training
Organization:    Drake University
Location:    Des Moines, IA
 

Megan Brady grew up in Marcus, IA and earned her bachelor's degree in athletic training from Briar Cliff College (now University) in Sioux City, IA.  After earning her bachelor's degree, she went on to earn a master's degree in Athletic Administration from Idaho State University in Pocatello, ID.  Dr. Brady's first position as an athletic trainer after graduate school was at Morningside College in Sioux City, IA where she worked and travelled with all of their women's sports.  Prior to coming to Drake University, she was an athletic trainer at the University of Northern Iowa for 15 years, where she worked and traveled with women's soccer, women's basketball, softball and volleyball.  In her position at UNI, Dr. Brady worked closely with physicians, nurse practitioners, physical therapists and other healthcare providers that formed her into the clinician she is today.  Dr. Brady also earned her doctorate degree while at UNI. 

What role do athletic trainers have in healthcare?  How do ATs contribute to the health and well-being of people? 

An athletic trainer plays a key role in healthcare. Often times, the athletic trainer is the first healthcare provider that a patient seeks out for an injury, illness, or condition. The athletic trainer performs an evaluation or assessment, and then determines if they will treat the patient, or refer the patient to a different healthcare provider. Athletic trainers help patients prevent injuries and educate patients on living healthy lifestyles. Unfortunately, injuries and illnesses are inevitable, and athletic trainers help patients recover and return to pre-injury/illness status in a timely and safe fashion.

What do you love about being an athletic trainer?  What first attracted you to the profession and what has kept you engaged throughout your career? 

My favorite thing about being an athletic trainer is the people I interact with on a daily basis, and the friendships I have developed throughout my career. Secondly, I love the complexity of the human body – how it moves, how it’s injured, how it heals itself. I enjoy evaluating the complex injuries/conditions because it’s like a big puzzle to me. Additionally, I have a competitive nature to me, so combining all of this with athletics is what gets me excited. I love game day!

What is your current role within the AT faculty at Drake and how would you describe the responsibilities of this role?

I am the Director of Experiential Education in the Drake MAT program. I coordinate the clinical rotations that our students complete each semester. I work very closely with preceptors to ensure an optimal learning environment in clinical settings for our students.

What is your area of research/interest within the field of Athletic Training?  Why is this topic important to the field of AT?  How are students in the program exposed to this topic?

My research line is detection/performing special tests of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee. This topic is important in the field of AT because we all need to know how to correctly assess an ACL injury. Failure to accurately detect an ACL tear makes our patients susceptible to increased injury to the knee and poor outcomes later in life. Students in our program are exposed to my research topic by using the tool I use to conduct my research. I developed and built a synthetic model knee to teach students how to correctly assess ACL tears. This model is patented and pending marketing and distribution. Additionally, students are able to collaborate with me on my research projects.

Why did you choose to teach at Drake?

I chose to teach at Drake because my teaching philosophy is in-line with the Drake Vision and Mission statements. Drake is a teaching-first institution, and I have a strong passion for educating future athletic trainers.

How does the Drake MAT program prepare students to achieve their goals?  What are some specific aspects of the program that stand out?

The Drake MAT program has a diverse faculty that collaborates well in our mission to educate our students. We all have a common goal and method for achieving that goal – to develop the best athletic trainers possible. As the MAT Director of Experiential Education, I am excited about the clinical experiences our students will have and preceptors they will learn from. I think those two things make our program stand out.

What are you most excited for in this first year of Drake’s MAT program?

I am excited about how much our students have learned in their first semester. And I’m excited to hear our students talk about how much they have learned.

What is one piece of advice you would give to a student who is interested in pursuing a career in AT? 

Spend some time in a variety of athletic training settings. Athletic training is constantly evolving and new employment settings are always be developed.


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