Dr. Donna Applebaum, PT, DPT, MS (she/her/hers) is Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Education. Donna has been in this role at the MGH Institute since 2002. Dr. Applebaum’s prior experience includes serving as a manager of rehabilitation services, clinical educator, and clinician with a focus on the adult and geriatric population in the inpatient and home health environments. Donna incorporates all of her previous professional experiences in meeting the educational needs of students and new graduates in their efforts to meet patient and societal needs.

As Director of Clinical Education, Dr. Applebaum’s teaching and administrative responsibilities are primarily in clinical education, supporting students and clinical educators in the application of strategies for teaching and learning in practice. She coordinates the final clinical education experience, which includes an innovative one-year, paid internship model and requires building partnerships among employers, clinical educators, and students/new graduates. Dr. Applebaum also teaches in the areas of practice management, leadership development, and professional communication skills. 

Dr. Applebaum has served the physical therapy profession at the national level. She was the founding chair of the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT) National Consortium of Clinical Educators (NCCE) from 2015-2019 and has contributed to numerous strategic efforts to support physical therapist education. She was recognized for her service to the profession, awarded with the Lucy Blair service award in 2021 and selected by the APTA Academy of Education as the 2023 Pauline Cerasoli lecturer.

Dr. Applebaum’s research and scholarship has focused on effective and reciprocal partnerships to promote sustainable professional education. She has a particular interest in clinical education models that are innovative and fit within the current health care environment. 

  • BS, Physical Therapy, Quinnipiac College
  • MS, Management with a concentration in Health Services Management, Lesley College
  • DPT, MGH Institute of Health Professions

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