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University of Puerto RicoMedical Sciences CampusSchool of Health ProfessionsDepartment of Graduate ProgramsINFORMATION BULLETIN PHYSICALTHERAPY PROGRAMDoctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)Decemberr 20211


INTRODUCTIONPhysical Therapy Program is housed within the Department of Graduate Programs in theSchool of Health Professions of the University of Puerto Rico in the Medical SciencesCampus. The Administrative Offices of the Physical Therapy Program are located at the6th floor (Office 604) of the School of Health Professions. It is the first and only programin Puerto Rico, which leads to a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, which is the entrylevel degree for the physical therapy profession. The Program, offering a baccalaureatedegree, began in 1951 as the School of Physical Therapy and became part of the Schoolof Health Professions at the time of the College’s inception in 1976 and since then hasbeen accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education ofthe American Physical Therapy Association. In 2002 its offering changed to a masters’degree level, and in 2014 it was transformed to a doctoral level degree. The duration ofthe professional curriculum is 3.5 years of full-time studies, including three summersessions, for a total of 140 weeks. Admissions to the program will be considered onceevery year. Students will begin diurnal fulltime classes in June of the year of admission.They are expected to complete 132.5 credits and graduate three and a half years laterupon completion of the graduation requirements. The DPT program is not availablethrough part-time study.The program’s mission is to graduate doctors of physical therapy as general clinicalpractitioners, who provide direct clinical care, contribute to the evidence for practice, andengage in education, consultation, advocacy, and administration of services focused onhealth problems that adversely affect movement, functional activity and participation insociety. In synchrony with the mission of the School of Health Professions, we embracethree dimensions of the educational experience: teaching, research and service. Theprogram integrates these three components while enabling the graduate to respondproactively to the needs of the society in relation to the ever-changing health caredelivery system structure. The faculty aims to provide the learning environment, whichwill allow the graduate to be a competent professional, dedicated to lifelong pursuit ofknowledge.Upon the completion of this degree the graduate is qualified to work as a generalpractitioner in physical therapy and will be able to offer services in the followingscenarios: hospitals, rehabilitation centers, geriatric centers, industries, schools, sportsmedicine centers, health promotion programs, private practice, community programs, andothers. The graduate will be able to provide comprehensive physical therapy services inprimary, secondary, tertiary care, wellness and fitness, promotion of health andprevention of disease and injury, integrating clinical, administrative, teaching,consultative, advocacy, and research skills.GRADUATE PROFILE OF THE DPTThe graduate of the Physical Therapy Program will be able to:3

1. Provide comprehensive physical therapy services in primary, secondary, tertiarycare, wellness and fitness, promotion of health and prevention of disease andinjury, integrating clinical, administrative, teaching, consultative, advocacy, andresearch skills.2. Exhibit critical thinking abilities to serve as a competent problem solver capableof justifying decisions based on evidence.3. Demonstrate effective communication and interpersonal skills in all professionalinteractions including respect and responsiveness to diversity.4. Commit to self-directed lifelong learning.5. Practice autonomously and collaboratively.6. Adhere to legal, ethical, and practice standards of the Physical Therapyprofession.LANGUAGECurriculum is conducted in Spanish and English and most patient interactions are inSpanish. Therefore, fluency in speaking, writing, and reading both languages is highlyrecommended. The Program offers the opportunity for students to request clinicalexperiences in the United States. Those interested in this experience will be evaluatedbefore their clinical practice assignment in order to assess their English language skills.ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS/TECHNICAL STANDARDS FOR THE PHYSICALTHERAPY STUDENTSEssential functions, also known as technical standards, are indispensable physical,behavioral, and cognitive abilities needed to complete the curriculum for doctor inphysical therapy and to perform as a physical therapist upon graduation. Establishingthese essential functions will assist prospective students and the institution in determiningthe need to request reasonable accommodations. Students may be assisted by anuntrained aid in performing certain physical functions, such as lifting and carrying,provided they are able to give clear instructions to the aid for performing, and that the aidprovide no assistance in behavioral or cognitive functions. Currently, neither the APTAnor CAPTE have established essential functions for physical therapists. The followingare those commonly identified in the professional literature and adopted by numerousphysical therapy programs throughout the United States. Direct citations are in somecases used, although not marked as such in text, to preserve important content; sources ofthis information are listed. Students and graduates of the physical therapy program areexpected to comply with the required program criteria as specified in the studenthandbook and courses syllabi and manuals, regardless of disability status.Physical functions Gross movements required to perform physically demanding tasks as part of thedelivery of physical therapy (required to screen, exam, and provide interventions,)such as lift, carry, sit, stand, kneel, squat, bend, twist, walk on even and uneventerrains, push, pull, walk upstairs/downstairs, climb, balance Fine motor skills required to screen, exam, and provide interventions such asbilateral hand-eye coordination, discriminate touch, and control of finemovements4

Hearing, visual, and tactile abilities required to screen, exam, and provideinterventionsCapacity to study for long periods of time and to manage personal time as needed.Behavioral functions Exhibit professional behaviors in all situations. Demonstrate all APTA core values associated with professionalism. Practice in a safe manner that minimizes the risk to the patient, self, and others. Practice in a manner consistent with established legal and professional standards,and ethical guidelines. Use appropriate verbal, non-verbal, and written communications in ways that arecongruent with situational needs. Interact effectively with patients, families, colleagues, other health careprofessionals, and the community; and deal effectively with diversity issues. Effectively seek, obtain, use, and provide feedback for personal and professionalimprovement. Fulfill commitments and be accountable for actions and outcomes. Assess self-limitations and needs; seek sources of information and assistance;prepare and implement a plan for personal and professional growth. Tolerate uncertainty and ambiguity inherent to clinical practice. Identify challenging situations, potential conflicts, and sources of stress and, andto develop effective coping behaviors. Use resources and time efficiently. Establish respectful and effective collaborative relationships. Accept criticism; respect and consider opinions different to own.Cognitive functions Apply current knowledge, theory, clinical judgment, and the patient's values andperspectives in patient management. Recognize and define problems, analyze data, develop and implement solutions,and evaluate outcomes. Question logically; identify, generate, and evaluate elements of a logicalargument; recognize and differentiate facts, illusions, assumptions, and hiddenassumptions; and distinguish the relevant from the irrelevant. Determine patient or client's needs, perform physical therapy assessment, anddevelop plan of intervention. Read, write, speak, and understand Spanish; read and understand English. Speak English if clinical sites in the US are chosen for clinical educationexperiences. Use of technology to search and find evidence. Recognize the psychosocial impact of function and disability as well as political,social, cultural, and economical influences to healthcare. Demonstrate sound judgment in professional roles, including clinician(assessment, assignment, intervention, and evaluation), consultant, educator,5

researcher, administrator, and advocate, consistent with accepted models ofpractice.Sources:APTA's Physical Therapist Clinical Performance Instrument (PT CPI), 2006APTA's Minimum required skills of physical therapist graduates at entry-level BODG11-05-20-49 rg/About Us/Policies/BOD/Education/MinReqSkillsPTGrad.pdf [May 27, 2012]APTA’s Professionalism in Physical Therapy Core Values BOD P05-04-02-03[Amended BOD org/About pelle Gazsi C (2011) Expectations of Physical Therapist Employers and Academic andClinical Faculty Regarding Entry-level Knowledge, Skills, and Behavior ofPhysical Therapist Graduates in Acute Rehabilitation Practice. Dissertation,Doctor of Philosophy, Nova Southeastern University, College of Allied Healthand Nursing, Physical Therapy Department. UMI Number: 3490479Francis NJ, Salzman A, Polomsky D, Huffman E (2007). Accommodations for a studentwith a physical disability in a professional physical therapist education program.Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 21(2): 60-65.Ingram D (1997). Opinions of physical therapy education program directors on essentialfunctions. Physical Therapy, 77(1): 37-45.May WM, Morgan B, Lemke JC, et al. (1995). Model for ability-based assessment inphysical therapy assessment. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 9(1):3-6.Physical Therapist (PT) Admissions issions/PTProcess/ [May 20, 2012]Rangel A, Wittry A, Boucher B, Sanders R (2001). A survey of essential functions andreasonable accommodations in physical therapist education programs. Journal ofPhysical Therapy Education, 15(1), 11-19.Sharby N, Roush SE (2009). Analytical decision-making model for addressing the needsof allied health students with disabilities. Journal of Allied Health, 38(1), 54-62.Sizer PS Jr, Felstehausen V, Sawyer S, Dornier L, Matthews P, Cook C. Eight criticalskill sets required for manual therapy competency: a Delphi study and factoranalysis of physical therapy educators of manual therapy. J Allied Health. 2007Spring, 36(1):30-40.Verma S, Paterson M, Medves J (2006). Core competencies for health careprofessionals: what medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, and physiotherapyshare. Journal of Allied Health, 35(2): 109-1156

CURRICULUMA. Curriculum DescriptionThe curriculum of the Program is geared to the attainment of entry-level physical therapycompetencies. All courses in the curriculum are required. The student does not select aconcentration or choose electives. Courses are distributed in the following components:foundational sciences, professional socialization, clinical skills, and clinical experiences.Active learning strategies are used throughout the curriculum, requiring the commitmentand continuous reflection from the learner. Clinical experiences are offered progressivelythroughout the curriculum, concluding with a 20-fulltime week’s internship in whichstudents are expected to demonstrate entry-level professional skills. A group researchproject is required as a pre-requisite for the internship.B. Curricular SequenceDOCTOR OF PHYSICAL THERAPY CURRICULUMCodeCourseSemesterCreditFIRST YEAR-FIRST SEMESTER –begins in JulyTEFI 7035Basic Clinical Skills in Physical Therapy **2TEFI 7425Human Anatomy4TEFI 7015TEFI 7025Introduction to Professional Socialization3Research in Physical Therapy I3TEFI 7045Clinical Exercise PhysiologyTEFI 7055Health Promotion, Wellness, and PreventionSubtotal2.5317.5FIRST YEAR-SECOND SEMESTERTEFI 7011Clinical Kinesiology ITEFI 7051Pathophysiology I4TEFI 7027Research in Physical Therapy II2TEFI 7046Clinical NeuroscienceTEFI 7016Physical Therapist as Educator and Communicator3TEFI 7031Evidence Based Practice in Physical Therapy I2Subtotal2.53.517.0SUMMER SESSION ITEFI 7065Physical AgentsTEFI 7066Pharmacology for Physical Therapists1.5TEFI 7067Imaging for Physical Therapists1.5Subtotal25.07

CodeCourseSECOND YEAR- FIRST SEMESTERSemesterCreditTEFI 7012Clinical Kinesiology II3TEFI 7023Evidence Based Practice in Physical Therapy II2TEFI 7105Clinical Management of Spinal DysfunctionsTEFI 7052Pathophysiology II4TEFI 7106Electrotherapeutic and Electrodiagnostic Procedures2TEFI 7111Clinical Education Experience I2Subtotal2.515.5SECOND YEAR-SECOND SEMESTERTEFI 7205Clinical Management of Musculoskeletal Dysfunction of Extremities2.5TEFI 7201Research Project I2TEFI 7206Motor Development and Learning3TEFI 7207Clinical Management of Integumentary DysfunctionsTEFI 7208Clinical Management of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary DysfunctionsSubtotal1.5312SUMMER SESSION IITEFI 7209Clinical Education Experience IISubtotal66THIRD YEAR-FIRST SEMESTERTEFI 7310Clinical Management of the Neurologically Impaired AdultTEFI 7309Social Aspects of Health and Illness3TEFI 7305Prosthetics and Orthotics2TEFI 73061TEFI 7307ErgonomicsClinical Management of Endocrine, Immunologic, Genitourinary,and Gastrointestinal DysfunctionsTEFI 7308Research Project II2.51.52Subtotal12THIRD YEAR-SECOND SEMESTERThis semester is divided into two modules, except for Research Project III course that will beoffered throughout the semesterTEFI 7103Research Project III2First seven weeks moduleTEFI 7102Clinical Management of the Neurologically Impaired Child2.5TEFI 7104Health Care Systems and Administration in Physical Therapy3Second 11 weeks moduleTEFI 7101SubtotalClinical Education Experience III1017.58

CodeCourseSUMMER SESSION IIITEFI 7113SubtotalClinical Education Experience IVSemesterCredit1010FOURTH YEAR SEMESTER ITEFI 7114Clinical InternshipSubtotalGRANDTOTAL2020132.5** The total number of clock-hours is distributed throughout the four weeks of July.C. Course DescriptionsCourseTEFI 7035Basic Clinical Skills inPhysical TherapyTEFI 7425 HumanAnatomyTEFI 7015Introduction toProfessionalSocializationTEFI 7025 Researchin Physical Therapy ITEFI 7045 ClinicalExercise PhysiologyDescriptionThis is an introductory course geared for the student to develop safe and effectivehandling of patients/clients. Approaches for infection control, preparation for patientcare, assessment of vital signs, draping and positioning, as well as proper bodymechanics are addressed throughout the course. Proper training in basic mobilityactivities for patient/clients with functional limitations is also included. Supervisedlaboratory experiences are included in all the units of the course.Gross human regional anatomy with emphasis in musculoskeletal, nervous,respiratory, and cardiovascular systems. It also includes gastrointestinal andgenitourinary structures, and basic concepts of histology and embryology. Relevantconcepts of radiographic anatomy are also discussed and illustrated through theexamination of diagnostic images in the laboratory sessions. Students are expected tocorrelate structure and function as well as to initiate the analysis of basic clinicalcorrelations from an anatomical perspective. Supervised laboratory sessions includecadaver dissection, examination of prosected cadavers, and the use of anatomicsoftware.This course addresses the role of the physical therapist as a member of the health careteam, as well as the physical therapy practice expectations and domains. Models ofclinical reasoning, including the enablement/disablement models and algorithms forpatient care management are presented. Legal, ethical, regulatory, and practiceexpectations issues that impact the delivery of physical therapy services are alsoaddressed. The student is expected to reflect on the scope of physical therapy, andthe impact that becoming a physical therapist has in his/her social responsibilities.Instructional strategies include lectures, discussions, debate, and appraisal of a publichearing, among others.This course is the first of five courses designed to create a culture of inquiry,considering research as an integral part of physical therapy practice. It includes thediscussion of the elements of and approaches to research, as a foundation forevidence-based practice. Quantitative research methods are covered, with emphasison their contribution to theory testing. The student is expected to critically analyzepublished research literature, including systematic reviews. The followinginstructional strategies are used: lecture, discussions, oral presentations, search andanalysis of literature, group projects, and computer laboratory experiences.This course presents the molecular, cellular, and system physiology with emphasis inthe musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and pulmonary function. It addresses thephysiological principles required for understanding the acute responses and chronicadaptations of the human body systems’ function across the lifespan, in pathologicalstates, and in response to physical therapy intervention with emphasis in the9

CourseTEFI 7055 HealthPromotion, Wellness,and PreventionTEFI 7011 ClinicalKinesiology ITEFI 7051Pathophysiology ITEFI 7027 Researchin Physical Therapy IITEFI 7046 ClinicalNeuroscienceTEFI 7016 PhysicalTherapist as Educatorand CommunicatorDescriptionphysiological effects of exercise. The student is expected to detect and interpretphysiological changes related to exercise that influence the physical therapymanagement of patient/clients. Teaching strategies such as lectures, groupdiscussions, and supervised laboratory practice are used.This course addresses the basic concepts of health, wellness, fitness, prevention,screening for risk, and behavior change. These concepts are applied at individual andcommunity levels. Students perform a risk screening and a risk assessment; they alsogenerate goals for themselves and for a specific community with special needs. Plansgeared to decrease risk and increase health and wellness are developed, implemented,and evaluated. The following teaching strategies are used: lectures, small groupdiscussion, laboratories, and community experiences.This course deals with the study of human motion, which includes kinematics andkinetics required for the understanding of normal and abnormal movement.Anatomical, biomechanical, and physiological principles are applied in the analysis ofstatic and dynamic postures. Students identify and analyze the forces acting on bodysegments and their effects during normal functional activities. The composition andbiomechanical behavior of the principal tissues of the musculoskeletal system aredescribed and compared. The course also provides the foundation for understandingsome physical therapy tests and measures, and therapeutic applications. The effects ofcommon structural deformities, immobilization, and injuries of the musculoskeletalsystem are addressed. The structure and function of the trunk and spine arepresented. Web-enhanced learning and supervised laboratory experiences areincluded.This course provides an introduction to the pathophysiological mechanismsassociated with disease and trauma caused by inflammation, infection, and geneticdisorders across the lifespan. The etiology, epidemiology, diagnosis and differentialdiagnosis, clinical manifestations, and medical and surgical management arediscussed. It addresses the diseases of the circulatory, respiratory, hematologic,endocrine, digestive, genitourinary, immunologic, and integumentary systems mostfrequently encountered in the practice of physical therapy. Students are expected toapply concepts of pathophysiology and clinical correlations associated with thephysical therapy practice. Lectures, case discussion, and guest speakers are used asteaching strategies.This course provides a framework for understanding qualitative research designs andliterature. The contribution of qualitative research to evidence-based practice andtheory development is discussed. Philosophical assumptions and qualitative researchmethods are also presented. Students are expected to interpret and critically analyzeprofessional qualitative literature related to physical therapy practice. Students arealso expected to propose a potential researchable problem following a specific area ofinterest and framed within the continuum of experimental–qualitative researchdesigns. The following teaching strategies are used: lecture, discussions, oralpresentations, search and analysis of literature, and group projects.Through lectures, discussions, and supervised laboratory experiences, this courseprovides basic knowledge of structure, organization, and function of the centralnervous system in relation to disease and behavior. It addresses the areas of sensoryprocessing, motor control, nervous control of visceral and somatic functions,plasticity, and cognitive functions, among others. This course discusses the normalfunction of the human nervous system and the pathology associated with the mostcommon neurological conditions seen in the physical therapy scenario. It is expectedthat the physical therapy student understands the central nervous system as pivotal forpatient/client management in physical therapy, including differential diagnosis.This course provides an introduction to the education and communication processesin physical therapy. The student utilizes and applies basic concepts needed forplanning the teaching situation as a tool in physical therapy practice. Basic concepts10

CourseTEFI 7031 EvidenceBased Practice inPhysical Therapy ITEFI 7065 PhysicalAgentsTEFI 7066Pharmacologyfor PhysicalTherapistsTEFI 7067 Imagingfor PhysicalTherapistsTEFI 7012 ClinicalKinesiology IITEFI 7023 EvidenceBased Practice inPhysical Therapy IITEFI 7105 ClinicalManagement of SpinalDysfunctionsDescriptionin communication processes during face-to-face interaction, as well as written clinicaldocumentation are included. The student is expected to develop basic skills in theanalysis of communication processes as well as in the proposition of alternativestrategies. The topics are addressed through lectures, group discussion, groupprojects, and case studies among others.This course focuses on how to apply the best available evidence in practice, using anevidence-based practice framework. Real or hypothetical clinical cases are addressedusing a Problem Based Learning approach. Students are expected to critically read,evaluate, and apply research findings in clinical decision-making.This course includes the application of thermal, mechanical, electromagnetic,hydrotherapy, and traction and compression modalities. It emphasizes the physiologictherapeutic effects of various physical agents commonly used as part of the physicaltherapy intervention. Students are expected to develop skills in the application ofphysical agents, including the specific examination and screening proceduresimportant for a safe intervention. Research evidence that supports the use thesemodalities is discussed. Learning experiences include demonstrations and hands-onlaboratory sessions.This course includes basic principles of pharmacology as well as the most commondrugs used for patients seen in physical therapy. It addresses indications,contraindications, drug interaction, adverse reactions, and side effects of thesemedications and their impact on physical therapy intervention. Emphasis is given inthe ability to recognize how a medication can assist or hinder the physical therapypatient care. The student is expected to take into consideration pharmacologicaltherapy in the management of the physical therapy patient/client. Teaching strategiesinclude lectures, case discussion, and guest speakers.This introductory course presents the most common imaging techniques used forpatients seen in physical therapy. General principles related to indications, strengths,and limitations of each method are discussed. The student is expected to interpretimaging findings as they relate to clinical decision making in physical therapypatient/client. Teaching strategies include lectures, case discussion, and guestspeakers.This course is a continuation of Clinical Kinesiology I. It deals with the study ofhuman motion, which includes kinematics and kinetics required for the analysis ofnormal and abnormal movement. The student applies anatomical, biomechanical andphysiological principles in the description and analysis of motion of the appendicularsystem. The course also addresses common deviations from normal structure andfunction seen in physical therapy practice related to the musculoskeletal system of theextremities. Kinematics and kinetics of gait are also included. Web-enhancedlearning and supervised laboratory experiences are used.This course is a continuation of Evidence-Based Practice in Physical Therapy I,increasing the level of complexity of the cases discussed. It focuses on how to applythe best available evidence in practice, using an evidence-based practice framework.Real or hypothetical clinical cases will be addressed using a Problem Based Learningapproach. Students are expected to critically read, evaluate, and apply researchfindings in clinical decision-making.This course addresses the physical therapy management of patients/clients withdysfunctions of the spine. Emphasis is given to the examination, evaluation,diagnosis, prognosis, intervention, and discharge planning in physical therapy.Differential diagnosis and referral to other practitioners are included. In addition, agerelated musculoskeletal disorders of the spine are covered. Instructional strategiesinclude: demonstrations, group discussions, oral and written reports, supervisedlaboratory practices, lectures, case studies, visits to clinical facilities, and literaturesearch in selected topics. It is expected that the physical therapy student develop skills11

CourseTEFI 7052Pathophysiology IITEFI 7106Electrotherapeuticand ElectrodiagnosticProceduresTEFI 7111 ClinicalExperience ITEFI 7205 ClinicalManagement ofMusculoskeletalDysfunctionof ExtremitiesTEFI 7201 ResearchProject ITEFI 7206 MotorDevelopment andLearningTEFI 7207 ClinicalManagement ofDescriptionin the management of spine dysfunctions.This course follows Pathophysiology II. It addresses pathophysiological mechanismsassociated with disease and trauma including etiology, epidemiology, diagnosis anddifferential diagnosis, clinical manifestations across the lifespan, and medical andsurgical management. It includes musculoskeletal as well as psychiatric,otorhinolaryngologic, and ophtalmologic conditions most frequently encountered inthe practice of physical therapy. Students are expected to apply concepts ofpathophysiology and clinical correlations associated with the physical therapypractice. Teaching strategies include lectures, case discussions, and guest speakers.This course discusses the physics, physiological effects, and clinical evidence ofelectric currents used for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes. Electrodiagnostic testsand electrotherapeutic modalities currently used in physical therapy practice arepresented. It is expected that the student demonstrate sound clinical judgment in theuse of such procedures. Instructional strategies include lectures, demonstrations, andsupervised laboratory practice.This is the first of five clinical experiences, composed of four hours a week where thestudent can be assigned to outpatient, acute or rehabilitation setting. This experienceallows the student to integrate course content presented in the pre-requisites and corequisite courses. The student begins to think,

Campus. The Administrative Offices of the Physical Therapy Program are located at the 6th floor (Office 604) of the School of Health Professions. It is the first and only program in Puerto Rico, which leads to a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, which is the entry-level degree for the physical therapy profession. The Program, offering a .

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