'It all comes back to family'

Convocation Feature: Q&A with Basit Adeyinka, ’20 MScPT

Rehab Med Communications - 08 June 2020

Why did you choose to study physical therapy? 

I’ve been interested in physical therapy since I was a young child. My uncle is a physiotherapist—I look up to him a lot. Seeing what he did made me want to study physical therapy. When I was a semi-professional soccer player in Toronto, if I got hurt, I would go to physio and I was always impressed with how much they were able to help me. In my third year of university, I suffered a severe injury, and it became time for me to pursue other dreams—physio became that dream. I love helping people move better and achieve their goals, and I enjoy educating people about the profession. 

Why did you choose to study at the University of Alberta? 

A friend of mine started in the program the year before, and he kept telling me how great it is at the U of A. I came because of the program’s reputation, but when I got here, I really felt blessed when I discovered all the opportunities for different placements and how close-knit the community is. I feel at home here. It’s just a great program. 

What’s the strongest memory you’ll take away from your time here? 

When I talk about the U of A, it all comes back to family. I remember when one of our colleagues passed away, it was a really difficult time for all of us. We were all calling each other right away, checking up on each other and making sure we were all okay. It was amazing how we all came together to support each other. The teachers and professors were calling us too and making sure we were okay—one of them was even baking for us. It was never about who would be the best physio or who could get the highest marks. That’s the strongest memory for me, the way we all lived this program as a community and as one, not as ‘me against everyone else.’ 

What was one of your most memorable work placements? 

A placement at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital where I was able to work with kids. I had worked with kids before, but when you have a parent come with their baby, and they’re going to give that baby to you for treatment, to trust you that much, those were very humbling moments for me. That speaks to the role of our profession in the community—that we provide that treatment and expertise and earn that trust back. It taught me not to take any part of that for granted. 

How are you going to celebrate your graduation? 

Family is really important to me. My family is in Toronto and they were supposed to come celebrate with me, but that’s not possible right now. So, I’ll be in touch with the people who helped me get through the program, the people that I studied with. We supported each other from day one. And me, I’m a watch guy, so I think I’ll get myself a nice watch!

 What does the future hold for you? 

For me, right now, it’s all about growth.  I’m looking forward to seeing where the profession can take me. I’m really interested in education and raising awareness of the benefits of physio in the community, and I’ve started @BePhysioFit on social media, where some of my colleagues and I try to raise awareness of what physiotherapy can do and how it can improve people’s lives. The idea started when friends would ask me, “what do you do at physio school? Is it just treating soccer players?” But it’s so much more—it’s about empowering patients, providing them with independence and helping them achieve their goals.