As someone interested in pursuing a doctor of physical therapy degree, you may just be starting to explore all of the areas of this great and diverse field. Physical therapy is full of specialties and niches- there are many opportunities to find a career path that best suits you. Whether you want to specialize in certain conditions, modalities, or populations, there is a way to align your career with your personal interests within the field.
There is also a lot of exciting research going on in the world of physical therapy- from gaining more understanding on how pain works, to new modalities, to better educating physical therapy students- there is so much that we can learn more about from a research standpoint. Amazing professionals in universities all over the country are tackling these questions and many more to better what we know about how to manage pain, prevent injury, and best serve our patients. In order to help you explore all of the interesting research that is happening, we interview prominent professors at various universities to gain insight on what they are learning, as well as what advice they have for new students.
Dr. Bareiss’ research has been dedicated to understanding the development and treatment of pain and neurodegenerative disease and injury. Her work aims at understanding mechanisms that regulate nervous system plasticity as it relates to pain following injury (spinal cord injury) and neurodegenerative disease.
Dr. Blanton is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation, an international and peer reviewed, multi-media journal using a collaborative model with rehabilitation professionals, patients and their families to gain a greater understanding of the human experience of disability through art, literature and narrative.
Dr. Boggs is an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at Daemen College in Amherst NY. He is currently a Doctoral Candidate in the Doctor of Science program at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions where he is investigating retrograde axonal atrophy in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome. He is currently the At-Large officer for the Neuromusculoskeletal Ultrasound SIG of the ACEWM.
Dr. Carla Enriquez is an Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy at Stockton University located in Galloway, NJ and has been a practicing clinician for 20 years, specializing in orthopedic conditions and chronic pain. She is a Board-Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties.
Dr. Carol Figuers is currently a Professor in the Duke University Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. She teaches throughout the Professional Practice course series as well as directs the Women’s Health Advance Practice Courses. She served as the director of the Duke Women’s Health Residency Program and provided clinical services to the clinical practice in women’s health. Dr. Figuers’ current areas of research and scholarship interests are in Women’s Health. She has received funding for projects which have resulted in both presentations and publications, particularly focusing on pelvic floor dysfunction in female athletes as well as physical activity in postpartum women.
Dr. Halle has been with the Belmont Physical Therapy Program since 1997, serving as Chair and Associate Dean from 2005 through May of 2013. He is currently a Professor working within the School of Physical Therapy. His professional areas of interest are in anatomy, electrophysiological evaluation, orthopaedics and sports medicine. Dr. Halle also maintains a practice performing clinical electrophysiologic testing at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and has an adjunct appointment within the Department of Medical Education and Administration, at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. At Vanderbilt, Dr. Halle has taught the first year medical students gross anatomy since 2001.
Dr. Russell Hepple is a Professor of Muscle Biology in the Department of Physical Therapy, hired under UF’s preeminence campaign. Dr. Hepple leads a lab focused upon understanding the mechanisms of neuromuscular impairment in aging and age-related diseases such as chronic obstructive lung disease, and mechanisms of healthy aging in novel populations such as world-class masters track and field athletes
Marcey Keefer Hutchinson is an associate professor in the School of Physical Therapy. She is the lead instructor for Therapeutic Exercise, Orthopedic Assessment and Rehabilitation and Differential Diagnosis. Her research is focused on the use of diagnostic ultrasound to explore foot and ankle morphology and pathology.
Dr. Ogston has worked in sports medicine with various opportunities volunteering and traveling around the world with the US Nordic Ski team. Since starting in full-time academia at the College of St. Scholastica in 2002, she has developed her research agenda focusing on community clinical outcomes and recently delving into foot and ankle biomechanics in the Health Science Sensorimotor lab. She has been a recipient of community awards and was inducted into the Advanced Academy of Item Writers by FSBPT. Her teaching expertise resides in Biomechanics, Orthopedics and Evidence Based Practice. She is currently Program Director of the transitional DPT program that serves physical therapists nationally and internationally.
Dr. Roush joined the University of Rhode Island’s Physical Therapy faculty in 1991 where her focus has been on Professional Issues (in both teaching and research), and disability-related topics. Her experiences have also included 5 years as Associate Dean of the College of Human Science and Services, and a 1-month term as Special Assistant to the Provost. Dr. Roush has participated in two sabbaticals including 6 months as a Visiting Scholar at the University College Dublin (Ireland) Center for Disability Studies, and as a Visiting Scholar at the University of South Australia ((Adelaide) Physiotherapy Department.
Dr. Liang-Ching Tsai is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at Georgia State University dedicated to advancing the research in PT with an ultimate goal of better understanding biomechanical injury mechanisms and developing effective interventions to prevent and treat lower extremity injuries.
Dr. Kim Skinner joined the Tactile Communication and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she led the development of the training protocol for PoNS Treatment, a therapy using neuromodulation to enhance rehabilitation for people with neurological disorders.