Excellence in Clinical Education
The clinical education program is constantly evolving, engaging students in multi-faceted clinical experiences where they learn and work alongside some of the nation’s leading clinicians.
For students in the DPT Residential option, the clinical education program is integrated with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and its partner, UPMC Centers for Rehab Services (CRS). CRS is one of the largest Medicare certified rehab agencies in western Pennsylvania with more than 50 outpatient facilities in 10 counties. UPMC and CRS have demonstrated their support to the Department of Physical Therapy by offering students from our program highest priority for all learning experiences.
As the DPT program has expanded its reach to engage students from across the country, the clinical education program has also continued to expand its offerings beyond the greater Pittsburgh region. Our longstanding partnership with nationally positioned providers in addition to our growing network of Pitt DPT alumni, and the integration of new clinical partners will further diversify the clinical offerings available to students, specifically those engaged in the DPT Hybrid option.
For students in the DPT Hybrid option, clinical faculty will be working to try and provide clinical education experiences within a 60-mile radius of the home address or other location where known housing may be available. We will work with students to identify potential inpatient and outpatient sites and will then vet the sites to ensure that students will receive an exceptional clinical education experience that aligns with the mission and goals of our Physical Therapy Department. Students may also choose to locate to Pittsburgh for a clinical education experience if an appropriate setting is not available to them.
Clinical education opportunities are available across the health care continuum, including tertiary acute care medical centers, a network of community-based hospitals, acute inpatient rehabilitation hospital and hospital-based units, long term care continuum of care including independent living, personal care, assisted living, skilled nursing facilities, long term care, and hospital-based subacute units, home health services, inpatient psychiatric and mental health facility. We offer placements in various clinical specialties, including pediatrics, geriatrics, sports medicine, orthopedics, women's health, neuro rehab, industrial rehab, comprehensive spine care, and balance and vestibular disorders.
Our academic and clinical faculty share responsibility for defining, implementing and evaluating our clinical education program as it is a continually evolving process that is responsive to the needs of society, the health care system, the physical therapy profession and the academic institution in order to graduate Doctor of Physical Therapy students prepared for today’s health care environment.
Our clinical partners include the comprehensive UPMC integrated health care delivery system and UPMC Centers for Rehab Services. In addition, a few other health care providers in western Pennsylvania have also partnered with us, including The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh and Concentra Medical Centers (also in partnership with UPMC).
UPMC Centers for Rehab Services, a certified rehab agency owned and managed by physical therapists, offers several specialty clinics and services as well, including but not limited to: Sports Medicine, Balance and Vestibular physical therapy, Neuro physical therapy, Women’s Health, Cardiopulmonary, Geriatrics, Arthritis, and Pediatric physical therapy.
Involvement with Clinical Education
Our clinical partners are also an integral part of our education in the classroom as well as in the clinic. The individual and collective expertise of our extensive network of therapists collaborates with faculty by teaching modules throughout the plan of study, assisting with clinical laboratories and practical exams, serving as clinical faculty to provide input into our curriculum content and clinical education program, and serving as clinical instructors as well.
UPMC Centers for Rehab Services has several APTA Credentialed Post-professional Residency Programs including:
- Sports Physical Therapy Residency
- Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency
- Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency
- Women’s Health Physical Therapy Residency
- Geriatric Physical Therapy Residency (this program is not yet credentialed)
For additional information: Physical Therapy Residency Programs.
Our clinical partners are also an integral part of research endeavors at the University as well. Research is conducted in therapy clinics across the healthcare continuum, several of the therapists are involved as principle and/or co-investigators. Furthermore, several Quality/Outcomes studies are conducted throughout our clinical network as well.