SMHS Physical Therapy Program Receives 10-Year Accreditation

Physical therapy students practice their skills.

The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) Physical Therapy (PT) program received a 10-year reaffirmation of accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) at the organization’s spring 2017 meeting, a triumph that highlights the program’s ongoing scholastic and leadership excellence.

“The accreditation process strongly emphasizes program outcomes, and therefore this achievement is a tribute to the remarkable faculty, students, and staff who commit so much time and effort to achieve the type of results recognized and commended by the commission,” said Joyce Maring, DPT, EdD, program director for the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program and chair and associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Health Care Sciences at SMHS.

To achieve accreditation, PT programs must submit an extensive self-study report, which covers areas such as curriculum, resources, and faculty qualifications, and must host an on-site review. The team conducting the survey met with program stakeholders, reviewed additional documentation, and subsequently submitted its own report to CAPTE.

Of the SMHS PT program, CAPTE noted that Maring and the faculty had created “a comprehensive and high-quality program that recognizes the need for a strong faculty, strong intercollegial interactions, and strong ties to the clinical community. It is evident that leadership fosters the growth of faculty to provide a comprehensive professional program.”

Maring, echoing CAPTE’s assessment, gave credit to both her colleagues and the students. “Our stated mission is to prepare individuals to [be] highly skilled physical therapists who are able to practice in an evidence-based and ethical manner [with respect for] patients and clients from all backgrounds, across the lifespan, through the continuum of care, and at all levels of wellness and health. An external review just validated that we are collectively meeting this mission.”