The readers’ forum

Dade Medical College’s plan hurts students and patients


The Commission on Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) has been the sole accreditor of physical therapist and physical therapist assistant educational programs for more than 25 years. This is no accident. Most states legislate that student physical therapists and physical therapist assistants must graduate from a CAPTE-approved program in order to be eligible to sit for licensure examination in that state as protection for its citizens. In addition, some other countries, such as Canada, have contracted with CAPTE for accreditation of their programs, knowing that this is the most outstanding seal of approval that a program can receive.

That this process can take up to two years to institute in a developing program is part of what makes this process so valuable to the public’s health and safety. It is the opposite of a rubber-stamp process. CAPTE accreditation is seen as the model to emulate by other health professions, and it has won numerous awards for being the benchmark process others aspire to. I know this first hand, as I have served as a CAPTE commissioner for six years. In that capacity I not only voted to accept or reject applications for accreditation, I participated in the hours and weeks of advising and assisting struggling programs to live up to the standards of this agency and this process.

Dade Medical College’s CEO Ernesto Perez didn’t want to wait for CAPTE accreditation and didn’t want to have to pass CAPTE accreditation standards. He simply paid a lobbyist, Carlos Trujillo, to sneak a rider onto an unrelated bill and, all of a sudden, Florida physical therapist assistant programs can be “accredited” by any accreditation agency.

However, those students with their so-called associate’s degree can sit for licensure in Florida, but not any other state. And it is doubtful that the centers for Medicare and Medicaid will allow these graduates with education of questionable quality to bill for care of those on federal insurance programs.

It seems as though Florida legislators can be bought not to care about the safety of their fellow citizens needing healthcare. The negative repercussion of this fiasco not only hurts patients, but hurts students who will not be assured of a quality education that they are paying twice as much for as the one they would receive from one of the most highly regarded CAPTE accredited physical therapist assistant programs in the nation at Miami Dade College. The Florida Physical Therapy Association and I urge the state legislators to realize how damaging this law is and move to reverse it in their next session before more students and citizens suffer.

Carol M. Davis, professor emerita, Department of Physical Therapy, University of Miami, Coral Gables

Read more Letters to the Editor stories from the Miami Herald

  • Respect is missing

    I remember, 32 years ago, as a new wife and stepmother, saying to my new family: "You don't have to love me, but you are going to respect me in this house." Anything worthwhile takes time, patience and respect for others and their personal frame of reference. That is sorely absent in our world today, especially from those for whom they are of the utmost importance.

  • The readers’ forum

    The Americans with Disabilities Act opened doors

    July 26 marked the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a landmark law passed in 1990 that for the first time in our history created nationwide standards for combating discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, telecommunications relay services and government activities.

  • Lure of free money

    If Joy-Ann Reid were honest, she would tell folks that the ACA was written by Democrats specifically to prevent people who enroll in the federal exchange from receiving subsidies, as subsidies would be available only in the state run exchanges. The Democrats thought the lure of free money would encourage the states to set up their own exchanges. This was no drafting error, as plainly seen by the wording of the act, which in several sections clearly stated that subsidies would be for state exchanges only. Democrats wrote and passed this bill, apparently without reading it.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category