As a physical therapy student, I was once told that it was never appropriate to say that physical therapy works. At the time, this advice was a precaution, not a value judgment about the profession. Comparatively, so little work had been done to examine the effectiveness of physical therapy interventions. Today, we have much different advice to offer students. We encourage evidence-based practice and teach students about the existing evidence that makes our profession stronger. Evidence is essential to practice.

While this may be an intuitive path for the profession, I believe that there is no doubt that we would not be where we are today without the Foundation. For 4 decades the Foundation has cultivated and fostered growth in physical therapy research, funding nearly 600 researchers at a crucial career stage. Consider the thousands of studies and articles made possible through this investment. We are living in an extraordinary time of growth for the profession. As a clinician and researcher, I’m beyond grateful for the vision of the Foundation’s early leaders who understood the role of science in the future of the profession.

Dr. Schindler-Ivens is an Associate Professor of Physical Therapy at Marquette University and the Director of the Neuromuscular Control of Movement Laboratory. She currently serves as Foundation Vice President and was the first student coordinator of the annual Marquette Challenge in 1989. Dr. Schindler-Ivens is also a three-time Foundation funding recipient.

Dr. Schindler-Ivens is the coauthor of an editorial that examines the impact of the Foundation’s funding on the quality and quantity of research evidence —  “Has the Foundation for Physical Therapy Advanced the Body of Knowledge?”


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