Emory University Board of Trustees recently approved a joint DPT-MPH degree (Doctor of Physical Therapy and Masters of Public Health), a joint collaboration between the School of Medicine and Rollins School of Public Health.
Emory is home to a highly ranked DPT program (8th in the nation per US News and World Report) and a highly ranked School of Public Health (7th in the nation per US News and World Report) in the nation. There are few, if any, DPT programs in the nation that offer dual degrees. Thus, this is an example of an innovative program offered at Emory and shows the collaboration between the School of Medicine and Rollins School of Public Health.
Physical therapy practice has traditionally fallen under the heading of tertiary prevention. In the evolving healthcare environment, physical therapy practice is expanding into primary and secondary prevention activities. Physical therapists maximize physical abilities and functioning by working with groups as well as individuals. In addition to evaluating and treating individual patients, physical therapists also spend time educating the public. Additionally, physical therapists are becoming leaders in health care policy. As physical therapists’ roles and responsibilities have increased, so have their educational needs and desires. The combined DPT/MPH degree will provide future physical therapists with the opportunity to develop unique perspectives and skills. This new combination of knowledge, skills, and abilities will enable Emory dual degree graduates to impact healthcare and public health in innovative ways.