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  • Shaping the Future of PT Clinical Education: Your Perspective Needed

    A sweeping effort to create a shared vision for physical therapist (PT) clinical education has led to a set of recommendations that could help shape the future of the profession. Now your input is needed.

    Launched by the APTA House of Delegates in 2014, the effort is guided by the Education Leadership Partnership, a group including representatives from The American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT), APTA, and the Education Section of APTA. The interrelated recommendations now up for input were created by the Best Practices for Physical Therapist Clinical Education Task Force, a group charged with "proposing potential courses of action for a doctoring profession to move toward practice that best meets the evolving needs of society."

    The task force recommendations were reviewed and modified by the APTA Board of Directors and presented in a report to the 2017 House of Delegates.

    The partnership is offering 2 opportunities for feedback: a virtual town hall on August 17, 8:00 pm–9:30 pm (ET), and an in-person town hall on October 12 held as part of the APTA Education Leadership Conference in Columbus, Ohio. Registration information and instructions for preparing for the town halls are available on the task force webpage. That webpage also includes an informational video on the recommendations.

    Can't make either event? Stay tuned for an online survey about the recommendations coming in mid-August. PT in Motion News will announce the survey's launch date when it becomes available.


    • I commend you for tackling this difficult topic; however, I fear by making residencies mandatory, you are pricing PT's out of the field. Already, new graduates are laden with excessive student loans which prevents them from assuming a risk sharing environment and encourages at times unethical practice in order to achieve the greatest reward - both financially and in employment security.

      Posted by Kay Scanlon on 8/9/2017 3:50 PM

    • I commend the APTA for wanting to create greater consistency in education and in the quality of new graduate therapists. My concern is that early specialization will really limit the field further. Many young PT's work in multiple practice settings early in their career until they find what really sparks their passion. Early specialization will limit this. Also many new grads work multiple jobs to attack their student debt head on. Would early specalization in orthopedics limit a new PT from doing prn acute care or skilled nursing facility work? PRN work allows PT's to earn extra income and explore other practice settings. Limiting our scope of practice early on will likely create a further shortage in the acute care and SNF settings

      Posted by Erica Noel on 8/10/2017 11:14 AM

    • I personally would classify myself as having a early specialization in manual therapy graduating from University of St. Augustine, and identified myself early on as a "manual therapist". I also found myself working in a SNF, hospital setting, and home health in addition to out patient, and at some points in my early carreer, in lieu of, for different reasons. I do not feel that early specialization will be a detriment to any field. Actually, I feel that it may be good for all!

      Posted by Alisha Jarreau on 8/11/2017 9:07 AM

    • I feel strongly that specialization only works in communities with large enough populations to support many therapist specialists. Smaller, rural communities often only have a few therapists for their region and need to be comfortable treating ALL movement problems, not just OP ortho (or neuro, geri, peds, etc.) and often in multiple settings like hospital-based care in the AM and OP or peds or home care in the PM. I would be more supportive of specialization for all if there was a "generalist" or "primary care" certification that was just as valuable and respected as the specialties.

      Posted by Tina Stoeckmann on 8/16/2017 2:49 PM

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