Arcadia University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program awarded doctoral degrees on 107 students at the Jan. 17 DPT Commencement in the Kuch Center Alumni Gymnasium. Of the 2015 DPT class, 38 participated in the department’s international experiences through a stroke camp in Jamaica, the Kevin O’Halloran Center of Rehabilitation in Guatemala, Medical Ministry International in Peru, and a clinical experience in London. Forty-one students participated in faculty-student research, much of which will be presented at the 2015 Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) in February, while 51 of the graduates were enrolled in the Transitional DPT program for working physical therapists.
Guest speaker Dr. Michael P. Johnson, practice leader for the Home Health Practice at BAYADA Home Health Care in Moorestown, N.J., told the graduates that physical therapy was a “team sport,” imploring them to “be incredible” by being courageous, seeking to understand, asking for help, and keeping an open mind. Rebecca Adams ’15DPT, the class speaker—selected by her classmates by an overwhelming margin—likened the Class to a family.
“My dear classmates—now colleagues—I will miss learning alongside you,” said Adams, who also received the Jill Sisenwine Berger award. “ I am so grateful to be a part of the best collaborative network a novice clinician could ask for. An Irish blessing adapted just for you: May the jobs rise to meet you, may your loans be all paid back, may your patient’s smile shine warmly on your face, may the rains fall soft upon your service fields, and when we meet again, may God hold you in between the thenar and hypothenar eminences of his hand.”
This year’s DPT class enters a field that the U.S. Department of Labor projects will see a 36 percent employment increase through 2022, due in part to an aging population and a rise in conditions such as diabetes and obesity. Students from the Class of 2015 will begin or continue employment at Good Shepherd Penn Partners, Penn Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and private practices, among other locations.
Physical therapy also is a top-ten profession in U.S. News and World Report’s “100 Best Jobs” in terms of employment opportunities, salary, manageable work-life balance, and job security.