Academe and the field: A case study of a physical therapy program

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Background: The present study focuses on the academic activities of a service-oriented department and the practical training it provides to students in the undergraduate physical therapy program. This profession has significant importance in Israel due to the large number of war and terrorist attack victims as well as the high rate of traffic accidents. In addition, ever-rising life expectancies are expanding the number of patients who need professional help. Objective: The research aims to analyze the satisfaction of department graduates with their academic training and practical experiences. Such information can be used to reinforce the connection between the department's teaching program and the students' final achievements as well as the conditions and terms of employment after graduation. Study group: The present study was based on a survey of 109 graduates of the Department of Physical Therapy at the Ariel University Center in Israel. Methods: Data were collected through an analytical crosssection survey administered online. Results: The findings point to the academe's contribution to practical work in the field. No correlation was found between graduates' profiles upon admission and their achievements in the program and at work, their studies toward advanced degrees, and their satisfaction with their training program and their work. Work condition was also identified as a factor that undermined work satisfaction. Conclusions: This case study points to the significance of a close association between the academe and the field in reducing the differences between students' final achievements in the program and their subsequent work conditions in the field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-272
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal on Disability and Human Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Clinical training
  • Graduates
  • Integration in the workforce
  • Work satisfaction


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