NYMC > Departments > Academic Departments > School of Health Sciences and Practice > Physical Therapy > Message from the Department Chair

Message from the Interim Program Director

  Janet P. Dolot, P.T., D.P.T., Dr.P.H.’14, OCS
  Janet Dolot
Interim Chair
Assistant Professor of Clinical Physical Therapy

Welcome to the webpage of the Department of Physical Therapy in the School of Health Sciences and Practice at New York Medical College. We are very proud of our Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, our students, our alumni, and their accomplishments.

At NYMC, we view physical therapy as not only treating people with injuries or disease, but also promoting healthy lifestyles and work environments, preventing problems and detecting them at the earliest stages, and understanding how the social determinants of health affect our patients, clients and communities. Contemporary physical therapists address many issues that encompass both clinical practice and public health. For example, adolescent obesity, early intervention for children, workplace injury prevention, sports training & conditioning, fall prevention for older adults, and patient/client access to physical therapy care are areas that extend from the clinic to the public sector. Physical therapists are health professionals who work with people across the lifespan and health span. To prepare our students to meet this challenge, our program benefits from our strong relationship with the School of Medicine and from being an important member of the School of Health Sciences and Practice.

The School of Health Sciences and Practice provides our students a unique perspective on physical therapy that does not occur in more traditional medical school environments. Our students learn state-of-the-art screening techniques for risk factors and early indicators of disease, and how to design health and wellness programs. These skills complement those they learn for treating patients in acute-care settings, rehabilitation centers, home care, outpatient, and long-term care settings. Our ability to integrate the public health education of our students in the School of Health Sciences and Practice with medical and foundational sciences through coursework with faculty of the School of Medicine and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences is truly unique and unmatched by other programs in this country.

Being part of a major university medical center provides us access to faculty who are experts in their field, state-of-the-art facilities, and practice environments that promote the integration of the theory and practice of physical therapy. Our human anatomy lab allows our students to perform full body cadaver dissection and are accessible for study 24 hours a day. Our clinical lab areas are accessible to our students 24 hours a day. Close ties to area clinics and groups of individuals with disabilities allows our students to work with patients while still in the classroom setting.

The clinical research and scholarship of our program faculty is diverse, including areas such as the application of genomics to clinical practice, biomechanical predictors of injuries in runners, robotic postural training for children, predictors of utilization and outcomes for patients with low back pain, cultural competency and spirituality in physical therapy, and effects of line dancing on balance in community dwelling older adults. We are proud of research funded partnerships that have included Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Hospital, Blythedale Children’s Hospital, Stevens Institute of Technology, MIT, and Achilles International.

The priority of our program is excellence in the education of physical therapy students. Our foundational sciences are taught by faculty of our School of Medicine and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. The clinical coursework in physical therapy is taught by program faculty assisted by expert clinicians from many of the excellent clinics located within the Hudson Valley. Students observe and work with patients in the classroom, as well as on field trips to area clinics, for example Westchester Medical Center, Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, Helen Hayes Hospital, and the Bronx VA Hospital. Our students participate in interprofessional learning experiences with students from the Department of Speech and Language Pathology, Department of Public Health, and the School of Medicine. In addition, our program has one of the most well-established problem-based learning structures in the country.

We believe that close professional relationships between faculty and students are crucial for effective education at a doctoral level. Thus, our class size target remains 44 students, despite the trend of many schools to increase their class size. Students are assigned to faculty members for professional development and advisement, and an open-door policy exists between all students and faculty. With a small class size, high attention to student performance, and a devoted faculty, our graduates excel in their education and eventual clinical practice.

Our applicants come to us from across the United States, and from a host of foreign countries. Sharing a strong academic background, our students bring with them varied undergraduate majors. These include, for example, anthropology, biology, business and marketing, exercise science, journalism, psychology, dance, education, and neuroscience. At New York Medical College we appreciate and gather eclectic groups of students who possess a broad spectrum of personal talents, skills, and experiences. Thus, our principal interest in the academic backgrounds of applicants to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program is evidence of successful academic accomplishment and completion of the prerequisites that prepare students for our program. We believe that studying, learning, and growing with people of different cultural backgrounds and life experiences prepares students for the environments and communities in which they will ultimately practice physical therapy.

We hope that you, either as potential faculty, potential students, or friends of the college, will consider joining our professional family. Please feel free to call, write, e-mail, or schedule a time to stop by to see wonderful things going on within the Department of Physical Therapy in the School of Health Sciences and Practice at New York Medical College.

Janet Dolot, PT, DPT, DrPH
Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy
(914) 594-4917