“How do we grow as a profession if we don’t have all the answers?” asked Noel Goodstadt, PT, DPT. “We need research, and we need programs offering the high level of education that equips society with competent and well-educated healthcare providers.” Goodstadt, an associate clinical professor and director of residency programs for the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, has made residency education the focus of his career for the past 17 years.
As a member of the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education, Goodstadt helps develop and maintain standards of excellence for residency and fellowship education. He has also worked with partner associations and assisted in their strategic planning. “I have the chance to make our profession better to eventually make society better,” he said.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, all classes and most physical therapy appointments went virtual, but Goodstadt was instrumental in ensuring that his students and residents were able to continue their education and practice. “When you’re used to putting your hands on a patient, telemedicine can be a challenge. We had to train our residents and students to make decisions over a screen,” he explained. Goodstadt taught his students to ask better, more specific questions and to be creative in how they assessed their patients’ movements, to use the patients home environment as a tool in the process.
His expectation for his students is that they don’t look at physical therapy as a job, but as a profession. “It’s about giving the best because people’s lives are affected by what we do,” Goodstadt said. “I push my residents and my students to think not only about the person in front of them, but the society they’re helping. Everything that I do is to make things better for everyone.”