The Doctor of Physical Therapy program has clinical education contracts with nearly 400 clinical sites throughout the United States.
The number and types of affiliations vary each year depending on the level of affiliation (1st, 2nd, or 3rd internship) and the staffing patterns at the clinical site.
Types of clinical settings
- Hospitals (acute care, sub-acute, ICU/critical care)
- Out-patient clinics or offices
- Rehabilitation facilities
- Skilled nursing facilities (SNF) (long term/extended care and acute)
- Home care
- Schools (preschool, primary and secondary)
- Corporate or industrial health centers
- Industrial, workplace or other occupational environments
- Athletic facilities (collegiate, amateur and professional)
- Fitness centers and sports training facilities
Clinical education experiences are planned to reflect a variety of practice settings and experiences. The clinical education program offers collaborative learning experiences to engage students, instructors, practitioners, administrators and faculty.
The program includes 5 formal clinical experiences. You participate in 2 formal full-time clinical education experiences that are integrated into the didactic portion of the curriculum.
- The first occurs during the Winterim session between your first fall and spring semesters. This clinical experience lasts 2 weeks and is completed using a collaborative education model.
- The second integrated clinical experience is a 4-week experience that occurs in the summer between your 1st and 2nd year of the program.
- Three 12-week full-time internships occur at the conclusion of the didactic curriculum.
The clinical education curriculum is designed to provide a broad clinical preparation, including experience in various practice settings (acute, inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient), with different populations (neurological, musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary), and includes an additional experience at one end of the life spectrum (pediatric or geriatric).
New Clinical Education Sites
If you would like to become a clinical education site affiliated with the UWM Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, please complete this survey and/or contact the following faculty members:
Stephanie Schrader, PT, DPT
Clinical Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Education
Clinical Education Curriculum
- PT 880 Fieldwork I: Introduction to Physical Therapy Clinical Practice
- PT 681 Fieldwork II: Basic Skills
- PT 980 PT Clinical Internship I
- PT 981 PT Clinical Internship II
- PT 882 PT Clinical Internship III
- PT 787 PT Clinical Internship Elective
- Clinical Performance Instrument (CPI)
- Professional Behaviors Assessment (PDF)
- PT Student Evaluation: Clinical Experience and Clinical Instruction (PDF)
- Weekly Planning Form (PDF)
Student Compliance Requirements
CPR: Prior to enrollment in the program we require CPR certification in Basic Life support for the Healthcare Provider provided by the American Heart Association (AHA). We do not accept CPR certification from any provider other than AHA. Only courses that are taught face-to-face or those taught in a hybrid manner (content is taught online and skills are assessed face-to-face) are accepted. Courses taught in a fully online format are not accepted. It is your responsibility to maintain CPR certification at all times during enrollment in the program or you will be ineligible to participate in the clinical courses or community-based activities.
UWM requires the following of all Doctor of Physical Therapy students:
- TB skin test or chest x-ray (annual)
- Titers indicating immunity to: Varicella, Mumps, Rubella, Rubeola
- Vaccines for: Tetanus/Diphtheria (within last ten years), Hepatitis B (or signed statement of declination), Flu (annual)
- Physical Exam (annual)
- Current health insurance
- Current professional liability insurance coverage
- Annual infection control training (including blood pathogen)
- Annual HIPAA training
- Screening of student in EPL and OIG websites
- Caregiver Background Check and Criminal History (one completed for all students upon enrollment in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program).
At this time, UWM encourages, but does not require the COVID-19 vaccine. However, many of our clinical partners do require students to be vaccinated for clinical placement. Lack of COVID-19 vaccination (without medical excuse) may limit timely clinical placements.