Clinical education provides students the clinical experiences that are essential for skill and knowledge acquisition in physical therapy. The department currently maintains contracts with over 300 hospitals and clinics throughout the United States and in foreign countries. KU DPT students complete clinical internships during each fall and/or spring semesters. Students are required to complete clinical internships in a rural or geriatric setting, outpatient orthopedics, and inpatient care. The clinical education program is designed to prepare the graduate for entry-level, generalist practice. While some internships may offer specialized experiences beyond entry-level, general practice that is representative geographically and through the lifespan is the priority in internship assignments.
Schedule of Clinical Experiences
Fall Semester: 4-week internship in December
Spring Semester: 4-week internship in April-May
Spring Semester: 6-week internship in January-February
Fall Semester: 6-week internship in August-September
Spring Semester: 9-week internship in January-May
Information for Students
Clinical education is an essential part of the preparation of physical therapists. Students are expected to attend sites in all major areas of physical therapy practice. Due to the requirements of clinical practice in rural Kansas and in a variety of settings that are not always available in local region, students are expected to travel outside metropolitan area. Students must understand the additional responsibilities and obligations are required of clinical education. These responsibilities include provision for reliable transportation and living expenses (housing, meals, etc). Students should anticipate approximately $1,000 for short-term and $3,000 to $4,000 for full-time clinical experiences. This estimate cost may vary significantly from student to student and clinical to clinical. Students are responsible for their own transportation and living arrangements related to clinical internships unless otherwise supported by the clinical facility.
Criminal background checks are required by most facilities providing clinical education. The student will complete a criminal background check through the Dean’s Office that includes: GSA Excluded Parties Testing System, Police/Criminal Background Check, Department of Health and Senior Services Employee Disqualification List and US Department of Human and Health Services List of Excluded Individuals/Entities. Students are responsible for the fees incurred. In some instances, facilities require additional criminal background checks and fingerprinting of students in addition to the ones already completed for enrollment. Students assigned to those facilities will have to provide this information at their expense. A facility may require the student to pass a drug screening prior to or during the first week of a clinical internship as a part of the facility’s procedures and requirements. Students are encouraged to ask about these tests and to obtain information on avoiding ingesting anything that could cause a false positive result on a drug test.
Information for Clinical Facilities
We continue to pursue contracts with new facilities for our entry-level DPT program that are committed to offering quality experiences and an ongoing relationship with our department. Students are most inclined to travel for clinical internships when free or inexpensive housing is available.
To obtain additional information about clinical education partnerships with KU, please contact Yvonne Colgrove, PT, PhD, Director of Clinical Education.
Clinical Faculty Benefits
The DCE is available to provide seminars and inservices on clinical education at clinical sites. Academic faculty members are available to consult with clinical faculty on clinical research, clinical education, or clinical projects. Clinical faculty members are invited to continuing education courses sponsored by KUMC-Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science. Limited assistance may be available for clinical faculty to attend the APTA sponsored Clinical Instructor Credentialing course.
The KU Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science offers a post-professional DPT program. Clinical faculty members are allowed to enroll and pay for courses offered within this program without full admission to the post-professional DPT program.