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Patel Named Physical Therapy Centennial Scholar


November 12, 2021

Shivam Patel (DPT '22), PCOM Georgia physical therapy student and APTA Centennial ScholarOne 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, and more.

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 profession.

“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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