The UNC Student Physical Therapy Association (SPTA) and the Division of Physical Therapy officially

Incoming physical therapy students recite the Carolina Commitment on Friday, September 8, 2017.

welcomed 32 incoming students in the class of 2020 at a professionalism ceremony on Friday, September 8, 2017, in the Medical Biomolecular Research Building.

Division director Deborah Givens, PT, PhD, DPT, said the ceremony is an opportunity to recognize the significance of the beginning of a career in physical therapy.

“It’s a time for us to reflect on what it means to be a professional and the ideals we as physical therapists believe to be important,” she said.

Incoming and returning students and faculty recited the Carolina Commitment, which highlighted their devotion to the practice of physical therapy and to the students’ development while at UNC-CH.

SPTA president Yana Ginzburg welcomed the incoming class. Ben Massey Jr., president emeritus of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and 1976 graduate of the program, also addressed students on the topic of professionalism and excellence. He spoke about career satisfaction and maintaining professionalism by listening to patients and their needs.

Finally, students from the class of 2019 gave incoming students a Carolina pin and a physical therapy tool kit, including a stethoscope, medical pen lights and goniometers. Givens reminded students that these tools are symbols for students to listen, observe, measure, and safely intervene to ensure patients meet their goals.

“With these tools and pledge of the Carolina Commitment, we welcome you to our community of physical therapists and students who recognize the responsibilities that come with being a professional.”

The SPTA and the class of 2019 organized the professional ceremony; the division celebrates 60 years of its program this year.