Document Type : Original Article


1 PT, PhD, GCS, Department of Rehabilitation and Movement Science, School of Health Professions, Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, Newark, NJ, USA

2 EdD, RD, School of Health Professions, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

3  School of Health Professions Methodology and Statistics, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, Rutgers School of Health Professions, Blackwood, NJ, USA, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Rutgers School of Public Health, Blackwood, NJ, USA


BACKGROUND: Participation in a student‑run pro bono clinic (SRPBC) provides opportunities for
students to develop professional skills, engage with the community, and provide an often‑underserved
population with needed care.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This paper describes the results of a mixed‑method analysis of student
experiences in an SRPBC. A survey with both Likert‑type and write‑in elements was administered
to three cohorts of students enrolled in a doctoral program of physical therapy. Students were
prompted to provide their perspective on the value of the clinic experience with respect to professional
development, academic relevancy, and personal growth.
RESULTS: The analysis discovered that perspective value of the clinic in the areas of personal
growth and academic relevancy differed by cohort. Specifically, 1st‑year students reported that they
benefitted immensely by learning from their peers, especially in the use of outcome measures.
Second‑year students did not report the same benefits.
CONCLUSION: The findings suggest that even though students from different cohorts work together
in the same clinic, they may experience the clinic very differently. This observation provided the basis
for changes to the SRPBC to enhance leadership and conflict management skills of the 2nd‑year


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