Spotlight - Kyle Gallagher
What attracted you to Athletic Training initially?
My initial interest in Athletic Training came from playing sports while growing up. I realized in high school that becoming a professional athlete was not a very realistic goal for me, and due to a few minor injuries, I was introduced to the athletic trainer at my school. He was really helpful not only in treating my injuries but explaining all the different aspects of his job. I knew that I wanted to work in athletics in some capacity, I was just unsure how. After talking and working with my Athletic Trainer during my senior year I was convinced this was the right profession for me, and I still believe that to this day.
Why did you decide to move internationally?
I really saw the possibility to work overseas as a once in a lifetime opportunity. Sports seasons are year-round now and to get time to travel to this side of the world can be very difficult. I figured this would be a great time to gain some experience, travel, and help grow the profession of Athletic Training in an area where the profession is really needed.
Please describe your experience with the Chinese Olympic Committee:
The position I am currently in has been great experience and opportunity for me to work with high level athletes. The team I am working with has never had an Athletic Trainer, so to come in and provide evaluations, treatments, and rehabilitation to these athletes in need is very rewarding. The athletes are all very appreciative and respectful. It is great to be able to create this position from the ground up and help educate the athletes and coaches on what I can offer as an athletic trainer.
What is your most memorable experience while living abroad?
There have been many instances where I have looked back and said to myself “wow, that was pretty awesome”. One that I will certainly never forget happened while working in the clinic setting. A patient was referred to me after tying several methods to get rid of his shoulder pain. This case was particularly memorable because the patient could only speak Japanese. In order to translate for him we had one of our staff in the room as well, she was fluent in Japanese and Chinese. This was still a problem for me as my Chinese is not as good as I would like it to be, so in order to translate from Chinese to English we had another member of the staff in the room. As I went through my evaluation my questions were translated from English-Chinese-Japanese and back.
It was the longest evaluation and treatments I have ever done but am happy to say after a few appointments the patient’s symptoms resolved. As athletic trainers we are always part of a sports medicine team. In this instance it was a bit of a different team than usual but we still were able to help the patient. Looking back that was an experience that not many people will get the chance to have.
What’s your favorite part of living in China?
It is great to be in China and help advocate for our profession in an area that certainly has a need. Many people here are unaware of what we as athletic trainers can offer so when we do get the opportunity to help, the patients are very grateful and appreciative. On top of that I really enjoying having the ability to travel around Asia. Trips can be very inexpensive, and you can get to see some very beautiful places.
Favorite Chinese food:
Definitely Cantonese food. Living in Guangzhou for two years gave me the opportunity to taste a lot of different and unique foods, but I always seemed to stick with Cantonese when I had options. I can eat Dim Sum for every mean and not get tired of it.