Susie Deusinger, Professor Emeritus at Washington University School of Medicine & Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the APTA, comes onto HET Podcast to talk about her perspective being a DPT program director. Susie discusses what are the essential characteristics of a successful program director, roles and responsibilities of being a director, balance of job duties, pros and cons of being a director, biggest lessons she’s learned throughout her career and more!

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Susan S. Deusinger, PT, PhD, FAPTA,  served for over 35 years in the progressive academic culture of Washington University in St. Louis where she led with creativity, persistence and vision. She implemented bold strategic planning, and enabled myriad opportunities for others to thrive and emerge as outstanding and influential leaders. Dr. Deusinger developed innovative practice options, supported the transition to graduate professional education, advanced a productive research culture, and increased visibility for physical therapy in this research-intensive university. Throughout her career, she has brought a profound dedication to the profession, coupled with extraordinary enthusiasm and energy that has inspired patients, students and colleagues to understand their power to shape new visions of health and health care. Retired from her position at Washington University, Susan Deusinger now serves as a consultant to professional education programs and associations seeking deliberate and dynamic change dedicated to assuring excellence and inspiring new norms for health care.

Susan S. Deusinger, built her career in physical therapy on a foundation of integrity and excellence in clinical practice and academia.  A hallmark of her work has been to continually shape and implement progressive new visions of education that drive the changes in clinical care needed to ensure best outcomes for patients.  These new visions demand that physical therapists embrace the movement system as the core foundation of the profession, and deliver care that integrates the role of movement in both prevention and rehabilitation. Achieving this vision creates a new identity for physical therapy, an identity that is coupled with new obligations and exciting opportunities for scholarship and service.  During her tenure at Washington University in St. Louis, Dr. Deusinger employed creative and bold strategic planning focused on physical therapy being a full partner in that progressive academic environment.  She led with persistence and passion, and empowered others to emerge as outstanding and influential leaders.  Now retired from her position at Washington University, she serves as a consultant to professional education programs and associations seeking the deliberate and dynamic changes that can inspire new norms for health and health care.

Susan Deusinger’s mission is to continually challenge the traditions of physical therapy education and practice, and build opportunity for the profession to shape new aspirations of excellence.  Dr. Deusinger’s vision is to see a vibrant culture of innovation emerge and permeate the very fabric of the physical therapy profession so that future generations of physical therapists will serve with distinction. Now is the time to accept, shape and promote our unique identity as the experts in the movement system. Reaching this goal requires that physical therapists link inextricably their distinctive expertise in both the movement system and application of movement to health, while simultaneously engaging patients’ full understanding of that link.  Susan Deusinger’s ability to empower others to lead change in this direction is critical for the physical therapy profession to cement its unique identity as the expert in movement for health and a full partner in health care that yields optimal outcomes.

Dr. Deusinger brings a profound dedication to the profession of physical therapy, extraordinary enthusiasm and energy, and an ability to inspire others to understand their power to effect change.  Central to her philosophy as a consultant is to use those talents to build:

  • Leadership in academia that moves the profession toward its aspiration to transform health through movement, and thus reach its own visions of excellence in scholarship and service;
  • Visibility in the culture of universities and colleges hosting physical therapy education that invites full participation in governance and advocacy within higher education; and
  • Educational models that clearly link movement and the movement system to health and rehabilitation, and obligate physical therapy to develop new models of practice that meet contemporary needs for health promotion.