Physical Therapy education today prepares students to practice in an ever-changing health care landscape. Experience in clinical settings is critical to students achieving competence as a practitioner. Because students’ clinical experiences are so important, clinical educators must make the most of every aspect of the student placement. Placement methods can facilitate quality placements and optimize resources.

Clinical educators face many challenges satisfying stakeholders in the clinical experience placement process. They must choose from various placement methods, each with advantages and disadvantages.

Placement Methods

Most DPT programs use one of the following methods to place their students for clinical experiences: Lottery, Manual, Automated, or Hybrid.

Each method has advantages and disadvantages that should be carefully weighed by the clinical education team before a method is selected. This chart outlines the pros and cons of each method to help in the decision-making process.