Caitlin Fitzgerald, PT, DPT, is Associate Director of Clinical Education and Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at MGH Institute of Health Professions. Previous to her full-time appointment at the Institute, Dr. Fitzgerald worked full-time as a physical therapist as well as worked at the Institute as a lab instructor and seminar facilitator.

Her most recent full-time clinical position was at Lahey Health – Beverly Hospital at Danvers where she was the clinical team leader and treated patients with neurologic, pediatric and orthopedic diagnoses.

As a member of the physical therapy program’s clinical education team, Dr. Fitzgerald is responsible for continuing the successful development and implementation of the clinical education component of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

Dr. Fitzgerald’s didactic teaching responsibilities in the DPT program include Patient Client Management 3 (Fall of the 1st year of the program). Dr. Fitzgerald has served as faculty advisor for the MGH Institute's chapter of the IHI Open School, the PT department’s PT club, and has chaired the PT department’s Committee on Academic Policies & Procedures. She also has served as chair of the technology committee of the New England Consortium of Clinical Education.

  • BS, Health Science, Boston University
  • MS, Physical Therapy, Boston, University
  • DPT, AT Still University, Mesa, AZ

Research Interests

  • Clinical education
  • Instructor and student engagement
  • Quality Improvement
  • Belongingness in clinical education


April 2021 Changing climate, changing curriculum: Preparing Future healthcare providers to address climate health and improve population health Presenters: Ashley McLellan, Alexa McWhinnie, Benjamin Gordon, Caitlin Fitzgerald, Margie Sipe, Patrice Nicolas & Sue Ellen Breakey Climate Change & Health: The Intersection of Climate Change, COVID-19 & structural racism, MGH Institute of Health Professions – Boston, MA

October 2019 Making Integrated Clinical Education Work – It’s All about Consistency, Connections and Collaboration Presenters: Jane Baldwin, Caitlin Fitzgerald, Laura Plummer, Elizabeth Cornforth & Lesley Smith Education Leadership Conference – American Physical Therapy Association (Education Academy and ACAPT) – Bellevue, WA

December 2018 Restructuring an IHI Open School Chapter to Support Greater Member Engagement Presenters: Alexa McWhinnie, Marykate O’Malley, Katherine Cox, Caitlin Fitzgerald, Margie Sipe Institute for Healthcare Improvement National Forum – Orlando, FL

February 2018 A Knowledge Transfer System via Social Media: Collaboration Between Academic and Clinical Educators (Phase 2) Presenters: Caitlin Fitzgerald, Christopher Cesario, Erin Riley, & Kim Steinbarger Combined Sections Meeting – New Orleans, LA

October 2016 Preparing Clinicians to be Effective Interprofessional Practice Instructors Presenters: Leslie Portney, Ann Jampel, Caitlin Fitzgerald & Mary Knab Education Leadership Conference – American Physical Therapy Association (Education Section and ACAPT)

Contact Information

Awards and Honors

Distinguished Scholar and Fellow, 2023

National Academies of Practice: Individuals with academic achievements such as significant and enduring educational and/or research contribution to practice. They are judged by distinguished peers to have made significant and enduring contributions in their profession.

Advisor of the Year, 2020

MGH Institute of Health Professions

Teaching Excellence Academy for Learning (TEAL), 2019

The aim of TEAL is to: 

  • Promote the scholarship of teaching and learning
  • Honor Institute faculty who demonstrate sustained contributions to teaching excellence
  • Spread promising practices in health professions education
  • Provide mentorship for early career faculty members