Implementing Exercise is Medicine® into Physical Therapy Curricula


The purpose of this educational session is to provide a framework for DPT programs to understand the Exercise is Medicine® (EIM) global health initiative and to implement it into curricula using explicit and society-centered curriculum (SCC) models. The explicit curriculum requires the student to meet specific professional education standards, whereas the SCC model allows students to move beyond the classroom and into the community.

Methods and/or Description of Project

The EIM® global health initiative bridges the gap between the health delivery system and evidence-based community resources to implement interventions to slow, stop, and reverse the progression of chronic disease (1). The physical therapist plays an integral role in the prevention and management of chronic disease and its associated disability (2). Implementing the EIM® initiative into DPT curricula provides opportunities for service-learning, inter-professional collaboration, health promotion, advocacy, and student-faculty research.

The explicit curriculum matches competencies necessary for EIM® credentialing with the physical therapy professional education standards and provides the foundation for SCC (3). The SCC begins with starting an EIM® On Campus (EIM-OC) program on the university campus. The EIM-OC provides students an inter-professional and service-learning opportunities to advocate for health promotion on the university campus. Additionally, the SCC model provides research opportunities for students and faculty.


The explicit curriculum and SCC models will be implemented in Summer 2017. Results of the model will be presented at the meeting.

Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Through the Looking Glass: Transforming Physical Therapy Education

Implementing Exercise is Medicine® into physical therapy curricula supports two themes: 1) “Humanities: Bringing art and evidence into PT education.” and 2) “Walking the Talk: Leadership and advocacy”. The explicit curriculum supports HOD P06-16-06-05 and the SCC curriculum supports student leadership and advocacy roles.


1. Exercise is Medicine Web site. Published 2017. Accessed April 5, 2017.
2. APTA. Physical therapists’ role in prevention, wellness, fitness, health promotion and management of disease and disability. HOD P06-16-06-05.
3. Cortes, C. The societal curriculum and the school curriculum: allies or agonists. Educ Leadersh. 1979; 36: 475-480.

Course Objectives

1. Describe the Exercise is Medicine® initiative and the key strategies for its integration as a vital sign in the health service delivery system.

2. Describe the three levels of the Exercise is Medicine® credential and the requirements to meet each level.

3. Analyze the aspects of physical therapist professional education that would qualify a DPT graduate to meet certain levels of the Exercise is Medicine® credential.

4. Integrate Society-Centered Curriculum with Exercise is Medicine® initiatives and APTA position statement HOD P06-16-06-015 (Physical therapists’ role in prevention, wellness, fitness, health promotion, and management of disease and disability) to encourage service-learning, interprofessional collaboration, health promotion, advocacy and faculty-student research.

Instructional Methods


Tentative Outline/Schedule

10 min: Introduction to Exercise is Medicine
15 min: Key strategies for integration of EIM as a vital sign
15 min: Discuss credential requirements for EIM
15 min: Crosswalk of EIM credential and physical therapist education
15 min: Society-centered curriculum outside of the classroom
15 min: Q & A

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  • Control #: 2736074
  • Type: Educational Session
  • Event/Year: ELC2017
  • Authors: Dr. Shawn Drake, Marilyn Moffat
  • Keywords:

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