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  Patricia Bridges
  Patricia Bridges, PT, EdD

Clinical education is one of the most critical factors in Emory’s DPT experience. That’s why Patricia Bridges, PT, EdD, director of clinical education, offers the APTA Clinical Instructor Education and Credentialing Program (CIECP) free to anyone who instructs Emory DPT students in a clinical setting. “It’s a way to say thank-you for supervising our students,” says Bridges.

The CIECP is a two-day course typically offered in July. The course addresses the issues of:

  • The relationship and partnership between the academic program and the clinical site and roles of the ACCE/DCE, CCCE, CI, and student,
  • Planning and preparing for students during their clinical education experiences,
  • Developing and facilitating learning experiences in practice tailored to meet specific student needs,
  • Developing skills in and supporting ongoing learning through formative and summative evaluations,
  • Identifying legal, regulatory, and ADA implications for clinical educators, including issues presented by HIPAA and Medicare, and
  • Identifying and managing exceptional students and students with problems in clinical education.

“The course provides instructors with a systematic approach to working with students,” says Bridges. “They learn how to provide feedback in a positive manner, how to evaluate objectively and how to plan learning experiences. We offer this program because we want to elevate the knowledge and skills of our clinical instructors to be the very best they can be.”

That is just why Kelly Wright, PT, DPT ’07, enrolled in the program two years ago. As a physical therapist with Dekalb Medical Rehab Services, Wright had shared a student with another therapist. “After that, I thought I wanted to know more about how to give students good feedback,” she says. “I wanted tools to help them grow and to help me grow.”

The CEICP gave her those tools. She has since become the clinical education coordinator at Dekalb Medical Rehab Services and she recommend the course to all the therapists. “I keep the book I got in the program on my desk and use it often as reference,” she says. “I would absolutely recommend that anyone who wants to work with students take this course.”

And Bridges encourages Emory alum to give back by supervising students. “Clinical education is so important to our students, but it also benefits the clinical instructors,” she said. “Students bring a fresh perspective and a lot of energy. Students can expose instructors to the latest research evidence being taught in the classroom.”

Caron Hobson, MTP, DPT ’09, also found the course helpful. “It is very helpful to have a baseline of what is expected as a clinical instructor so I can prepare myself to meet their needs,” says Hobson, who is now a staff physical therapist with the Paulding County Public Schools. “It levels the expectations so we are all on the same page.”

For Derek Little, DPT ’08, the course helps him continue a practice he enjoys. “I really like being a clinical instructor,” says Little, who is a therapist for Benchmark Physical Therapy in Atlanta. “I think it holds me more accountable and makes me a better clinician. If you have to teach someone something, you’d better know it pretty well yourself!”

If you would like to become a clinical instructor, contact Patricia Bridges at (404) 712-4132 / or Tami Phillips, PT, DPT, MBA, at 404-727-1350 /

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