Secondary Logo

Journal Logo


Transition and Transformation are 2 Important Words; One Leads to the Other

Flannery Wainwright, Susan PT, PhD; Brueilly, Kevin E. PT, PhD

Author Information
Journal of Physical Therapy Education: December 2017 - Volume 31 - Issue 4 - p 1
doi: 10.1097/JTE.0000000000000016
  • Free

Getting our feet on the ground as co-editors of JOPTE has been as exciting and frightening as we had anticipated. This time of transition of editorship has been marked by a number of activities. You have likely seen communications about transitioning to our new publisher Wolters Kluwer. This partnership transitions the journal to an online publication format beginning with this issue, as well as provides expanded indexing and access to improved digitization for publication and retrieval of archived issues.

More recently, we have worked to expand the editorial board of JOPTE. We would like to welcome our new and returning editorial board members. An inaugural meeting of the new board was held in Columbus in October at the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Educational Leadership Conference (ELC). We greatly appreciate the work of our board members. A complete roster of board members is detailed on page 1. Please take a moment to see who you may know and thank them for their service. These members of the editorial board bring diverse expertise to the journal, and were selected for their continued meaningful engagement in and commitment to physical therapy education.

At ELC, Dr. Shafik Dharamsi was the keynote speaker at the 2017 Geneva R. Johnson Forum. He also participated in the round table discussion that brought physical therapy educators together to discuss “Why, How, and What Can We Do to Foster Disruptive Innovation to ADD VALUE in Our Educational Enterprise?” In his closing comments, Dr. Dharamsi made a statement that innovation can only come when we “move from transaction to transformation.” These words certainly resonate with us as we chart the course for the journal.

We are committed to disseminating the quality research that has been accepted for publication in as timely a manner as possible. You may recall that in our introductory editorial, we identified that the journal had a wonderful problem, more quality manuscripts than pages in which to publish them. To date, the strategies to address this challenge have relied on transaction through negotiation of page counts and production contracts. While the number of quality submissions to the journal has grown, strategies to meet the growth have lagged behind. We believe the journal is poised for the next phase of transformation.

This transformation that we as co-editors envision, and you as members of the section and the educational community have requested, can only be achieved if we vision a new course for the journal. The esteemed previous co-editors, Dr. Jan Gwyer and Dr. Laurie Hack, highlighted the importance of collaboration as the key to continued growth of the journal. Never before has there been such opportunity for collaboration within the physical therapy education community. The Education Leadership Partnership (ELP) brings together representation from the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT), the APTA, and the Education Section (ES) of the APTA to advance physical therapy education. We have met with members from consortia within ACAPT, SIGs within the Education and Research Sections of the APTA and strategic work groups within the ELP to identify mutual goals, opportunities for collaboration, and how to best share resources. It is our goal to facilitate interaction among these groups and aspiring authors and researchers with the goal of establishing the collaboration that is necessary to engage in meaningful and rigorous educational research. We plan to use our JOPTE educational session at CSM on Saturday, February 24th from 3:00 to 5:00 to begin this conversation. Please join us if you have interest in working with others to advance educational research.

A position paper by Jensen et al1 in 2016 promoted the importance of developing an educational research agenda and a community of educational researchers within the profession. A more recent publication of the National Study of Excellence in Physical Therapist Education Part 1 proposes a conceptual model for excellence in physical therapy education.2 Part 2 of this work challenges us to transform physical therapy education through recommendations linked to this conceptual model.3 The results and recommendations from these scholarly works should inform, as well as bound and guide the development of the educational research agenda in the profession. We view the journal as the vehicle, in collaboration with all stakeholders, to shape and disseminate the educational research agenda in physical therapy education.

Capitalizing on this unique window of opportunity requires open and ongoing collaboration between leadership of the ES and JOPTE. We appreciate the support and commitment that we have received from the ES Board to meet our short-term objectives. And we look forward to ongoing collaboration with the ES Board to lead this transformation of physical therapy education. As co-editors, we welcome the opportunity to collaborate with the members of the ELP, consortia within ACAPT and Special Interest Groups within APTA.

Energy and interest to advance educational research within the physical therapy education community is high. It was certainly palpable at ELC 2017. Now is the time to capitalize on this groundswell interest to advance educational research, to garner momentum and secure commitment from stakeholders, and to actualize a bold, dynamic, and forward thinking research agenda for physical therapy education. We believe that the shared passion, commitment, and excellence within our profession are the means to attain advancement. And it is only through collaboration that we can transition to achieve such transformation.


1. Jensen GM, Nordstrom T, Segal RL, McCallum C, Graham C, Greenfield B. Education research in physical therapy: Visions of the possible. Phys Ther. 2016;96(12):1874-1884.
2. Jensen GM, Nordstrom T, Mostrom E, Hack LM, Gwyer J. National study of excellence and innovation in physical therapist education: Part 1—Design, method, and results. Phys Ther. 2017;97(9):857-874.
3. Jensen GM, Hack LM, Nordstrom T, Gwyer J, Mostrom E. National study of excellence and innovation in physical therapist education: Part 2—A call to reform. Phys Ther. 2017;97(9):875-888.
Copyright © 2017 Education Section, APTA