BUIES CREEK - Campbell University started accepting applications for its new Doctor of Physical Therapy degree today, Feb. 4. The program is projected to begin in January 2014 and plans to accept 32 to 40 students for the first class.
Interested candidates have until Nov. 1 to submit their applications.
Over the next decade, millions of citizens are expected to gain access to health care services, which include physical therapy, due to changes in health care laws and delivery. With this new access to care, physical therapy positions are projected to increase 40 percent by 2020. Campbell’s new program aims to help fill this need.
The profession’s low unemployment rate (which is less than 1 percent), excellent job satisfaction ratings, and the opportunity to help others through rehabilitation are among the many reasons to consider becoming a physical therapist.
The 36 month, full-time program at Campbell is dedicated to developing independent, autonomous practitioners who function as part of a comprehensive inter-professional health care team, with an emphasis on care in rural communities.
“Campbell is in a unique position to influence physical therapist retention rates in rural North Carolina by providing necessary health care access to those regions,” said Dr. Greg Dedrick, director of Campbell’s DPT program.
Students will spend the first two years applying classroom knowledge with hands-on training. The final year will focus primarily on clinical training in health care facilities throughout North Carolina, the Southeast region and the nation.
The new program will offer several unique aspects to physical therapy education. With Campbell’s commitment to inter-professional health education, DPT students will have the advantage of collaborating through team-based training with students in the university’s physician assistant, pharmacy and public health programs and the School of Osteopathic Medicine, which welcomes its first students in fall 2013.
The DPT program will offer service learning and clinical experiences throughout the nine-semester curriculum. Inter-professional education will be included with this hands-on training to integrate real-world situations and to prepare graduates for continuing changes in health care delivery models.
With a focus on rural health disparities, students will have the opportunity to complete clinical internships in rural settings. Students will also be able to participate in mission work that benefits North Carolina residents between semesters. Through these experiences, graduates will be trained as skilled communicators and teachers, adept to use clinical reasoning and to integrate evidence into clinical practice.
The program is currently seeking provisional accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.
Photo: Campbell’s DPT program faculty and staff. Front, from left: Dr. Heidi Shearin, clinical education director and assistant professor, and Rachel Ennis, administrative assistant. Back, from left: Dr. Doug Powell, assistant professor; Dr. Greg Dedrick, program director and associate professor; and Brett Windsor, assistant professor.