GW Faculty, Student, and Alumni research featured in national journal

Illustration of someone aiding a person with knee pain

Articles in a recent issue of the Orthopedic Physical Therapy Practice (OPTP) journal had one thing in common: they were all authored by faculty, students, and alumni of the George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program.

The “all GW” issue was spearheaded by Dhinu Jayaseelan (DPT ’10), assistant professor in the Department of Health, Human Function, and Rehabilitation Sciences. “I was given a lot of leeway on how to construct the issue,” said Jayaseelan, who also serves as co-academic director of the John Hopkins Hospital/GW Orthopedic Residency Program. ”I wanted to make sure that our faculty, students, alumni, residents, and schoolwide collaborators were all represented in this issue. The specific topics were driven by content expertise and showcase the wide-ranging and interdisciplinary nature of the projects we are involved in.”

Shira Racoosin (DPT’20), a student research assistant for Jayaseelan, co-authored one of the articles. She said it was a valuable experience to improve her research skills, challenge herself, and receive mentorship. “I improved my ability to search the literature, analyze research, and present findings,“ said Racoosin. She continues to utilize her new skills and is currently writing about rehabilitation following platelet-rich plasma injections.

Alumnus Melinda Avery (DPT’19) appreciated the opportunity to collaborate on an article with faculty member Holly Jonely, associate director and assistant professor. “It is a unique feeling to have a former professor become a mentor,” Avery said. “It’s amazing that our alumni have opportunities to remain connected with the professors after graduation and find ways to continue our lifelong learning.”

The OPTP issue featured 12 authors from the GW DPT program as well co-authors from several other programs within SMHS and within the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. It was an opportunity to showcase the collaboration and scholarship of the DPT program.

“When I graduated from this program in 2010 we were unranked. Most recently our program ranked 25th in the nation. I hope the expertise of our faculty, students, and alumni becomes more well-known across the country. Projects like this help that process,” said Jayaseelan.