The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Duke builds on a rich history and continues to pioneer approaches to training physical therapists.
During World War Two there was an urgent need to help soldiers recover from wounds suffered in combat. In 1943, Helen Kaiser, then a physical therapist at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Cleveland, came to Duke to establish a post-baccalaureate Physical Therapy certificate program in the Duke University School of Medicine.
From certificate to doctorate In 1970, the curriculum underwent a major revision when the Graduate School of Duke University elevated the program to the Master of Science degree.
In 1998, at the urging of the Chancellor of Health Affairs, the School of Medicine and the administration of The Graduate School, the Board of Trustees replaced the Master of Science degree with the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), further elevating Duke’s standing in the field—not to mention raising national and international standards for physical therapist education.
Never resting on our laurels Today, the DPT program continues to evolve as it prepares students to become leaders in both clinical and research settings. In 2016, the Duke Physical Therapy Program welcomed Chad Cook, PhD, MBA, and FAAOMPT as its director. Dr. Cook succeeded Michel Landry, PhD, who served as the President of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association prior to coming to Duke.
Our program's strong commitment to teaching, along with our broadening research capabilities, expanding clinical opportunities, and solid funding, create an ongoing opportunity to write new chapters in its distinguished history.
Emblematic of the program’s stability and prestige, Duke Physical Therapy has had only five chairs, four of whom have been presidents of the American Physical Therapy Association:
Helen Kaiser, PT, President (1938-1940)
Robert Bartlett, PT, FAPTA, President (1976-1979)
Jane Matthews, PT, President (1985-1991)
Jan K. Richardson, PT, PhD, OCS, FAPTA, President (1997-2000)
The program has determined that its curriculum meets the state educational requirements for licensure or certification in all states, the District of Colombia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands secondary to its accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, based on the following: CAPTE accreditation of a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant program satisfies state educational requirements in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Thus, students graduating from CAPTE-accredited physical therapist and physical therapist assistant education programs are eligible to take the National Physical Therapy Examination and apply for licensure in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information regarding state qualifications and licensure requirements, refer to the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy website at www.fsbpt.org. The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Duke University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Avenue, Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone 703-706-3245; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please call 919-681-4380 or email email@example.com.