Dr. Zadai began her career at the Institute in 1985, rising to the rank of Clinical Associate Professor and Coordinator and core faculty member of the Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program. She was awarded Professor Emerita status in 2013.

Prior to her most recent faculty appointment at the Institute, Dr. Zadai was the Chief of Rehabilitation Services at the Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital. Cynthia's professional interests and service opportunities have been in the cardiovascular and pulmonary (CP) practice content such as the development of the CP Board Certification process, and the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice volumes I & II.

Cynthia has participated in the governance process of the APTA serving as a delegate from the CP Section and the Massachusetts Chapter, and she spent 4 years on the Reference Committee for the APTA House of Delegates. She has also served on the APTA Governance Review Board Work Group and as an independent reviewer for the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice.

In 2001 she was named a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association (FAPTA), the highest honor among the association's membership categories. 

  • BS, Boston University
  • MS, Northeastern University
  • DPT, MGH Institute of Health Professions

Research Interests

Specificity of diagnostic terms and classification categories used by Physical Therapists.


Defining the Diagnosis: Process and Outcome in Physical Therapy.  Program presentations annually at Combined Sections Meeting and Annual Conference of the APTA,  2008 – 2012.


Zadai, CC Disabling our Diagnostic Dilemmas. Phys Ther 87:6 June 2007

Zadai, CC  Invited Commentary: Physical Therapy May 2010 vol. 90 no. 5: 705-706

Zadai, CC Invited Commentary: PHYS THER June 2011 vol  91:919-921

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