Integration of Digital Humanities Scholarship into Physical Therapy Education: A Student Driven Learning Experience
Purpose: To illustrate the application of a student driven learning experience in the digital humanities with the following aims: 1) provide doctor of physical therapy (DPT) students training in the process of publishing digital humanities scholarship, 2) elevate the understanding and application of the humanities in physical therapy education and clinical practice, and 3) enhance student-faculty mentorship and interdisciplinary collaboration. Description: Digital humanities offer opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration through innovative technology-driven projects that address modern issues affecting the education and clinical practice of allied health professionals. For DPT educators and students, the humanities challenge traditional perspectives and provide a path towards improved clinical reasoning in the context of life altering health conditions. Partnering with Emory University Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS), The Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation (JHR) provides access to meaningful content for clinicians, students, educators, and patients using a digital platform that highlights the role the humanities play in medical education and clinical practice. Unique to JHR’s mission is an educational goal to support and engage interdisciplinary students as Senior Graduate Digital Editorial Associates (SDGEA). This position was designed to facilitate interprofessional collaboration and cultivate skills to enhance the student’s ability to navigate a technically demanding and morally challenging professional environment. This innovative adjunct to traditional DPT curricula allows students to gain marketable digital publishing skills, while fostering communication skills needed for successful collaboration and career advancement. The partnership between JHR and ECDS highlights the intersectionality between the humanities and the health sciences that offers a framework to address the complex problems faced by both medical clinicians and academic scholars. This model offers a novel approach to develop collaborative and critical thinking professionals needed to navigate today’s dynamic health environment. Summary of Use: This partnership in digital publishing serves as a guide for other DPT programs to develop innovative interdisciplinary collaborations that expand learning experiences in health science education. This novel training initiative offers traditionally science-focused students the opportunity to expand their knowledge and gain publishing skills while cultivating a deeper understanding of how the humanities influence and interact with their work as future rehabilitation professionals. Importance to Members: Integrating humanities into DPT curricula strengthens the critical skills necessary to successfully navigate the complexities of patient care. The application of student driven digital humanities scholarship serves as an effective and innovative way to align current DPT curricula with humanities education and experience, while providing students an early opportunity to engage in a reflective publishing process.