Innovative Patient-Centered Curriculum
The ultimate goal of the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program is to graduate the next generation of clinicians who are solidly grounded in the fundamentals of physical therapy and competent in critical thinking and problem-solving.
Critical thinking and the use of evidence for making clinical decisions is emphasized throughout the curriculum. Relevant literature is considered in each unit with the goal being graduates who use current evidence in their practice of physical therapy. Students also write case reports based on patients they have treated in each of their clinical affiliations. The culminating event for the program is the presentation of a poster reporting the case report results or a platform presentation by those students who have participated in a research project.
Structure of PT Curriculum: 20 case-driven 3 week courses
The curriculum is organized into 20 patient-based courses that integrate knowledge from every practice area of physical therapy. The curricular content addresses aspects of injury prevention, recovery, and rehabilitation. Students learn to apply the principles of physical therapy practice to all patient populations and conditions: from the young child to the older adult, from fractures to traumatic brain injury. Each course is designed so that students can immediately apply the material to the patient case central to each, allowing them to develop their skills continuously as they advance through the program.
Students will spend time weekly in the Anatomy Resource Center during the first year of the program and have opportunities to review cadaver anatomy during the second year of the program. Our curriculum integrates the cadaver anatomy with the patient case(s) being covered in a given course and allows the students to apply the regional anatomy directly to relevant clinical examination and treatment.
Focus: movement system impairments associated with motion due to acute musculoskeletal injury.
Patient Case #1: A 21-year-old male fell while playing recreational soccer on campus. He reported immediate pain and edema around the knee with an inability to bear weight through his affected leg.
Patient Case #2: A 57-year-old female tripped and fell stepping up a curb on her way to the bank where she is employed as a financial advisor. She is able to bear weight through her leg but she complains of significant pain, edema and ecchymosis.