What is the Post-Professional (Transition) Doctorate in Physical Therapy Program?
The Post-Professional t-DPT program is a clinical degree program that culminates in the conferral of a clinical doctorate in physical therapy degree. It is intended for physical therapy clinicians, managers, and educators interested in augmenting their current level of clinical expertise. Coursework is designed to enhance practice by providing clinicians with the knowledge and theoretical underpinnings of practice recently added to the entry-level curricula. These are the very courses designed to respond to the changing health care environment that have driven the profession towards doctoral level preparation.
Specific areas of augmentation include:
- Foundational sciences (pharmacology and medical imaging)
- Clinical sciences (evidence based practice, clinical decision making, lifespan development, health care management, and health, prevention, and wellness)
- Computer technology
Why Pursue the Post-Professional t-DPT?
The scope of practice of the physical therapist has changed significantly in the past decade. Demand for increased knowledge and higher level of skills for autonomous practice is evident by the move toward independent practitioner status. The primary mission of all physical therapy education programs is to serve the educational needs of the profession and to address the public's need for high quality physical therapy services. To assist clinicians in enhancing their current skills to meet the growing demands of practice, Post-Professional (Transition) Doctorate of Physical Therapy programs have been established.
The Post-Professional t-DPT program prepares practitioners to further their clinical mastery through the use of the patient/client management model, evidence based research, and consensus based clinical practice patterns that meet the needs of patients in a manner that promises the benefits of high quality with optimal efficiency and effectiveness.
The American Physical Therapy Association (http://www.apta.org) has outlined the perceived benefits of the t-DPT degree. Most notably, the t-DPT degree:
- More accurately reflects the scope, depth, breadth, and rigor of the educational preparation necessary for current and future practice
- Offers a sound educational background that should better equip the graduate to enter clinical practice able to examine, evaluate, diagnose, prognose, and intervene in the management of impairments
- Will better facilitate the consumer's recognition of the physical therapist as an independent practitioner
- Offers greater knowledge, skills and behaviors related to the administration and business aspects of physical therapy practice
- Better positions the physical therapist to advocate and negotiate more successfully on behalf of high-quality health care, the consumer and the profession.
The Stony Brook University Post-Professional t-DPT Program
Students completed a total of 30-36 credits within 3 years in order to graduate. Twenty three (23) credits equaling eight courses are included in the required core curriculum and include clinical pharmacology, differential diagnosis, medical imaging, evidence-based practice, research design, clinical decision making, outcome measurement, and computer literacy. The remaining 7-13 credits (3-5 courses) are elective courses which allow students to choose topic areas of personal and professional interest. Small classes were offered in the evening and on weekends, at the Stony Brook Long Island campus and the Manhattan location at 27th Street and Park Avenue, in response to the part time wants and needs of physical therapists. Courses were mainly offered in the traditional classroom setting.