Tennessee State University in Nashville recently began to operate a student-run physical therapy/occupational therapy clinic. There are now 38 student-run physical therapy clinics at colleges and universities nationwide. But this is the first such clinic at a historically Black college or university.
The clinic, which is part of the College of Health Sciences is located in the basement of Clement Hall on the main campus. It will mainly handle cases like knee injuries, shoulder pain, and lower back pain. The more serious cases will be referred out to local clinics.
Dr. Rick Clark, assistant professor of physical therapy will oversee the program. Dr. Clark stated that the clinic’s “primary emphasis is on outpatient orthopedic and sports injuries with the ability for students to treat neurological conditions on a case-by-case basis. It’s a teaching opportunity for them. I want them to not only be great therapists, but if they want to go out and start their own clinic, they now have a better understanding of what is involved in doing that.”
The university is currently constructing a new state-of-the-art Health Sciences Building that’s expected to be completed next year. The physical therapy/occupational therapy clinic will be part of it.