In the Community

University of Minnesota Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students have the opportunity to work in several pro bono physical therapy clinics. All of these voluntary outreach experiences are offered as a 1-credit, no grade, elective course (PT 6222). 

Students are supervised by licensed physical therapists serving as preceptors who are required to provide licensure documentation, proof of liability insurance and must complete an application process. Documentation of these required items are maintained by the student representative for the specific clinical site and also by the Director of Clinical Education (DCE). 

Minneapolis Indian Health Services Diabetic Foot Clinic

PT students at Foot ClinicIn January 2005, this outreach experience was developed in collaboration with the already existing Indian Health Services diabetic clinic located in the Phillips Neighborhood of Minneapolis.

One Tuesday evening each month, the University of Minnesota DPT students provide exercise information, preventative education, and wound care foot services to the Native American population in the greater Minneapolis area. Physical Therapy students under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist Preceptor work alongside physicians, nursing, and lab staff at the clinic to address the complications associated with diabetes in a culturally sensitive manner.

Phillips Neighborhood Clinic

In March 2003, the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic was developed as a collaboration between the Academic Health Center, the Community-University Health Center, the Center for Health Interdisciplinary Programs. Located in the basement of Oliver Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, the clinic delivers affordable health care to one of the poorest areas in the city. The clinic is staffed by a volunteer team of professionals from several disciplines; including medicine, physical therapy, laboratory science, pharmacy, nursing, nutrition, and social work. The Phillips Neighborhood Clinic is a functioning student-run clinic, operating every Monday & Wednesday evenings from 6-9 p.m. 

Phillips Neighborhood ClinicThe PNC experience is offered for first-year students to participate in patient scheduling, and clinic organization as Patient Advocates. During the second year, DPT students serve as PT Clinicians, performing physical therapy examinations and providing treatment for a variety of conditions under the direct supervision of a licensed physical therapist Preceptors. 

In this role as Clinicians, students also learn to interact with patients from diverse backgrounds and cultures as well as working with a variety of medical disciplines. Students gain practice with many of the hands on therapeutic skills that they learn in the classroom. Additionally, this experience provides an interdisciplinary approach to health care with students from other schools in the Academic Health Center. Course participants must commit to a minimum of 3 scheduled clinic sessions/semester.