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For Your Health

News from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences

UND Department of Physical Therapy faculty, alumni win national awards

Dr. Cindy Flom-Meland, professor and chair for the Department of Physical Therapy, and her co-authors have been given the Stanford Award by the editorial board of the Journal of Physical Therapy Education. The award, announced in the American Physical Therapy Association’s Academy of Education annual report for 2021, recognizes the authors of a paper containing the most influential educational ideas published in the journal for the academic year.

Flom-Meland and her co-authors, which includes SMHS PT alumnus Dr. Mitch Wolden, published the article “Does the Length of Student Physical Therapists’ Clinical Educational Experiences Matter?” in the June 2021 (Vol. 35, No. 2) of the journal. Answering their own question in the affirmative, the authors write that, yes, the duration of DPT students’ clinical experiences matters, but more is not necessarily better.

“Our results suggest that 8-week and 9-week full-time (clinical educational experiences) are associated with the greatest change in DPT students’ clinical learning, when compared with 6-week and 16-week CEEs,” the authors explain. “Our results are consistent with the results of others that 8–10 week full-time CEEs are an optimal length, compared with shorter full-time CEEs (less than 5-weeks).”

Also noted in the report is the winner of the 2021 Feitelberg Journal Founders’ Award, which acknowledges excellence in publication by a first-time author in the Journal of PT Education for the calendar year. The Feitelberg Founders’ Award for 2021 was given to UND Department of Physical Therapy alumnus and SMHS lecturer Dr. Justin Berry, for his research paper “A National Survey of Student Loan Debt Accrued by Doctor of Physical Therapy Students.”

“The Editorial Board of the Journal of Physical Therapy Education takes great pleasure in selecting the awardees each year,” wrote the authors of the APTA annual report.