St. John’s Launches New Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

St. John’s New Doctor of Physical Therapy Program is First in Queens
January 14, 2022

Addressing the growing need for gifted and caring health-care professionals locally and around the globe, St. John’s University recently announced the launch of a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, the first of its kind in Queens, NY.

“The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (CPHS) is very excited to offer our new state-of-the-art Doctor of Physical Therapy program at St. John’s University beginning this summer,” said John M. Conry ’96P, ’98Pharm.D., Interim Dean, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Clinical Professor, Department of Clinical Health Professions.'

“I am thankful to our faculty, administration, and staff who have worked tirelessly over several years to create this important health-care program. I look forward to welcoming our new DPT students and helping them to achieve their goal of becoming licensed physical therapists who will help those in need in our community.”

The three calendar-year program is offered through the Department of Clinical Health Professions within CPHS. Students enrolled in the program will develop the professional, interpersonal, and evidence-based clinical skills essential to a career in this burgeoning field.

The DPT program is the latest academic offering from CPHS—a College with a rich history of scientists and clinicians dedicated to improving the health and quality of life of those they serve.

“The program provides an exciting opportunity for students to become movement specialists who provide holistic, patient-centered, evidence-based practice to the general health-care community and to underserved populations,” said Teresa Miller, P.T., Ph.D., Program Director and Associate Professor, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. “The curriculum is designed to develop graduates who have excellent communication and clinical reasoning skills with the ability to become innovative thinkers.”

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physical therapists is projected to grow 22 percent from 2018 to 2028—faster than the average for all occupations. 

“Bringing the DPT program to St. John’s complements the College’s established health professions programs and offers opportunities that support University initiatives to provide quality education and serve the community,” added Rosa Elena Torres-Panchame, P.T., D.P.T., Assistant Program Director and Director of Clinical Education for the DPT program. “Given the Vincentian mission of the University to serve the underserved, developing educational programs in health professions that meet the community’s health needs makes sense.”

Students will benefit from learning in newly renovated and dedicated DPT facilities and classrooms featuring Cardon Treatment Tables, a Landice Rehabilitation Treadmill, strengthening and therapeutic exercise equipment, and supplies.

“As a new program, we’ve had the opportunity to create from the beginning and be mindful of our intentions to develop a contemporary curriculum,” Dr. Torres-Panchame said. “Even the physical learning spaces were redesigned and constructed to enhance DPT students’ learning experience.”

As a Division I institution in the BIG EAST Conference, St. John’s can offer DPT students unique opportunities to interact with elite athletes and sports teams. The University’s urban location provides experiential learning in world-renowned hospital systems, including NewYork-Presbyterian Queens, the program’s primary clinical partner; Catholic Health; Clara Maass Medical Center; Englewood Health; Holy Name Medical Center; Hudson Regional Hospital; Mount Sinai West; NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital; NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull, and St. Mary’s Hospital for Children.

Dr. Torres-Panchame added, “As the only DPT program in Queens, and the newest physical therapy curriculum approved in the state, the program is uniquely positioned to support physical therapy education interest across diverse communities through clinical and community partnerships, resources, and a contemporary physical therapy curriculum.”

The newly developed DPT program is approved for “Candidacy Status” by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education and the New York State Education Department to provide an education leading to a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. The program is capped at 45 students each year. Classes begin this June and include summer study annually. 

Applications will be accepted beginning in February 2022.