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Clinical Education in Physical Therapy

As a DPT student at University of the Sciences, you’ll find special opportunities to learn on every level in many different environments—not just in the classroom.  You’ll work in the field, where you’ll do things that prepare you for the real world. You’ll work with real patients in real clinic settings and have the opportunity to pursue research with faculty. Our DPT program is about more than a degree--it's about experiences that prepare you for a fulfilling career in physical therapy.

The Pro Bono Physical Therapy Clinic

Launched in 2002 as a partnership among University of the Sciences, Mercy Health System and the City of Philadelphia, the Pro Bono Physical Therapy Clinic provides underserved residents of Southwest and West Philadelphia with access to physical therapy services while giving you a unique context in which to learn. Through clinic experiences, you benefit from a faculty mentorship beginning in the first year of your professional curriculum.

Participation in the clinic—working hands-on with patients in a real-world environment—helps bolster your self-confidence and decision-making skills. Faculty members derive a greater sense of their role as professionals in addressing society’s needs. After student and faculty recognition of its importance, the Pro Bono Clinic was permanently added to the physical therapy curriculum. Since its inception, the clinic has provided care to more than 800 uninsured patients and countless invaluable experiences to students and faculty alike.

Clinical experience in a variety of health care settings

In the fall of your second year in the professional program, you will begin your first full-time clinical experience. Clinical education is a vital component of this professional education. Under the supervision of a clinical instructor who is a licensed physical therapist, you integrate knowledge, skills and professional development in the field through part-time and full-time clinical education experiences.

University of the Sciences affiliates with more than 350 clinical sites, including:

  • Large medical systems with acute-care and specialty clinics
  • Inpatient rehabilitation centers
  • Community hospitals and clinics
  • Skilled nursing facilities and sub-acute rehabilitation centers
  • Outpatient offices that may offer specialties such as women’s health, work hardening and neurological rehabilitation
  • School and preschool programs
  • Occupational medicine
  • Home health care
  • Sports medicine clinics

Many of the full-time clinical rotations will take place at locations within two hours of Philadelphia, but you may receive training outside of this geographical area.

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