DPT welcomes students to orientation

Forty of the newest Camels on campus entered Carrie Rich Memorial Hall on Campbell’s main campus today to begin their journey as the inaugural Doctor of Physical Therapy class.

The idea of creating a physical therapy program at Campbell University began in the 1990’s when the first feasibility study was initiated. However, the idea was put on hold to continue to focus on the then-newly opened pharmacy school and other programs. With the recent creation of a physician assistant program and a school of osteopathic medicine, physical therapy was brought back into the picture and the timing could not be more perfect.

“You’re coming to Campbell University at a marvelous time,” said Jerry Wallace, president of the University, at the opening remarks during the program’s orientation. “Through our success in pharmacy, we have been able to open our doors to the future of healthcare and to you.”

The Doctor of Physical Therapy degree is a three-year program offered through the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences. It boasts an evidence-supported curriculum centered on the patient and clinical practice in rural healthcare. 

According to the American Physical Therapy Association, or APTA, patients will have direct access to physical therapists by 2020 for management, prevention and wellness services. With the increased access to patients, APTA forecasts the need to train more physical therapists.  APTA also bases the growing projection for physical therapists on the demands of the aging population.

“I encourage you to accept the responsibility you’ve been given to distinguish yourselves and the program,” said Ron Maddox, vice president for health programs, addressing the students. “Throughout the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences’ history, precedents have been set. I urge you to build upon the great reputation your predecessors have built.”

“The bottom line is that we want to create competent physical therapists with big hearts and a strong purpose,” said Wallace. “And in all things, to give glory to God.”

The one-day orientation concluded with an overview of the policies and procedures of the program and meetings with faculty advisors. Classes will begin on Monday, January 6.

Photo: President Jerry Wallaces addresses the DPT Class of 2016