Patel Named Physical Therapy Centennial ScholarNovember 12, 2021
One hundred doctor of physical therapy students from across the nation, including Shivam Patel (DPT ’22), a third year student
at PCOM Georgia, were named Centennial Scholars by the American Physical Therapy Association
in honor of the organization’s 100th year.
According to Ruth Maher, PT, PhD, DPT, chair of the Department of Physical Therapy, Patel applied for the opportunity and
was selected by the faculty based on his leadership qualities, abilities and his potential
as a future leader in the physical therapy profession.
Patel, along with his fellow scholars, began a 12-month hybrid program last January.
As part of the program R. Scott Ward, PhD, PT, FAPTA, the chair of the Department
of Physical Therapy at the University of Utah and a past president of APTA from 2006-2012,
is mentoring Patel.
According to the APTA website, the Centennial Scholars Program aims to support the
organization’s mission of engaging diverse and prepared leaders who can sustain the
association for the next 100 years.
Patel recently met his fellow Centennial Scholars in person, along with his mentor,
in Washington DC at the 100-year celebration of APTA.
He said, “Being a Centennial Scholar has taught me many ways to become a more effective
leader, as well as about the physical therapy profession and how to improve it. I
have been able to meet a wide variety of corporate leaders from all over the United
States and pick their brains on how they became effective leaders and how they rose
through the ranks of their profession.”
In addition to monthly online meetings, scholars work with their sponsors to prepare
a capstone project from the areas of advocacy, public awareness of the profession,
increasing DEI in the profession, advancing clinical education, population health,
Patel’s capstone project centers on diversity. With the advice of his mentor, he developed
a database to store interviews conducted with physical therapists from diverse backgrounds
who have stories and experiences to share, in hopes of growing the physical therapy
“The database will allow individuals of all ages who are interested in physical therapy
to see someone like them or someone who has a similar background. They will be able
to reach out to them for more information.”
Patel said, “It’s an absolute honor to be PCOM Georgia’s first Centennial Scholar.
This experience over the past year has been enlightening and has provided me more
confidence that I can become an effective and influential member of APTA and my community.
“I will forever be grateful to the faculty and staff at PCOM Georgia for giving me
this opportunity to learn and become a clinician and valuable member of society.”
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About PCOM Georgia
Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a private, not-for-profit, accredited institute of higher education dedicated
to the healthcare professions. The Suwanee, Georgia, campus is affiliated with Philadelphia
College of Osteopathic Medicine, a premier osteopathic medical school with a storied
history. PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and
physical therapy and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences, medical laboratory science,
and physician assistant studies. Emphasizing "a whole person approach to care," PCOM
Georgia focuses on educational excellence, interprofessional education and service
to the wider community. The campus is also home to the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center,
an osteopathic manipulative medicine clinic, which is open to the public by appointment.
For more information, visit pcom.edu/georgia or call 678-225-7500.
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