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Doctor of Physical Therapy

Physical therapy students practice working
with a patient in the HSSC.

The Physical Therapy (PT) Program incorporates simulations throughout the curriculum.

During their first year, PT students are introduced to high-fidelity manikin-based simulation in preparation for their entry into the clinical area. As they progress through the program they also experience hybrid simulations that relate to acute-care practice. The primary goal of these learning activities is to increase the students' comfort level and confidence when interacting with patients and their fellow healthcare team members in an intensive care setting.


Throughout their education, PT students also have several encounters with Standardized Patients (SPs). These role plays are used to evaluate how well the student communicates and provides a differential diagnosis and treatment plan. The primary learning objectives of these encounters are fundamental to good physical therapy care: a thorough review of the patient's medical record, accurate assessment, compassionate and therapeutic patient interaction, effective communication with the healthcare team, demonstration of clinical reasoning, and development of a plan of care.


More about SMU's Doctor of Physical Therapy program.