Is a Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree Worth It? If you’re dreaming about helping patients restore their mobility and quality of life, and you’re exploring what it would take to become a physical therapist, you may be wondering, “Is a degree in physical therapy worth it?” The answer to this question depends, of course, on your personal career goals. Some people choose to become physical therapist assistants because only a two-year associate degree is required. It’s true that pursuing a doctorate takes time and effort; however, there are countless advantages to earning a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. To that end, let’s look at some of the factors that make a Doctor in Physical Therapy (DPT) degree the best first step on an exceptional career Read more
Dr. Elaine Lonnemann is the Associate Dean of the College of Health Sciences and Program Director of the transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. She has served as a contributing faculty member in online courses for the Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy program since 2002. She has been involved in teaching in the distance education program with the University since 1998. Dr. Lonnemann has worked as a physical therapist in various settings including private practice ownership in Tennessee, Florida, Kentucky and Indiana.
She earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky, and master’s and DPT degrees from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. She completed an Advanced Certificate in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy and is a Board Certified Orthopaedic Specialist. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT) and has served on the AAOMPT Nominating Committee Conference Committee and as the Chair of the Educational Standards and International Monitoring Committee. She served two terms as Secretary of AAOMPT and is currently the President of AAOMPT. She was a member of the OMPT Description of Fellowship Practice Task Force and an author of the 2018 revision of the AAOMPT Manipulation Education Manual.
She has presented nationally and internationally on the topics of education, knowledge translation, women in leadership and spinal manipulation. Dr. Lonnemann has published on the topics of manual therapy, manipulation and pain science in physical therapy education. She has also co-authored textbook chapters on Mechanical Disc Derangement in the Spine, Spinal anatomy and Differential Diagnosis in the third edition of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Secrets and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation Clinical Advisor and on the Mechanisms of Manual Therapy in the Comprehensive Guide to Sports Physiology and Injury Management. She serves the profession as an active member of the Orthopaedic Academy of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and as a state representative from the Kentucky Chapter in the APTA House of Delegates. She received the USA Outstanding Distance Education Alumni Award and the AAOMPT Mennell Service Award. She remains active in clinical practice, teaching, and leadership.