Leadership Development Through Community Engagements Projects
Purpose: Development of leadership qualities has been recognized as an important component of the professional development of students in the health care fields. The Doctor of Physical Therapy Programs at Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey have engaged their students in ongoing community service projects. The first provides physical therapy services through a student run pro bono clinic offering physical therapy services to a large inner city population in northern New Jersey. The second provides screening services to migrant farm workers in southern New Jersey. These programs are intended to not only meet the DPT programs’ missions to provided services to two distinct, underserved populations, but to create opportunities for students to engage in organizational and administrative responsibilities intended to assist in the development of leadership skills. This presentation reviews these programs and the student roles and responsibilities in the administration of these projects.Methods/Description: This presentation will review the services provided by students through these community engagement projects with an emphasis on the administrative and organizational roles of the students in the administration and organization of these projects. It will also provide feedback from the students concerning their perception of the impact of their involvement in these projects on their leadership abilities.Results/Outcomes: Both faculty and students report a positive relationship between the development of some administrative and organizational characteristics as a result of their participation. Further research is required to further define this impact and determine if this perceived change is reflected in their performance as professional practitioners.Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Our Leadership Landscape: Perspectives from the Ground Level to 30,000 Feet: The development of leadership skills in future practitioners has been identified as important to our success as physical therapists in the evolving healthcare arena. DPT programs need to include opportunities for students to develop these affective skills alongside their clinical skills. Finding ways to merge the development of leadership and clinical skills should be an important component in the development of future curriculum models.References: Hendricks F & Toth-Cohe S. (2018). Perceptions about authentic leadership development: south african occupational therapy students’ camp experience. Occupational Therapy International, Article ID 1587906 Purdy N. (2016). Impact of a leadership development institute on professional lives and careers. Nursing Leadership: 29(2), 10-30 Servey, JT, McFate T, & Reamy, B (2018). Academic medicine in the military health system: problems ans solutions for academic leadership development. Military Medicine 183(1/2), 7-10. Feller TT, Doucette, WR, & Witry MJ (2016). Assessing opportunities for student pharmacist leadership development at schools of pharmacy in the united states. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education 80(5).