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Nicole Dupuis

1. How many years have you been practicing Physical Therapy?
I started my career at SCPT in 2005 as a Physical Therapist Assistant and worked until 2011 when I left to finish my doctorate degree at Springfield College. I graduated in 2012 with my DPT and rejoined SCPT in the summer of 2015.

2. Why did you choose to become a Physical Therapist?
I had physical therapy as a kid and became interested in it as a career. I knew that I wanted to help others and be somewhere in the medical field, and physical therapy seemed to fit!

3. Was there anything in particular that inspired your career choice?
After having been through successful sessions of physical therapy myself, and wanting to help others, I knew physical therapy was the career for me. When I was a young child, I remember accompanying my grandmother to her therapy visits after she broke her wrist and thought it was really cool how they made her wrist and hand move better.

4. Do you have any mentors or role models who inspired your career?
Several of the physical therapists that I worked with when I started my career as an assistant encouraged me to continue schooling to become a PT, especially Jen Lenkauskas, the Director of SCPT’s East Main Street Westborough office.

5. Please describe a typical day for you at SCPT.
Every day at SCPT is a busy one. I have a genetic condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and I get to treat others with the same condition. I see a few of them each day mixed in with all my other patients. I like to focus on manual therapy to get people moving and various types of strengthening to keep them moving.

6. What are some of your personal interests or hobbies?
Last year, I got my first professional digital camera and lens. I have been working with my aunt and some friends to help me perfect all the settings that go into a great photo. My dog Remy is getting a little tired of posing for pictures! I look forward to taking some nice photos of the fall foliage that’s coming up.

7. What do you do to stay active?
I started playing women’s ice hockey about 5 years ago and now play a few times per week. I have made some great friends while playing, and we have lots of fun and laughs. None of us could really skate well when we started, and our coach has an abundance of patience! I also try and get to the gym to work on some strengthening.

8. What is something that most people don’t know about you?
I really like to cook from scratch. I made a lot of pesto dishes this summer using fresh basil from my garden.

9. What is the most rewarding part of your work?
I love it when we can get a patient back to doing an activity or sport that they have not been able to do. Nothing is better than the smile on someone’s face after returning to their sport successfully.

10. Do you support any local charities?
I co-lead the Central Mass Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome support group. We meet once a month or so. I help coordinate guest speakers, and I educate on braces and ring splints that may help make life easier for these patients. I also help to support the Boston/New England Ehlers-Danlos support group in any way I can.

11. Do you speak any foreign languages?
My fiancé and I were in France and Italy last year, and I was able to communicate in France with the limited French that I know. Luckily, they were very patient and helpful. I am currently trying to learn some Italian.

12. If you could eat a meal with anyone in the world, with whom would you eat?
I would have a meal with my grandmother. She passed away many years ago, but I still really miss her. I spent a lot of time with her as a child, and I think she helped inspire my love for cooking. We used to make hundreds of homemade ravioli for Easter. I still like to make my own pasta and ravioli but don’t always have the time. My dad was also a chef. There are so many cooking questions that I would ask!

13. What are three things you cannot live without?
Hockey, my close friends, music.

14. Where is one place you have always wanted to visit?
We saw most of the west coast of Italy last year on our trip, but we never got to Venice. I would love to go back and see Venice, and visit where my Italian family came from in the southern part of Rome.

15. Who or what inspires you?
Various family members inspire me. Some have taught me patience, some have taught me to laugh at the little things, and some inspired me to keep pushing, and to continue learning.