School of Physical Therapy
Message from the Chair
Physical therapists must assume a number of important roles in clinical practice:
- Primary care provider in a challenging health care environment,
- Diagnostician of movement dysfunction;
- Interventionist when applying treatment techniques to restore function;
- Teacher of patients and families;
- Motivator when working with patients and communities to promote optimum health and wellness;
- Team leader and/or participant, as the needs of the team require and the problem at hand;
- Patient, professional and community advocate.
In order to fulfill those multiple roles to the highest level, the physical therapist must exhibit the traits of commitment to service to the patient/client, profession and the community, dedication to lifelong learning and the pursuit and application of new knowledge, and devotion to seeking excellence in every avenue in their lives.
The faculty members of the School of Physical Therapy strive to develop those traits in our students by emulating these desired behaviors for our students. Faculty and students working together, as members of the Marshall University Physical Therapy family, expect to provide improved services to the local community and the region by graduating highly competent, dedicated physical therapy professionals who exhibit those traits.
Penny G. Kroll, PT, PhD
In congruence with the University, College of Health Professions, and Graduate College, and in answer to the needs of the community, the School of Physical Therapy and Doctor of Physical Therapy Program vision is: To retain faculty, who collectively and individually, embody and exemplify each of those attributes we seek to instill in our students, and to graduate therapists who will not only be skilled autonomous, primary care physical therapy practitioners and advocates for patients and the profession, but also facilitators of learning through the preservation, discovery, synthesis, and dissemination of knowledge.
- To provide excellence in physical therapist education in order to prepare highly competent self-reflective physical therapists capable of treating culturally diverse populations of clients with varying health care needs, from maintaining optimal wellness, preventing onset, symptoms and progression of impairment, functional limitations and disability, to restoring function at the highest possible level;
- To produce autonomous practitioners who are effective teachers, community partners and leaders who give back to their community, advocate for patients and the profession at all levels, and are integral members of a patient/client-centered interdisciplinary team;
- And finally, to produce clinicians who practice evidence-based physical therapy, seek to preserve, discover, synthesize and disseminate knowledge, and establish personal development plans to sustain lifelong learning once practicing in the profession.
Physical therapy is a health profession whose primary purposes are the diagnoses and management of movement dysfunction, prevention of the onset, symptoms, and progression of impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities, enhancement of physical and functional abilities, and promotion of optimal human health, wellness and quality of life as related to movement and function. This is achieved through the application of scientific principles through evidence-based practice to prevent, examine, evaluate and intervene in order to alleviate acute or prolonged movement dysfunction and optimize function.
Implicit in this definition is the need of the physical therapist practitioner to assume a number of important roles such as: primary care provider in a challenging health care environment, diagnostician of movement dysfunction; interventionist when applying treatment techniques to restore function; teacher of patients and families; motivator when working with patients and communities to promote optimum health and wellness; team leader and/or participant dependent on the needs of the team and the problem at hand; and a patient, professional and community advocate. In order to fulfill those multiple roles to the highest level, the physical therapist must be committed to service to the profession and the community, dedicated to lifelong learning and the pursuit and application of new knowledge, and devoted to seeking excellence in every avenue of their lives.
Therefore, a physical therapy program must pursue an educational process that seeks to help students develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors necessary to become proficient in these various roles. The program administration, faculty and staff become role models and guides in the educational process, and a partnership forms between faculty and students in the quest for professional excellence. The faculty accepts the responsibility of emulating professional attitudes and behaviors, and providing leadership to students, and the student accepts responsibility for their own professional growth and development.
We believe the Marshall DPT Program will successfully prepare graduates capable of assuming the myriad of roles implicit in the profession of physical therapy. We believe that with the concerted efforts and support of multiple stakeholders, we will graduate thoughtful and responsible practitioners who will be advocates for the patient, the profession, and the community, and will be capable of assuming responsibilities for addressing the health care needs of a culturally diverse society.