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Understanding leadership development in DPT and MOT graduates at AdventHealth University via focus groups
  1. Elizabeth Clark1,
  2. Christine Moghimi2,
  3. Janelle Ealdama1,
  4. Bojana Penjavic1,
  5. Michael Scheraldi1,
  6. Steven Vidal1
  1. 1 Physical Therapy, AdventHealth University, Orlando, Florida, USA
  2. 2 Occupational Therapy, AdventHealth University, Orlando, Florida, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Elizabeth Clark, Physical Therapy, AdventHealth University, Orlando, Florida, USA; elizabeth.clark{at}


Purpose While leadership knowledge, skills and behaviours develop during graduate education, faculty members engaged in curriculum design for doctor of physical therapy (DPT) and masters of occupational therapy (MOT) professionals want to understand how this occurs. The objective of this study was to understand what influenced the development of leadership in graduates.

Patients and methods A detailed narrative was created for virtual focus groups. Purposive sampling was used and eligible participants were emailed. Those who agreed to participate reviewed an institutional review board approved consent form and were sent a link through an online, recorded Microsoft Teams session. Forty-three DPT and MOT Class of 2022 Graduates were eligible for participation. Recordings were exported, deidentified and validated for transcript accuracy and then deleted. Transcripts were analysed for emerging themes via NVivo.

Results Ten graduates consented to participate. Saturation was reached during thematic analysis and three weighted themes emerged: leadership characteristics, on-campus curriculum and off-campus curriculum. Further data analysis revealed progression in leadership skill attainment over time and graduates attributed leadership development to the programme and aligned with current frameworks of multiprofessional/interprofessional education.

Conclusion These findings should be used to guide curriculum design for effective leadership development. These experiences align with the goal of advanced clinical practice of future healthcare leaders.

  • clinical leadership
  • medical leadership
  • leadership assessment
  • curriculum
  • multi-disciplinary

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  • Contributors All authors contributed meaningfully to this manuscript and agreed upon authorship as listed in the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.