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UNF’s new Physical Therapy Dept. to meet growing demand for skilled therapists

The University of North Florida’s Brooks College of Health has elevated its physical therapy doctoral program to a new Department of Physical Therapy (PT) and announces Dr. Sherry Pinkstaff, physical therapy associate professor, will lead as chair.

The new PT department, formerly part of the Department of Clinical and Applied Movement Sciences, will focus on expanding and enhancing its academic programs, faculty-led research and local partnerships to offer UNF students unique programs such as the post-professional residency in orthopedic practice at Brooks Rehabilitation and future residency programs in areas of specialty practice such as pediatrics, faculty development and neurology.

There is currently a large demand for trained physical therapists to care for patients suffering pulmonary complications and those recovering from prolonged hospital stays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“UNF’s physical therapy program has set a standard of excellence for many years with our graduates passing the national licensing exam at rates much higher than the national average,” said Dr. Curt Lox, UNF Brooks College of Health dean. “The elevation of the physical therapy program to department will improve the visibility of our program in a highly competitive market.”

UNF’s Doctor of Physical Therapy is a clinical degree that allows graduates to sit for the national licensing exam to become fully credentialed physical therapists. Each year, 30 students are admitted to the rigorous doctoral program where they spend three years in the classroom and in healthcare facilities around Jacksonville before sitting for the national exam. 

The Department of Clinical and Applied Movement Sciences will continue to serve UNF’s athletic training and exercise science programs.