This article explores major considerations for analysis and discussion of the role of the clinical doctorate as the first professional degree in physical therapist education (DPT). A process for this analysis is posed based on a conceptual framework developed by Stark, Lowther, Hagerty, and Orczyk through grounded theory research on professional education. External influences from society and the profession, institutional and programmatic influences, and articulation of critical dimensions of professional competence and professional attitudes as major categories are discussed in relation to the DPT. A series of questions generated from the application of the model are put forth for continued discussion and deliberation concerning the DPT. We conclude that the DPT provides the best pathway to serve society, the patient, and the profession.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation