USC DPT Students Win APTA Student Advocacy Challenge


USC Doctor of Physical Therapy students won the Student Advocacy Challenge, a nationwide contest through the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) aimed at inspiring physical therapy students to get involved in state and federal-level professional advocacy. 

Students who participated in the Challenge learned about several legislative issues in class and subsequently visited representatives' offices to advocate for the physical therapy profession. 

They informed their legislators on several key issues, including Medicare's current Locum Tenens arrangement for physical therapists in which under current law, private practice physical therapists are not able to bring in another licensed physical therapist through the Medicare program to their professional practices when they are temporarily absent due to illness, pregnancy, vacation, or continuing medical education. Students advocated for policy changes that would prevent current interruptions in patient care when staff absences occur.

USC's DPT students tallied up the highest number of advocacy points out of any other school in the nation. As part of the first place award, USC will host a member of the APTA staff or Board of Directors to meet with students and discuss current issues.

On a related note, the APTA Student Assembly Board of Directors, an elected representing body for all DPT and PTA students in America, just transitioned new student members for the next 12 months. Scott McAfee, a third-year DPT student at USC, will serve his second term on this 10-member Board as the Nominating Committee Chair.

Pictured: USC DPT students receiving the award for Student Advocay Challenge winners from the APTA representatives.