Pierce Earns PhD in Physical Therapy While Teaching at PCOM Georgia
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Physical Therapy Faculty Member Teresa Pierce Earns PhD 
Focusing on Gait of Children With Cerebral Palsy

June 4, 2024
Teresa Pierce, PT, PhD, DPT, PCS, stands in graduation regalia holding a diploma

While teaching Doctor of Physical Therapy students at PCOM Georgia for more than five years, Assistant Professor Teresa Pierce, PT, PhD, DPT, PCS, has been continuing her own education.

On May 10, her research-based studies culminated in graduation from Texas Woman’s University, where she received a PhD in Physical Therapy. Her dissertation is titled, “Comparing Gait Biomechanics and Function in Children with Bilateral Spastic Cerebral Palsy When Wearing OSKAR AFO-Footwear Combination Versus Standard AFO-Footwear Combination: An Exploratory Study.”

“This rigorous endeavor—while continuing to teach pediatric and professional development classes for the next generation of physical therapists—has been both challenging and rewarding,”  said Pierce, who has extensive experience with pediatric patients and is a Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Pediatric Physical Therapy.  “Learning is a lifelong privilege, and the opportunity to teach, serve, and research in a profession that I love offers endless learning possibilities.”

Her academic journey accelerated after decades of practicing physical therapy and parenting. She completed a transitional DPT degree in pediatric science and entered the education field.

After adding the Board Certified Clinical Specialist certification, Pierce joined the physical therapy faculty at PCOM Georgia in 2019. Her interest in research grew in that stimulating environment, she said, and led her to pursue a terminal degree.

“My goal is to educate, inspire and motivate future therapists for years to come,” she said. “I hope that they treasure this profession as much as I do.”

In addition to teaching and research, Dr. Pierce provides pro bono physical therapy services at PCOM Georgia and local pediatric clinics.

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About PCOM Georgia

Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a branch campus of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), a private, not-for-profit, accredited institution of higher education with a storied 125-year history dedicated to the healthcare professions. Located in Suwanee (Gwinnett County), PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy and physical therapy. Graduate degrees are offered in biomedical sciences, medical laboratory science and physician assistant studies. The campus joins PCOM South Georgia in Moultrie in helping to meet the healthcare needs of the state. Emphasizing "a whole person" approach to care, PCOM Georgia focuses on educational excellence, interprofessional education and service to the community. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 678-225-7500. 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 pcomgeorgiahealth.org.

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