Tara Jo Manal, PT, DPT, FAPTA, has no training whatsoever in construction, architecture, or interior design. She is, however, a seasoned physical therapist (PT), and she knows from experience how a physical therapy clinic should be built.
Manal, director of clinical services and residency training in the physical therapy department at the University of Delaware, led the total overhaul in 2013 of the department's 10,000-square-foot outpatient clinic. Initially, she recounts, the department turned to a local architectural firm to draw up a set of plans. "We told them what we wanted to accomplish, and what we needed in terms of rooms, offices, and places for equipment," she says. "When I looked at the plans, it was clear that they'd tried to incorporate everything we'd asked for. But it also was obvious that the design was never going to work."