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The team at Advanced Medical just returned from an epic trip at AOTA 2016 in the windy (and very cold) city of Chicago. After leaving a sunny blue skies and 75 degree Denver, arriving in the cold, rainy, 30 degree Chicago was quite a shock. We persevered though, and made it to the McCormick Place convention center where the “Dream Team” of Codey Thalacker, myself, and our two incredible OT mentors Mallory Apel and Kayla Layner set up shop at booth #4733.

AOTA 2016

After getting everything set up, we were able to take advantage of the late start at the exhibit hall to see some of the sights around Chicago. The Museum of Science and Industry is incredible, with awe-inspiring weather exhibits, human body exhibits (this was especially exciting to the OT in attendance), and a special exhibit displaying Legos arranged to look like famous buildings and landmarks. It definitely put my Lego building skills to shame!

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During the convention, we enjoyed visiting with some of the over 10,000 Occupational Therapy students and professionals in attendance. Mallory and Kayla, as OT’s themselves, were able to speak especially effectively to the students in attendance to dispel the numerous travel therapy myths about traveling as a new grad. After being turned away because of a need for experience after graduation, current students were most excited about our mentorship program to help them through the transition process from student to professional. Adding in tuition reimbursement and free and unlimited CEU’s in addition to mentorship, the new grad program offered through Advanced Medical was the hot topic at our booth. We enjoyed the steady stream of traffic at our booth, and enjoyed chatting with both OT students and experienced OT’s, as well as several current travelers who stopped by to say hello. Our sunglasses were again popular, especially on Saturday when the sun finally came out. We loved giving away several custom AOTA 2016 Hydro Flasks, with the most excitement being about our big giveaway: a GoPro, ENO Hammock, and Osprey Backpack.

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Of course being in Chicago meant we had to get Chicago pizza. We all went to Giordano’s on Navy Pier, where we all ate way too much but man, was that pizza delicious. We were hoping to walk on the pier, but it was just way too cold to be outside!

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Before we knew it, it was time to pack up and go home. We had an amazing time at AOTA 2016! See you in Philly next year!