Clinical Experiences

Clinical Affiliation
  1. I - Full-time clinical practice for 6 weeks after the first year
  2. II - Full-time clinical practice for 8 weeks after the second year
  3. III - Full-time clinical practice at two sites for 8 weeks at each site after the third year

This clinical education component of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program allows students to apply knowledge and skills learned in the classroom to real-life situations in a variety of settings (orthopedics, pediatrics, neurology, geriatrics, etc.), thus experiencing our wonderful profession firsthand, developing working relationships with practicing therapists, and perhaps even discovering what physical therapy specialization they might pursue after graduation. In fact, these valuable experiences often lead directly to full-time employment upon graduation; many of our recent graduates now work at the facilities where they once attended clinic. Affiliations are full-time and last 6, 8 and 16 weeks (the latter divided into two 8-week sessions) each respective summer immediately following spring semester.

Currently, we affiliate with over 350 healthcare facilities across the nation as close as our very own NYU Medical Center and as far away as Juneau Physical Therapy in Alaska. Students play an active role in selecting their sites from places including teaching hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, private practices, and skilled nursing facilities thereby assuring a well-rounded clinical experience. If a student wishes to attend a site with which we are not presently affiliated, we will make all attempts to effectuate a relationship with that site. Recent affiliations have taken place in such prominent facilities as the Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit of Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, the Burn Center of Cornell Medical Center, the NYU Medical Center’s Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, Stanford Hospital, California Pacific Medical Center, the VA Medical Center of Palo Alto, New England Hospital, Kessler Institute For Rehabilitation, and United Cerebral Palsy of New York City.

Clinical Observation
  1. I - Fall semester, 2nd year (musculoskeletal area)
  2. II - Spring semester, 2nd year (cardiopulmonary area)
  3. III - Fall semester, 3rd year (neuromuscular area)
  4. IV - Spring semester, 3rd year (integumentary and woman's health areas)

This clinical education component of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program allows students to observe and be mentored by expert clinicians working in their respective specialized clinical settings. Students observe in small groups and see firsthand what it takes to become a highly skilled, well rounded professional practitioner in conjunction with the specific system currently being studied in class (cardiovascular/pulmonary; musculoskeletal; neuromuscular; and genito-urinary, integumentary, endocrine, immune, and gastrointestinal), thus establishing a unique link between the didactic and clinical aspects of the program.

Observations are part-time (one day per week) and occur in stress-free, nurturing environments allowing students to truly appreciate collaborative, problem-based learning in all aspects of the profession including examination, intervention, business, management, and professional behavior. To ensure that our clinical observation program remains at the forefront of physical therapy education and establishes the best learning and working environment possible, our faculty carefully selects each participating clinician based on years of experience within their respective areas of specialization, and advocates an open dialogue between student, master clinician, and faculty.