Service/Experiential Learning

Columbia University Doctor of Physical Therapy Community Action Network (PT-CAN)

PT-CAN is a student-run organization for service within the PT program. Through PT-CAN, students can volunteer, join committees, advocate for the profession, and create new outreach opportunities. Through PT-CAN, students can participate in the following service opportunities:

Lang Youth Medical Program

Lang Youth Medical Program volunteers in white coats.

The Lang Youth Medical Program recruits, interviews, and accepts 12-15 local sixth graders each year. During the 6-year stretch from 7th through 12th grade, these students study anatomy, disease pathology, prevention, and community and public health. They also participate in field trip activities and complete annual year-end projects. DPT students participate in the Lang Mentoring program by working one-one with the 12th-grade students on the cumulative Lang Student Expo project. This project includes an oral presentation and poster reflecting on their 6 years in Lang and their future career interests. As mentors, the DPT students help their mentees formulate their projects, practice public speaking and make plans for college. Duration: Four to five one-hour Saturday sessions in the spring semester.


Columbia Student Medical Outreach (CoSMO)

Students pose outside the COSMO clinic.

CoSMO is a pro bono, interdisciplinary clinic run by CUIMC students from nursing, medicine, physical therapy, social work, and public health who provide healthcare services to the local underserved community in Washington Heights, NYC. Students at CoSMO work under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist providing physical therapy services to uninsured individuals who may not have regular access to health care. Columbia DPT students learn to evaluate and treat patients at CoSMO through mentorship from peers and licensed physical therapists. Visits occur 2 times per month on Thursdays or Saturdays during the school year.


Anatomy Academy

Anatomy Academy is a CUDPT student-run outreach program aimed at combating childhood obesity and promoting healthy lifestyle choices while inspiring children to pursue higher education. Fifth graders in the Washington Heights community learn principles of anatomy,

Students during Anatomy Academy

physiology, and nutrition through small group mentoring and hands-on learning activities. The curriculum is taught through one-hour sessions once a week for 6 weeks at a local public school typically during the fall semester.