Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Philosophy and Goals

Program Philosophy

At MGH Institute of Health Professions, we believe that physical therapists are an integral part of an interprofessional health care team and should be prepared to serve as the entry-point into the health care system with a concomitant responsibility to collaborate and consult with other health care professionals, patients, caregivers, and the community.

Physical therapists must interact with and value a complex and diverse society in a compassionate, humanistic, professional, and sensitive way. Physical therapists have a responsibility to understand how a physical therapist’s clinical decision-making interacts with the ethical/fiscal management of the setting within which they work while also advocating for patients and for the greater good of society.

A physical therapist’s goal is to optimize an individual’s ability to function within society by addressing prevention, wellness and rehabilitation across the lifespan and in a variety of settings. 

The Physical Therapy Program at the Institute prepares clinicians who recognize that physical therapist practice is centered on the human movement system.

The faculty embrace the view that active adult learning is a process by which students employ an ongoing interpretive and reflective process that synthesizes prior and current experiences into new learning. This best happens within a learning community that continually strives for clinical excellence and professionalism among faculty, students and graduates.

The program is structured to be fluid, proactive and responsive in meeting the present and future needs of its students and of health care, including the incorporation of modern technology and innovation into education and practice.

Recognizing the responsibility to prepare members of a doctoring profession, the program prepares self-directed, life-long, collaborative learners who are able to use scientific and analytic approaches to clinical decision-making to achieve optimal patient care through evidenced-based practice.


Students/Graduates will:

  • Be reflective practitioners that demonstrate the ability to think critically, challenge assumptions, offer alternative solutions and assess outcomes
  • Have a common and cohesive framework for efficient clinical decision-making that reflects best available evidence, a concern for patient-centered care, and is grounded in current best practice.
  • Act in a professional, ethical, and responsible manner in patient/client interactions, in peer collaborations, and in practice management.
  • Function effectively in the multifaceted roles of a physical therapist including clinician, scholar, administrator, consultant, educator and advocate.
  • Hold themselves accountable for independent decision-making with responsibility for interprofessional collaboration, consultation, and referral to others to optimize patient outcomes.
  • Respect and act with consideration for how differences, values, preferences, and expressed needs of a patient/client, family or group may influence or are influenced by the judgment, recommendations or decisions of the physical therapist.
  • Be able to apply principles of health, wellness and rehabilitation across the lifespan in a dynamic health care environment.
  • Contribute to the community and the profession through service and by exercising leadership skills.
  • Embrace the values of active and life-long learning to enhance professional development.

Faculty will demonstrate a commitment to:

  • Reflective practice and advocacy for contemporary, evidence-based practice
  • Student-centeredness and dedication to producing competent and effective professionals
  • Excellence as citizens of the Institute
  • Leadership in the profession
  • Leadership in scholarship, including the scholarship of teaching
  • Mentorship
  • Demonstrating passion for the art and science of physical therapy, as well as commitment to curiosity and life-long learning

Through its faculty and curriculum, the program will demonstrate a commitment to:  

  • Innovation in both education and practice, embracing new ideas, and demonstrating a continuous drive for excellence that is not risk-aversive
  • Depth and breadth of expertise that includes faculty with clinical specialization across several practice areas
  • Interprofessional education and collaboration
  • Health promotion
  • Team collaboration in a non-competitive environment that values diversity of contributions
  • Embracing our clinical colleagues and their contribution to the education of our students

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