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In this special issue on physical therapist education, four academic leaders share their thoughts on how the coronavirus pandemic has altered the education landscape now and for the future.

The coronavirus pandemic has affected education from preschools to postgraduate programs. The effects on health care professional education programs have been particularly profound, especially for disciplines associated with high levels of personal, in-person, and close-proximity interactions with patients and coworkers. Social distancing poses special challenges. Physical therapy education, with its all-important clinical component, has been dramatically affected.

Late last year, staff from APTA and the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy asked four academic leaders to engage in a conversation about the magnitude of that impact, what changes might be permanent, and how those changes inform our understanding of where the profession is headed. All participants are members of ACAPT, which supports academic institutions to strive for excellence in physical therapist education.

APTA Magazine presents this discussion in two parts — one targeting the effect of the pandemic on current DPT education, and a second article focused how it may affect the future.

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