BOSTON (May 27, 2020)-Tufts University School of Medicine is launching an accelerated hybrid Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree program, the first program of its kind offered by a Massachusetts medical school. The blended learning model allows for virtual and face-to-face instruction, hands-on skill training, and clinical education. The school plans to enroll its first class of 100 students in January 2021.
Physical therapists provide care in a variety of settings to help individuals regain physical function, relieve pain, and prevent disability, using personalized, evidence-based programs to prevent the loss of mobility and support more active lifestyles.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 22 percent employment growth for physical therapists from 2018 to 2028. Tufts School of Medicine’s DPT program will help meet this increasing demand brought on by a rise in musculoskeletal disorders, a growing aging population, and a need for providers of cost-effective healthcare.
“Tufts University School of Medicine is known for our commitment to excellence and advancing medical knowledge in a dynamic and collaborative environment,” said Peter W. Bates, dean ad interim of the School of Medicine. “A rigorous, accelerated hybrid DPT program supports students from across the country who want to improve the quality of life for their patients by restoring physical function. This new program is a natural progression to expand our offerings in the continuum of care and meet the pressing needs of the healthcare workforce.”
The DPT curriculum combines online learning, hands-on skill training, and integrated clinical experiences. On-campus sessions occur on the Tufts Health Sciences Campus in Boston 10 times over two years for immersive hands-on learning to develop critical patient management skills. The curriculum comprises 67 weeks of didactic education and 31 weeks of clinical education consisting of three experiences ranging 8-15 weeks in a variety of physical therapy settings across the country. The curriculum plan and two-year model is in collaboration with Evidence In Motion (EIM), a leading provider of post-professional educational training programs in physical therapy, which is providing resources to support the program’s innovative hybrid DPT curriculum.
“The two-year model allows graduates to enter the workforce sooner, whereas the hybrid aspect allows location convenience and flexibility. Our program provides innovative learning experiences preparing students as career-focused, inquisitive, and evidence-influenced clinicians who improve the human experience and quality of life,” said Megan Donaldson, director of the School of Medicine’s DPT program.
The DPT program consists of 127 total semester credit hours delivered in six consecutive semesters over 24 months. The application deadline for the January 2021 cohort is October 23, 2020. Application instructions are available on the DPT program website.
Tufts University is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist education program from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). The program received Candidate for Accreditation status on May 12, 2020.