Listening Time — 33:25
The first wave of this study's findings provides insights into physical therapist education and identified differences between physical therapist and medical student perceptions.
Unlike medicine, physical therapist education doesn't have any universally applied student-oriented set of outcome metrics. Even though the American Physical Therapy Association had its centennial last year, "we're still developing … in terms of our academic measurements," explains Richard Shields, PT, PhD, FAPTA. "Clearly, we have outcomes that all universities use, but they're not benchmarked where everybody is filling out the same [metric]. Medicine got a good start on this in the 70s." The first wave of this study's findings provides insights into physical therapist education and has identified differences between physical therapist and medical student perceptions; the ongoing trial will establish a comprehensive set of benchmarks to better understand academic physical therapy outcomes.
Alan M. Jette, PT, PhD, FAPTA, is editor-in-chief of PTJ: Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Journal.
Richard K. Shields, PT, PhD, FAPTA, is professor of physical therapy and rehabilitation science, Gary L. Soderberg endowed professor in physical therapy and rehabilitation science, and chair and department executive officer, in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.