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Physical Therapy Curriculum and Course Sequence 
DPT Program at PCOM Georgia

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program at PCOM Georgia is designed to be completed in three years (12 terms, four terms each year). Program requirements include coursework and full-time clinical experience (integrated and terminal).

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Physical Therapy Curriculum at PCOM Georgia

The curriculum model is best described as hybrid, incorporating elements of traditional and systems-based curricula. In the early stages, the instruction focuses on normal body structure and function and includes content from both the Basic/Foundational sciences and the Clinical/Physical Therapy sciences. As the student develops an understanding of “normal” and how to assess it, the emphasis begins to shift to health conditions commonly seen in physical therapy, focusing on addressing impairments and activity and participation limitations/restrictions. All components of the patient/client management model are addressed in courses that are systems-based. The curriculum is built around five content areas:

Basic/Foundational Sciences

The eight courses in this area provide the foundation for an understanding of “normal” structure and function. Although they are foundational in nature, each course stresses clinical application of knowledge and concepts. The key question used to identify appropriate content in these courses is: “How will this knowledge or these concepts equip students for physical therapist practice?”

Clinical/Physical Therapy Sciences

The 17 courses in this content area emphasize medical and physical therapy identification of health conditions and deviations from “normal” structure and function. Students will learn to identify and manage impairments as well as limitations in activity and participation. These courses, for the most part, are systems-based. Management of patients/clients across the life span in these courses will include consideration of the impact of contextual factors, medical diagnosis and treatment. Each of the system-based courses will address all aspects of the patient-client model (e.g., examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, intervention and outcomes). Evidence related to tests and measures, prediction models and interventions will be explored. The courses are structured to promote critical thinking and to explore interprofessional management of patients/clients while considering ethical and legal issues.

Evidence-Based Practice

The five courses in this area are intended to develop the skills and knowledge needed for students to become efficient and effective users of evidence. Students will also develop an appreciation for the need to balance the evidence with their experience and the patients’ preferences. Tools will be identified and skills developed that will promote life-long learning and the ability to remain current in the practice of physical therapy. Knowledge and skills necessary to add to the evidence through research will also be stressed. It is expected that the knowledge and skills gained in these courses will be applied to critical analysis of tests and measures and interventions addressed in the Clinical/Physical Therapy science courses.

Professional Engagement

An understanding of the context in which health care occurs is critical for effective patient/client management. Each of the six courses in this area are designed to help students understand this context by addressing the role of government and professional organizations in health care, the importance of collaborating with others on the healthcare team in order to promote more efficient and effective use of limited resources, cultural and psychosocial issues that impact patient/client management, approaches to teaching as an intervention utilized heavily in physical therapy practice and how to manage healthcare services in a variety of different settings. The final course guides the students in evaluating their own professional engagement and planning for future professional development as they enter practice as licensed physical therapists.

Clinical Experience

The clinical experience series is designed to provide students with the opportunity to apply the knowledge, skills and behaviors required for safe and effective physical therapy practice. Students will be exposed to a variety of physical therapy practice settings and to a wide-range of patient populations across the lifespan by the completion of the clinical experience component (Clinical Experiences I-III).

Physical Therapy Electives

Students are required to complete a minimum of 4-credits of elective coursework for graduation. Students may take more than two elective courses with approval of the faculty instructor and faculty advisor. The variety of elective courses are designed to provide students with the opportunity to enhance knowledge, critical thinking, and professional development in areas of interest.

 

Physical Therapy Course Sequence

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Term 1Hours
PT 601AG Clinical Anatomy for Physical Therapists I 4
PT 602AG Clinical Kinesiology I 3
PT 621AG Principles of Evidenced-Based Practice 3
PT 631AG Professional Engagement I, Introduction 2
 Hours12
Term 2
PT 601BG Clinical Anatomy for Physical Therapists II 4
PT 602BG Clinical Kinesiology II 2
PT 604AG Clinical Neuroscience I 3
PT 611AG Physical Therapy Exam I 4
 Hours13
Term 3
PT 603G Differential Diagnosis for PT 4
PT 605G Clinical Exercise Science and Wellness 4
PT 611BG Physical Therapy Exam II 3
PT 631BG Professional Engagement II, Health Systems Interdisciplinary Collaboration 2
PT 632G Teaching and Learning 2
 Hours15
Term 4
PT 612G Cardio and Pulmonary Management 3
PT 613G Integumentary Management 2
PT 614G Pharmacology and Medical Diagnostics: CVP and Integumentary Dysfunction 3
PT 615G Clinical Interventions I 3
PT 621BG Composition of Evidenced-Based Practice & Design 4
 Hours15
Second Year
Term 1
PT 741G Clinical Experience I 8
 Hours8
Term 2
PT 711AG Musculoskeletal I Management 4
PT 712AG Pharmacology and Medical Diagnostics, Musculoskeletal Disorders 2
PT 714AG Clinical Interventions II 2
PT 722AG Evidence-Based Practice, Project I 1
PT 713G Assistive Technology: P&O 2
 Hours11
Term 3
PT 711BG Musculoskeletal II Management 4
PT 604BG Clinical Neuroscience II 3
PT 722BG Evidence-Based Practice, Project II 1
PT 731G Psychosocial Aspects of Health Management 3
 Hours11
Term 4
PT 715AG Neuromuscular I Management 4
PT 712BG Pharmacology and Medical Diagnostics, Neuromuscular Disorders 2
PT 714BG Clinical Interventions III 2
PT 722CG Evidence-Based Practice, Project III 2
 Hours10
Third Year
Term 1
Choose Any of the Following Electives for a Minimum of 4 Credits  
PT 981EG
or PT 982EG
or PT 983EG
or PT 984EG
or PT 985EG
or PT 986EG
or PT 987EG
or PT 988EG
or PT 989EG
Advanced Prosthetic Rehabilitation Training
or Directed Study in PT Research
or Integrative Dry Needling
or Professional Service in Physical Therapy: Leadership
or Community Service: Social Responsibility and Advocacy
or Special Topics in Anatomy
or Special Topics in Pediatrics
or Advanced Topics in Orthopedics
or Education & Teaching
2-3
 Hours2-3
Term 2
PT 732G Professional Engagement III, Practice Management Policy and Ethics 2
PT 715BG Neuromuscular II Management 4
PT 716G Complex Multi System Disorders 4
PT 714CG Clinical Interventions IV 2
 Hours12
Term 3
PT 742AG Clinical Experience II 13
 Hours13
Term 4
PT 733G Professional Engagement IV, Lifelong Commitment 1
PT 743AG Clinical Experience III 13
 Hours14
 Total Hours136-137

Learning Spaces at PCOM Georgia

Visit our Physical Therapy Education Center page to learn more about the laboratories and classrooms at our Suwanee, Georgia facility.

Our physical therapy curriculum includes the opportunity to practice skills inside our learning labs on our Suwanee, Georgia campus.

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