PHT 701 Foundations of Autonomous Practice

Examine the essence of the doctoring profession.

Format: Online
Duration: 8 weeks
Credits: 3

PHT 701 Foundations of Autonomous Practice, the first course of Utica College’s transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy program, challenges you to explore the responsibilities of our profession. You’ll examine issues related to direct access, paying for performance, and the typical employment relationships and structures in which most physical therapists work.

Course Description

This course will examine core professional values and frameworks for clinical reasoning, decision-making and evidence-based clinical practice. It will emphasize the importance of your patient as the primary source of data, and will provide opportunities for you to develop your skills in acquiring, analyzing and integrating best available evidence into your clinical decisions. This course highlights the significance of responsibility for the expected level of clinical decision-making embodied by a doctoring profession.


Sample Assignment

Pose a specific clinical question regarding diagnosis, intervention, outcomes, or economics, and perform a literature search for evidence-based answers to your clinical question. Review five articles and select the most relevant to your question. Document this process in a written paper that draws conclusions about searching for evidence.


The ability to measure patients’ progress levels is vital to your practice. You’ll review principles of measurement in examination, diagnosis, prognosis, outcome measures and basic clinical research. A wealth of resources support evidence-based practice, and you’ll examine strategies for finding, accessing and integrating data from appropriate literature in order to advance patient/client management.


Should physical therapists be diagnosticians?

Discuss this and more in PHT 701.


Course Topics

Throughout this course, you’ll focus on core topics or themes. Sample topics are listed below:

  • ::  What is the “Doctoring Profession?”
  • ::  Do Physical Therapists Diagnose?
  • ::  How Has Your Clinical Decision-Making Evolved?
  • ::  How Will You Integrate the New Knowledge of Evidence-Based Practice Into Your Clinic?

Learning Outcomes: Your Top 10 Takeaways

In PHT 701, you’ll further develop your skills in acquiring, analyzing, and integrating best available evidence into your clinical decisions.

  1. Use technology to gather information to address clinical questions about efficacy of practice.
  2. Examine the role that core values/ethical behaviors and professional communication play in relation to conflict resolution, negotiation skills and networking.
  3. Appraise levels of sensitivity and specificity of evidence to make clinical judgements.
  4. Develop diagnoses based on disablement models to guide patient/client management.
  5. Integrate research evidence, patient values and preferences, and clinical experience to examine patient/client problems across the lifespan.
  6. Apply the patient/client management and disablement models to determine primary, secondary and tertiary care for patient/client problems.
  7. Examine patient/client problems through analysis of principles of history taking, systems review and selection of valid and reliable tests and measures.
  8. Use principles of evidence-based practice to develop hypotheses to guide clinical decisions for patient/clients with musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiopulmonary, lymphatic and integumentary systems problems.
  9. Adapt to using the American Psychological Association (APA) style of citing resources to encourage consistency and academic honesty in all course assignments.
  10. Investigate how direct access to physical therapy services in respective states can address the issues with health care costs in the U.S.

Learn More

In PHT 701, you’ll come to understand the level of responsibility for clinical decision making which is embodied by a doctoring profession. For more information about this course or other courses in Utica College’s online transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, request more information or call us at 315.732.2640 or toll-free 866.295.3106.

The content presented on this page is representative information for example purposes and is subject to change as course and student needs change over time.