Columbia University Medical Center Program in Physical Therapy has created a student run elective within their DPT program and we have the pleasure of talking with student and faculty pioneers of this program featuring Mahlon Stewart, Joe Lipsky, James Sinodinos & Shaun Whited about this student run elective!They discuss what the elective specifically entails, pros and cons of this elective, changes and plans of this elective for the future, evidence on student run programs in healthcare, and much more!

Columbia University DPT Program: 

Columbia DPT Twitter Page:

Columbia DPT Facebook Page: 

Dr. Stewart’s Twitter Page: 

Joe Lipsky’s Facebook Page: 

Joe Lipsky’s Twitter Page: 

Joe Lipsky’s Instagram Page: 

Joe Lipsky’s Email:  

James Sinodinos’s Facebook Page: 

Shaun Whited’s Facebook Page: 

Shaun Whited’s Twitter Page: 

Shaun Whited’s Email: 

The PT Hustle Website: 

Schedule an Appointment with Kyle Rice:   

HET LITE Tool:    

References  on student-run programs in medicine/healthcare:

Black, J. D., Palombaro, K. M., & Dole, R. L. (2013). Student Experiences in Creating and Launching a Student-Led Physical Therapy Pro Bono Clinic: A Qualitative Investigation. Physical Therapy, 93(5), 637-648. doi:10.2522/ptj.20110430


Cooper, B. A., MacMillan, B. D., Beck, R. A., & Paterson, M. L. (2009). Facilitating and evaluating a student-led seminar series on global health issues as an opportunity for interprofessional learning for health science students. Learning in Health & Social Care, 8(3), 210-222. 


Fink, L. D. (2013). Creating significant learning experiences : an integrated approach to designing college courses (Revised and updated edition. ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


Leung, L. B., Simmons, J. E., Ho, J., Anselin, E., Yalamanchili, R., & Rabatin, J. S. (2016). A Five-Year Evolution of a Student-led Elective on Health Disparities at The Alpert Medical School. R I Med J (2013), 99(10), 43-47. 


Marzano, R. J. (2001). Designing a New Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. Experts in Assessment. Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press, Inc.


Mathias, C. (2015). A Learner-led, Discussion-based Elective on Emerging Infectious Disease. Am J Pharm Educ, 79(6), 81. doi:10.5688/ajpe79681


Dr. Mahlon Stewart is an Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and Co-Director of Clinical Education at Columbia University’s Program in Physical Therapy. He is a board certified Geriatric Specialist and past winner of the APTA Mary Macmillan Scholarship Award (2008).  In addition to his work at Columbia, he is pursuing a Doctor of Science degree in Health Sciences with a focus on health promotion & wellness at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in Provo, Utah, and he serves as volunteer President and Board Chair of Neighbor2Neighbor in Greenwich Village, Inc.: an all-volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting seniors age with dignity in their own homes and neighborhood in New York City. Dr. Stewart serves as the faculty advisor for the student-led elective course, Perspectives on Practice, which is the topic of this podcast.

Joe Lipsky is currently in his 3rd year of DPT school at Columbia University and is in his final clinical internship at EXOS Physical therapy. Joe’s undergrad was done at Farmingdale State college in NY where he studied organizational psychology and played for the men’s NCAA Soccer team. During Joe’s time at Columbia University he and his colleague Shaun Whited developed the first ever student run Elective aimed providing business education in a unique model, which is now called Perspectives on Practice. Joe’s ultimate goal and passion is to help develop large scale corporate health and wellness initiatives to help innovate healthcare. 

James Sinodinos is a New York native and second year student in Columbia University’s physical therapy program. James attended Stevens Institute of Technology for his undergraduate education and received a degree in chemical biology and minor in social science. He is currently a research assistant at Columbia on a project looking into hip range of motion and strength in adolescent baseball pitchers. James is a part of the second generation of Perspectives on Practice course directors as he learned under the mentorship of Joe and Shaun. James is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and aspires to launch a career in sports performance, particularly focused on rehabbing the overhead athlete. 

Shaun Whited grew up in Los Angeles. He graduated from California State University Dominguez Hills with a BA in classical guitar performance and a minor in music education. Shaun was a recitalist and owned and operated his own music performance and teaching business for 12 years. He sustained an overuse hand injury during a performance that ultimately led him to pursue physical therapy as a career. Shaun is currently a 3rd year PT student at Columbia University and finishing his last clinical internship at Spear Physical Therapy. Due to his prior business endeavors, he was motivated to develop and be the course director of the Perspectives on Practice Elective at Columbia University DPT program along with fellow student, Joseph Lipsky, in order to increase student exposure to the profession’s leaders and provide business education within a unique, student-centered education model. Shaun aspires to be a Certified Hand Therapist and hopes someday to work with musicians, as his background as a concertizing classical guitarist gives him unique insights into the challenges that performing artists encounter.