Students use the new physical therapy clinic at Brenau University's Downtown Center.

Close Call

Sometimes physical therapy doctoral candidates have to cross state lines to get clinical experience to reinforce their educations.

At Brenau, all they have to do is walk across the hall. Early this year, the university physical therapy department established Brenau’s Rehabilitative Practice, which focuses on balance, fall prevention, bariatrics, sports medicine and other mobility issues. There, in the same part of the physical therapy department in Gainesville where they attend classes, students gain vital clinical experiences in a key physical therapy specialty, working under the supervision of Brenau faculty and local professionals who are some of the top experts in the field. The facility, managed in a partnership with Brenau by the well-established Gainesville Physical Therapy organization, is open to the public with referrals from doctors throughout the region.

Clearly, the clinic will not meet the needs of all the dozens of PT students who need lots of clinical rotations before they can graduate, and the Brenau staff is working vigorously to find other practices and health care facilities as close as possible to Brenau that will accept supervised doctoral students as part of their patient-care teams. But it will be difficult to find any that are closer.

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