Physical therapy attracts top-caliber students

The USF School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences continues to boost its national reputation – attracting top-quality students.

Applications to the school’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program jumped more than 30 percent over last year. The 36 members of the Class of 2013 were selected from a pool of qualified applicants drawn from more than 250 initial applications. The class cumulative grade point average, 3.82, is a record for the school. The incoming students will begin their studies in August 2010.

“Since admitting the charter DPT students in 2005, our school has been nationally recognized for its graduates and innovative interprofessional curriculum,” said William S. Quillen, PhD, professor and director of the school. “We have attracted some extraordinary young students from across the United States.”

USF was the first public university in Florida to offer the clinical DPT degree, rapidly becoming the standard for the profession. Enrollment in the three-year professional program, housed within the College of Medicine, has grown 34 percent since 2006. The school’s graduates consistently score at or above state and national averages on the physical therapy licensing examination.

DPT students learn alongside medical students and are taught by physicians, nurses, public health professionals, and basic scientists along with the physical therapy faculty– laying the foundation for successful collaborative practice needed in today’s healthcare environment, Dr. Quillen said.

Story by Anne DeLotto Baier, USF Health Communications