Doctor Of Physical Therapy DPT Course Descriptions
his course provides an in-depth study of the structures of the human body, especially the locations, relationships, and functions of all muscles, bones, joints, and peripheral nerves. The organs of the thorax, abdomen, pelvis, and perineum are identified, along with their blood supplies, innervations, and general functions. Gross features of the brain and spinal cord are also examined. Students learn through lecture, laboratory dissection, and study of prepared materials. Consideration of functional anatomy, kinesiology, and identification of structures through palpation are integrated via a series of lectures and laboratory experiences. The students learn basic cell structure and function of muscle and connective tissues through lectures, readings, and study of histologic slides.
This course addresses the area of observational gait analysis from both a quantitative and qualitative perspective. Standardized forms of gait analysis forms are used, appropriate terminology is discussed, and the students are taught how to incorporate these methods into their clinical practice. Students are instructed in use of the GAITRite a device that collects foot contact data as an individual traverses an instrumented walkway. Students use this technology to collect and analyze patient data that they formally present in a group project. In addition to collecting and studying data, students learn about various gait-related topics such as postural control of gait, the effect of orthotics on gait, and the use of motion analysis and EMG data to analyze gait.
This course presents a study of the structure and function of the central nervous system including embryology, circulation, nuclei, tracts, and functional connections. Lectures focus on basic principles of neural organization as well as the consequences of damage to the nervous systems. Laboratories provide an opportunity for students to visualize the three-dimensional structure of the brain, as well as to learn structure-function relationships in an interactive fashion. In a sub-component of the course titled ‘Neurological Examination and Evaluation’ students learn to conduct and interpret the findings of clinical tests that are used to identify neurologic pathology in patients and clients.
This is a basic course in human physiology which examines the functional characteristics of the nervous, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems. Topics include the physiology of excitable tissues, reflexes, muscle contraction, hemodynamics, micro and macro circulation, respiratory mechanics, cellular respiration, and the autonomic nervous system.
This course is an introductory course that presents the fundamental statistical approaches employed in clinical research. Lectures cover basic probability, common distributions, samples and populations, interval estimation, and inferential statistical approaches. By reading medical literature, students learn how statistical techniques are applied to clinical data, and practice summarizing and interpreting analytic results.
This course creates an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge of gross human anatomy in a practical and clinically-oriented way. Students study the biomechanics, kinetics, kinematics, and muscle dynamics of movement; the analysis of functional tasks; and principles of motor learning and motor control. Through a series of paired lectures and laboratories, students receive information regarding how an individual’s body characteristics, the environment, and the task being carried out; interact to generate the movements that emerge. Lab sessions provide students with a guided learning environment for practicing the physical examination of surface anatomy, the analysis of functional motor tasks, and basic skills in gait analysis. As a major project, students carry out a task analysis of a functional activity. The palpation and task analysis skills that students attain comprise a fundamental component of physical therapy examination that students will utilize throughout their careers as clinicians.
This course provides the scientific rationale for predicting human response to exercise. The course focuses on the acute and chronic adaptations to exercise in the musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary, and neuromuscular systems. Also covered are healing mechanisms in various tissues, and the response of injured tissue to biomechanical forces. In addition, exercise intervention in special populations such as pediatrics, geriatrics, and the pregnant female are discussed. Finally, the course introduces selected assessment and therapeutic exercise theories and techniques.
An introduction to the methods used in physical therapy to examine patients and clients, evaluate examination data, generate a physical therapy diagnosis, determine a prognosis and meaningful goals, and create intervention strategies that include consultation or referral, patient/client education, and direct intervention. Students learn examination techniques in depth for range of motion and flexibility. The emphasis in this course is on developing the ability to measure motor function objectively and accurately, and knowledge of the scientific rationale for using a particular examination tool. The interview is seen as an essential source of information and a basis for selecting appropriate evaluations and treatments. Basic skills in handling, positioning, and moving patients are reinforced. Analysis of posture, measurement of joint range of motion, and muscle testing are covered in depth. Students also learn how patients and clients can compensate for functional limitations with the use of wheelchairs and other assistive devices, and work in small groups to perform environmental assessment projects in the community.
PT 6012 Clinical Science in Physical Therapy I: Acute Medical and Orthopedic Conditions (10 credits)
This course is the first of three problem-based learning (PBL) courses that are designed to foster critical thinking, clinical reasoning, and evidence-based practice for comprehensive and effective patient/client management. Students are assigned to small tutorial groups with a faculty tutor. Groups meet bi-weekly to discuss patient/client management of hypothetical clinical cases. In these tutorial sessions, students identify learning issues associated with a case, examine and critique resources, discuss readings, and contribute to their own learning and that of their group members through dynamic group interactions. Discussions include matters relating to professional behavior, scientific and clinical knowledge, and competent performance of clinical skills. Weekly lectures provide students information to supplement their own case research. Laboratories that take place four days each week provide the means for students to learn the psychomotor skills associated with specific types of patient/client problems, and to raise additional cases for students to consider. One of the weekly labs is dedicated to the use of modalities. The first half of this course focuses on the individuals with integumentary pathologies such as burns, wounds, or limb amputation, and individuals with cardiopulmonary pathologies. The second half of the course concentrates on orthopedic conditions, primarily of the limbs.
PT 6013 Clinical Science in Physical Therapy II: Neurologic Conditions and Conditions of the Spine (10 credits)
This is the second of three problem-based learning (PBL) courses that are designed to foster critical thinking, clinical reasoning, and evidenced-based practice for comprehensive and effective patient/client management. Students are assigned to small tutorial groups with a faculty tutor. Laboratories that take place four days each week provide the means for students to learn the psychomotor skills, associated with specific types of patient/client problems, and to raise additional cases for students to consider. One of the weekly labs is dedicated to the use of modalities. The first half of the course focuses on the individuals with neurologic pathologies. The second half addresses advanced orthopedic skills of patient/client management, with emphasis on conditions of the spine. In addition, the complexity of the cases in this course is intentionally greater than that of the cases in the first PBL course. This helps students to elaborate and build on the patient/client management skills learned in the first course.
This is the last of three problem-based learning (PBL) courses that are designed to foster critical thinking, clinical reasoning, and evidence-based practice for comprehensive and effective patient/client management. Students are assigned to small tutorial groups with a faculty tutor. Groups meet bi-weekly to discuss patient/client management of hypothetical clinical cases. In these tutorial sessions, students identify learning issues associated with a case, examine and critique resources, discuss readings, and contribute to their own learning and that of their group members through dynamic group interactions. Discussions include matters relating to professional behavior, scientific and clinical knowledge, and competent performance of clinical skills. Weekly lectures provide students information to supplement their own case research. Laboratories that take place three days each week provide the means for students to learn the psychomotor skills associated with specific types of patient/client problems, and to raise additional cases for students to consider. The focus of this course is on pathological conditions commonly seen in children. Patient/client management takes into consideration the dynamics of parents, families, care providers, school environments, and children’s peers. Legal issues associated with rights to services are addressed, along with early interventions.
This provides an introduction to professional issues that include theories of learning and educating others, group dynamics, concept mapping, critical thinking and principles of evidence-based practice, professional behaviors, and historical and contemporary aspects of the profession of physical therapy. The first half of the course addresses considerations in learning and teaching that students will use clinically, and principles of group dynamics important for working in groups.
The second half of the course shifts to issues of professional behavior including Mays’ generic abilities of professionalism, ethics, professional service and political action, and the history of the physical therapy profession. The majority of the course is lecture-based, although several in-class activities occur to engage students in their learning.
This provides a comprehensive assessment of the professional role of the physical therapist, including current trends and future directions. Teaching strategies, management principles, ethical and legal issues in physical therapy, and interactions with patients and other professionals are among the topics of discussion. The course includes lectures, group discussions, and class presentations. The final sessions of the semester focus on career development.
An eight week full-time affiliation is undertaken in a hospital facility, long-term care/sub-acute facility, or outpatient facility.This is the student’s first opportunity to perform supervised practice of newly acquired clinical skills in an actual patient care environment. Critical thinking skills, professionalism, safety communication, and assuming responsibility for learning are emphasized and expected of the student.
An eight week full-time affiliation is undertaken in a rehabilitation facility, outpatient clinic, sports medicine clinic, hospital facility, long-term care/sub-acute facility, or other specialty setting. Students have the opportunity to practice more comprehensive and complex evaluation, treatment, and program planning skills, with supervision and increasing independence in an actual patient care environment.
This ten week full-time affiliation takes place in a rehabilitation facility, pediatric setting, sports medicine clinic, hospital facility, long-term care/sub-acute facility or other specialty setting. At this stage, the student is required to demonstrate increased flexibility and efficiency in performing skills under various circumstances. Internalization of professional ethics and values should be evidenced through exemplary professional behavior. The student is required to progress from treating 50% of a full caseload with less than 50% supervision and occasional guidance to treating a full caseload with 25% supervision and consultation for complex and unusual cases. (Note: Selected specialty rotations, such as pediatrics, may require 12 rather than 10 weeks.)
This course is a four week intensive module with two major focuses. The first is for students to progress through the early stages of planning their doctoral project and begin structuring and writing their doctoral manuscript. Students compose an Internal Review Board (IRB) appropriate proposal of their project, and begin writing the Introduction, Literature Review, and Methods sections of their doctoral manuscripts. Both are handed in at the end of the course. In addition, students present a 15-minute summary of their projects to the class. The second major focus of the class is for students to learn to apply principles of biostatistics and research design to clinical contexts. Mock and real data sets are given to students who determine appropriate statistical techniques to use to answer sets of questions. This process helps students build upon skills learned in BIOST 5001 Introduction to Biostatistics.
The purpose of this course is to provide physical therapy students with a sufficient knowledge base in the various types of medical conditions that they will frequently encounter in the clinic and to manage patient rehabilitation in a safe and responsible manner. The conditions discussed include cardiac disease, metabolic disorders, oncological conditions, integumentary disorders, neurologic impairments, and inflammatory disorders. Through a series of lectures and discussion with physicians and other guest clinicians, students become aware of the common ways in which the medical care of patients is managed, and thus how to optimize patient rehabilitation. Common disease pathways, risk factors, clinical manifestations, surgical and pharmacological strategies, and contraindications of which the physical therapist should be aware are discussed in relation to the scope of physical therapy practice.
This course is structured to promote a knowledge base and foster critical analysis skills in physical therapy related to wellness screening measures, and in the development and documentation of wellness programs for specific target groups in society. Through weekly lectures and laboratory sessions, students are educated in the physical therapist’s role in preventative healthcare and wellness for members of society with particular healthcare needs. Areas of focus include cardiopulmonary and musculoskeletal wellness, detection of risk factors and prevention of injury and disease, and exercise considerations for specific populations including infants/ adolescents, adults, females and the elderly. Students are exposed to public health issues, screening techniques, and strategies for establishing wellness programs in a variety of settings.
This is the final component of the Professional Practice I-III course series. The major emphasis of the course is promoting knowledge and skills necessary for effective scholarship and professional service. An important aspect of this involves critical analysis and advisement of students in their doctoral projects, both from classmates and faculty. Each student presents a summary of the foundational concepts, progress, and current status of their doctoral project. In addition, students discuss and practice skills in generic topics that are relevant to scholarship and professional service. These areas include professional writing, grantsmanship, preparation and execution of poster and oral presentations, program development, and ethics. Students are graded on their presentation and oral presentations, program development and ethics.
The relationship between public health and physical therapy practice is explored. Selected issues in the purview of physical therapy and critical to the health of the public is analyzed to foster an understanding of the processes of public health practice. The relationships among existing data, public policy, policy implementation, future policy needs, and strategies for policy change are discussed for each issue.
This ten-week clinical affiliation is the student’s final opportunity to refine familiar skills and to perform some additional newly acquired skills in an actual patient care environment. Demonstration of critical thinking skills, professionalism, safety, communication, and assuming responsibility for learning should be clearly evident throughout the affiliation. Pediatric and other specialty rotations are available at this level. Students work toward independence in the successful negotiation of a full complement of clinical responsibilities and skills during this final affiliation. The student is required to progress from maintaining a 75% caseload to a 100% full-time caseload in a cost effective manner. Entry level skills are expected in all performance areas at the end of the affiliation. Upon completion of the Clinical Education sequence, students are fully prepared to assume the roles of a staff physical therapist. (Note: Selected specialty rotations, such as pediatrics, may require 12 rather than 10 weeks.)
The content of this course is divided into two components. In the first component students are introduced to leadership theories, explore strategies for managing change, and learn about power and influence as it relates to being a physical therapy professional. Students then discuss physical therapy leadership related to clinical expertise and clinical teaching. Last, they discuss leadership as integrating contemporary science into clinical practice. The second course component has a focus on The Human Genome Project (HGP) with an emphasis on implications for physical therapy. The basics of genetic expression and the history of the HGP are reviewed. Students select genetics articles in areas of interest and lead online and in-classroom discussions about the implications for physical therapy practice. The ethical, legal and social implications of individualized genetic-based medicine are examined through assignments and online/classroom discussions. This course is primarily a distance based learning experience through DCDB involving the completion of individual assignments and participation in online discussions, and a few on campus lecture/discussion sessions.
This course will be structured to foster clinical reasoning and critical analysis skills in the areas of assessment, goal development, intervention design and discharge planning for patients with multiple co-morbidities. Guided by a disability model, students will identify learning issues, examine and critique resources, discuss readings, and contribute to their own learning as well as to that of others’ through small group interaction, laboratory experiences and lectures. Clinical cases will be introduced to facilitate the student’s ability to provide focused patient care. Group presentations will focus on key elements within the cases.
The Doctoral Project is a major component of the curriculum, which requires that students integrate many aspects of their academic work and clinical experiences. Successful completion of the Project is dependent on conscientious planning, preparation, and execution of the project from the spring of the first academic year to the spring semester of the third year. Students in groups of two or three choose a topic for their doctoral project from a set of faculty offerings presented to students in the spring of the first year of study. Student groups work with a faculty advisor to explore in depth an issue in one of three areas germane to physical therapy: clinical research, education, or service. Clinical research topics are anchored to the expertise and ongoing scholarship of faculty of the Department of Physical Therapy and School of Health Sciences and Practice. Education projects involve teaching practica and the development of teaching tools.
Public health service projects are focused on the development of physical therapy related programs and products that address the educational or health needs of individuals in schools, industry or community groups. All projects culminate in an oral presentation in the last semester of study, and a written manuscript that reflects an insightful synopsis of the project. The ultimate goal of all doctoral projects is peer-reviewed publication of the work, or presentations of the work at a professional meeting. (4 credits).