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Division of Physical Therapy
Doctor of Physical Therapy

Admissions
Curriculum

Clinical Experiences
Physical Therapy Prerequisite Courses
Doctor of Physical Therapy Curriculum

Course Descriptions

Physical Therapy is a challenging profession for men and women who are interested in the fields of science and medicine and who like to work with people.   As an allied health profession, it involves the evaluation and treatment of individuals with a variety of problems, such as musculoskeletal, neurological, and cardiovascular difficulties related to  disability, injury, disease and aging.  The therapist evaluates, plans, administers, and modifies treatment incorporating the use of physical measures, functional activities, and electrotherapeutic devices for  restoring function and promoting independence.  Physical Therapy requires knowledge in biological, physical, and behavioral sciences such as psychology, gross and applied anatomy, physiology, and physics.  It utilizes knowledge acquired through prerequisite foundational courses in the application of current treatment philosophies and therapeutic modalities.

Physical therapists work closely with physicians, occupational therapists, nurses, speech and language pathologists, psychologists and other members of the health care team.  They practice in a wide variety of settings—including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, school systems, private offices, and the home and serve patients from all age groups.  Whether patients are recovering from knee surgery, neck pain, carpel tunnel syndrome, or  arthritis or learning to walk again after a stroke, physical therapists help them regain function by improving the ability of muscles, nerves, and joints to move efficiently and effectively. 

Physical therapists also play a significant role in the prevention of injuries and movement disorders.  They work as consultants in industrial settings to improve workplace design and reduce the risk of workers overusing certain muscles or developing low back pain.  Physical therapists also screen athletes at all levels for potential problems and recommend preventive exercise programs.  The growing emphasis on health and fitness of all Americans provides opportunities for physical therapists to consult with individuals and fitness clubs to develop workouts that are safe and effective, especially for people who already know they have a problem with their joints or back.

The Division of Physical Therapy at Florida A & M University was established in 1981, becoming the third physical therapy program in the State University System (SUS) of Florida.  The first class of students was admitted to the baccalaureate program in 1982; the last baccalaureate class graduated in August 2001.  Currently, all applicants for the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program must have completed a bachelor’s degree and have satisfied all FAMU graduate school admission requirements prior to admission to the program.  Consistent with other SUS Physical Therapy programs, applicants accepted into the FAMU program will be admitted as graduate students in the two and a half-year professional curriculum. 

Admissions Criteria
Applicants to the program must meet the minimum requirements for admissions, including: (1) a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university; (2) a grade-point average of 3.0 or better in the last 60 semester hours (or 90 quarter hours) of undergraduate work completed; or (3) possession of a graduate degree from an accredited institution of higher education; and (4) a preferred score of 1,000 on the Verbal and Quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). In addition to the above criteria, the overall science GPA is considered in the process of admission into the Division of Physical Therapy, entry-level doctoral degree program.

Applicants are required to submit an application to the School of Graduate Studies and Research Admissions Office, an application for admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program in the School of Allied Health Sciences, an autobiographical essay (300-500 words), evidence of 20 hours of volunteer/observations/work experience in a physical therapy setting, two letters of recommendation, and an official copy of transcripts from all colleges or universities attended. Acceptance into the Florida A&M University School of Graduate Studies and Research does not guarantee acceptance into the Physical Therapy Program.
 
Curriculum

The Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum is built on a broad foundation of liberal arts, social sciences, and basic sciences.  Therefore, applicants to the entry level master’s program must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and must also be able to demonstrate, by official transcript completion of the physical therapy program prerequisites. Course-work within the professional curriculum challenges students to build on their undergraduate background by incorporating a balance of foundational and clinical sciences; critical inquiry; clinical practice; and studies of society, health care delivery, and physical therapy practice.  The curriculum is designed to provide students with a combination of didactic and clinical experiences necessary to perform effectively and efficiently as entry level physical therapists, as well as to successfully prepare for the licensing process.     

Standards of Academic Progression
The policies below are designed to serve as a guide for students enrolled in the Division of Physical Therapy (DPT) program.  It is the responsibility of each student to review and adhere to the policies and procedures pertaining to academic progression, grading, graduation, and clinical participation.

1. Warning
A student will be placed on Academic Warning if he or she earns less than a 3.0 cumulative GPA in any semester of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Documentation of the Academic Warning will be placed on the student's university transcript by the Registrar at the beginning of the term in which the sanction is given and will serve as the official notification to the student.  Any student who is placed on Academic Warning will be required to meet with the program director before the next term to devise a remediation plan.
A student can only be placed on Academic Warning for a maximum of two times; a third Academic Warning will constitute permanent dismissal from the DPT program. Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better throughout the DPT program to remain in good academic standing. Any failed course must be repeated.  A course grade of a “D”, “F”, or “U”, is deemed a failing grade. A student may repeat no more than two failed courses and each one only once.

2. Probation

A student will be placed on Academic Probation if he or she earns less than a 3.0 cumulative GPA in two consecutive semesters of the DPT program. Documentation of the Academic Probation will be placed on the student's university transcript by the Registrar at the beginning of the term in which the sanction is given and will serve as the official notification to the student. A student placed on Academic Probation must earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better in the next enrolled semester or the student will be suspended from the DPT program.  Students placed on Academic Probation will be required to meet with the program director prior to the start of the following term to review his or her current educational plan for remediation and make modifications as necessary for continued success in the program.

3. Suspension 
A student will be placed on Academic Suspension if he or she earns less than a 3.0 cumulative GPA in three consecutive semesters of the DPT program. Documentation of the Academic Suspension will be placed on the student's university transcript by the Registrar at the beginning of the term in which the sanction is given and will serve as the official notification to the student. Any student who is suspended from the DPT program will receive written notification from the department regarding options to appeal the Suspension. In order to ensure due process, each student who has been suspended has the option to appeal the decision. If the appeal is denied, the student is automatically dismissed from the program and may not return to the DPT program. If the appeal is accepted, the student may be reinstated. Once reinstated, the student must meet with the program director to devise a more stringent educational plan for remediation and also be informed of the requirements to continue in the DPT program.
A student will be permanently dismissed from the program if his or her cumulative GPA falls below a 3.0 in any subsequent term after being reinstated following a suspension.

4. Permanent Dismissal
A student will be permanently dismissed from the Doctor of Physical Therapy program for any of the following reasons.
a.    If a student who has been suspended does not submit an appeal within one semester following suspension;
b.    If an appeal is denied;
c.    If an appeal is successful and the student does not earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better in the subsequent term following the suspension; or
d.    If a student obtains a second warning and does not earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better the following term after the second warning; or in any semester after the second warning.

In addition to the above standards of progression, all students must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 in order to graduate from the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Students must also score at least 70% or better on the Physical Therapy Program's Comprehensive Examination.

A student is ineligible for clinical placement, while on Academic Warning, Probation, or Suspension. Additionally, a student, who has failed a course or who has received an “I” (incomplete) grade is ineligible for clinical placement until the course has been successfully completed with a “C” or better. 


Clinical Experiences


The physical therapy curriculum at FAMU includes opportunities for "hands-on" experiences as well as classroom instruction.  Under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist, students have the opportunity to problem-solve and to apply knowledge and skills under "real world" conditions.  Four full-time internships (non-paid) are scheduled throughout the program, totaling over 1200 clock hours.  The final semester of the program consists of two eight-week internships.  Practically all internships are out-of-town. The assignments are usually within the State of Florida, although there are a number of clinical sites that are located throughout the United States.

Clinical centers are selected based on criteria endorsed by the American Physical Therapy Association.  While students are encouraged to provide input and assume a more active research and decision-making role in the clinical placement process, the Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education has the ultimate responsibility for clinical assignments.

Prospective students should realize that, in all probability, they will have to stay at an out-of-town location for a period of time ranging from eight to sixteen weeks.  Cost of living expenses, housing and travel arrangements, etc., during clinical internships are the sole responsibility of the student. Expenses (including lodging, utilities, meals, possibly airfare, local transportation/gasoline) will depend on factors such as the geographical location, the length of the affiliation, family support in the area, etc.  By far, the location of affordable housing for internships presents the greatest challenge to students.

Accreditation Status

Florida A&M University has been granted accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) for the Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum. 

1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Telephone: 703-706-3245
email: accreditation@apta.org
website: www.capteonline.org

Professional Credentials

A Doctor of Physical Therapy degree (DPT) is awarded upon successful completion of the curriculum. Also, the graduate is eligible to apply for the physical therapy licensing examination.

Faculty

Professor:
Bell, Arnold
Associate Professors: Brown-Cross, Dawn; Toran, Eric
Assistant Professors: Jackson, Adrienne; Reaves, Phyllis; Reed, Kischa S.; Smothers, Bernard

Physical Therapy Prerequisite Courses

All prerequisite courses must be completed prior to entrance into the program.

Biological Sciences   
BSC 1010 General Biology I w/Lab 4
BSC 1011 General Biology II w/Lab 4
BSC 2093 – Anatomy and Physiology I w/Lab 4
BSC 2094 – Anatomy and Physiology II w/Lab 4
Chemistry  
CHM 1045 – General Chemistry I w/Lab 4
CHM 1046 -  General Chemistry II w/Lab 4
Mathematics
STA 2023 – Introduction to Probability & Statistics.
 3
Psychology
DEP 2004 – Human Growth & Development 
 3
PSY 2012 – Intro to Psychology 3
*Physics
PHY 2053 – College Physics I
 3
PHY 2053 General Physics I lab or PHY 2048 – General Physics I Lab  1
PHY 2054 – College Physics II  3
PHY 2059 - General Physics II Lab 1
*The following courses may be taken for the Physics courses above: 
PHY 2004 – Elements of Physics I w/Lab   4
PHY 2005 – Elements of Physics II w/Lab 4
  
Doctor of Physical Therapy Curriculum  
Year One

Fall Semester
 
PHT 5115 – Gross Anatomy w/Lab 4
PHT 5154 – Human Physiology  3
PHT 5125 – Analysis of Human Motion I w/Lab 3
PHT 5025 – Professional Behavior  1
PHT 5149 – Life Span Development
 2
  13
Spring Semester  
PHT 5166 – Neuroscience  3
PHT 5156 – Exercise Physiology w/Lab 3
PHT 5306 – Pathology & Pharmacology 2
PHT 5202 – Patient Care Skills w/Lab 3
PHT 5178 - Analysis of Human Motion II w/Lab 3
PHT 5606 – Scientific Inquiry I
 1
  15
Summer Semester  
PHT 5246 - Orthopedic I w/Lab 3
PHT 5161 - Neurology I w/Lab 3
PHT 5380 - Cardiopulmonary I w/Lab 2
PHT 5243 - Integument w/Lab 2
PHT 5932 – Clinical Integration I 2
PHT 5024 – Health Care Systems and Administration 2
PHT 5805 - Clinical Education I
 1
  15
Year Two

Fall Semester
 
PHT 6248 - Orthopedics II w/Lab3
PHT 6719 – Neurology II w/Lab 3
PHT 6381 – Cardiopulmonary II w/Lab 2
PHT 6618 – Scientific Inquiry II 1
PHT 6219 – Physical Agents and Electrotherapy w/Lab 3
PHT 6934 – Clinical Integration
 2
  14
Spring Semester  
PHT 6713 – Prosthetics and Orthotics w/Lab2
PHT 6312 – Orthopedic III w/Lab 3
PHT 6328 – Pediatric Physical therapy 2
PHT 6620 - Scientific Inquiry III 1
PHT 6935 - Clinical Integration III 2
PHT 6822 – Clinical Education II
 4
  14
Summer Semester  
PHT 6420 – Teaching and Learning  1
PHT 6733 - Special Topics in Physical Therapy 2
PHT 6373 – Gerontology 2
PHT 6402 – Psychological Aspects of Disability 1
PHT 6823 - Clinical Education III
 4
 10
 Year Three

Fall Semester
 
PHT 6824 – Clinical Education IV8
  
Spring Semester  
PHT 6960 Professional Physical Therapy Practice2
PHT 6730 Advanced Differential Diagnosis 3
PHT 5070 Diagnostic Testing/Evaluation 3
PHT 6151 Health Promotion and Wellness 3
PHT 6609 Advanced EBP

 3
 14
  
  
Didactic Learning86
Clinical Education 17
 TOTAL 103


Course Descriptions

PHT 5024 Health Care Systems and Administration (2) This course provides an overview of business and financial management principles for physical therapy operations.  Emphasis will be placed on important current issues confronting physical therapists, areas having direct fiscal implications for physical therapists and the health care environment today and means of anticipating change in the future.
PHT 5025 Professional Behavior (1) An overview of professional behavior, communication and ethics. Students will be introduced to behaviors of an individual in a service profession and strategies for development of these behaviors.  Topics in Ethics include deontological and teleological ethics, methods to identify and analyze ethical dilemmas in the practice of physical therapy, application of the APTA Code of Ethics and Guide for Professional Conduct to solving ethical dilemmas, and state and federal laws that apply to physical therapy.
PHT 5115 and PHT 5115 L Gross Anatomy/Lab  (4) Basic description of the musculoskeletal system.  Lecture and laboratory with emphasis placed on locating muscle, associated joints, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and blood supply.  Human structures are reviewed by regions and include clinical correlations.
PHT 5125 and PHT 5125 L Analysis of Human Motion I/Lab (3)  An introductory course on the scientific study of human motion (Kinesiology) emphasizing the basic concepts of Kinesiology, the study of human arthrology, myology and gait with a focus on muscle and joint kinematics and pathokinematics.
PHT 5149 Life Span Development (2) This course covers human development from conception to death with special emphasis on normal and abnormal movement development.  Critical stages in movement development, such as infancy and aging, will be examined.  The course will include physical, cognitive, psychological and social aspects of development that influence the lives of individuals.  Cultural factors important to development will also be identified. 
PHT 5154 Human Physiology (3)  Introduction to Human Physiology. Course will emphasize the function and coordinated activities of selected cellular processes and organ systems and the interdependence of these systems for normal whole body function. PhysicaltTherapists must understand normal physiologic principles in order to remedy impairments and maximize function in one's environment.
PHT 5156 and PHT 5156 L Exercise Physiology/Lab (3)  Study of the human body's physiological responses to acute exercise and chronic physical training.
PHT 5161 and PHT 5161 L Neurological PT I/Lab (3)  This course will introduce the Physical Therapy student to the examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of clients with neuromuscular disorders.  Testing for sensation, cognition, perception, muscle tone, vestibular function, balance and gait will be covered.  The concepts of motor learning and control will be covered as a scientific basis for PT treatments of clients with neuromuscular disorders such as cerebral vascular accidents.  
PHT 5166 Neuroscience (3)  Study of gross features and development of the brain and spinal cord, including internal organization and structure, pathways, blood supply, and somatosensory, motor, and integrative systems.  Will include neurophysiological concepts, clinical manifestations of the central nervous system, pain pathways and clinical correlations.
PHT 5202 Patient Care Skills/Lab (3)  Introduction to primary clinical physical therapy skills, bed mobility skills, positioning, draping, transfers, wheelchair prescriptions and mobility skills, basic gait patterns and gait training with assistive devices, gross assessment of activities of daily living, home site evaluations, modifications of architectural barriers, and introduction to adaptive equipment.
PHT 5246 and PHT 5246 L Orthopedic PT I/Lab (3)  Principles of physical therapy management of individuals with orthopedic diseases and dysfunction.
PHT 5306 Pathology and Pharmacology (2)  An introductory course on pathology and pharmacology and its implications on Physical Therapy practice. Students will appraise relevant pathologies and psychological and medication induced conditions that could affect their patient care management.
PHT 5178 and PHT 5178L Analysis of Human Motion II/Lab (3)  A biomechanics course with an emphasis on the lower quarter and gait. Students will be introduced to isokinetic testing, electromyography and motion analysis equipment and methods develop their observational gait analysis skills; be involved in small group projects and write critiques on biomechanics related research articles.  The integration of biomechanics into clinical application and practice in the physical management of musculoskeletal tissues and joints are absolutely necessary for all students.
PHT 5606 Scientific Inquiry I (1)  This course is designed to introduce students to the principles of scientific inquiry in health care.  The course will include research design, research methods and data critique and analysis.  The students will be required to access and critique research literature.
PHT 5380 and PHT 5380L Cardiopulmonary PT I/Lab (2)  Principles of physical therapy management of individuals with diseases and dysfunction of the cardiopulmonary systems.
PHT 5243 and PHT 5243L Integument PT/Lab (2)  Overview of the management of the integumentary system in practice, including  normal wound healing, patient examination and evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment interventions, and outcomes.
PHT 5932 Clinical Integration I (2)  Integration of foundational and clinical science courses to develop clinical decision making skills for physical therapy practice. Students are presented clinical case studies of complex patients with multiple co-morbidities involving orthopedic, neurological, cardiopulmonary, and integumentary disorders commonly seen in physical therapy practice. Students then formulate an evidence-based practice Physical Therapy Plan of Care.
PHT 5805 Clinical Ed. I (1)  Students are introduced to professional physical therapy practice through a clinical-observation experience. Students observe Physical therapist practitioners managing patients/clients with musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiopulmonary and integumentary disorders. Students observe practitioners apply examination, evaluation and diagnostic procedures, and develop and implement a plan of care that includes determining prognoses and intervention measures. Students also have opportunities to develop communication skills and observe various supervisory and administrative functions that a Physical Therapist Practitioner performs.
PHT 6248 and PHT 6248L Orthopedics PT II/Lab (3) Advanced principles of physical therapy management of individuals with orthopedic diseases and dysfunction.
PHT 6719 and PHT 6719L Neurological PT II/Lab (3)  This course will explore in depth the examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of clients with neuromuscular disorders such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, balance disorders and closed head injuries.  The Physical Therapy student will be taught neurophysiological PT treatments for clients with neuromuscular disorders.
PHT 6381 and PHT 6381L Cardiopulmonary PT II/Lab (2)  Advanced principles of the physical therapy management of individuals with diseases and dysfunction of the cardiopulmonary systems.
PHT 6618 Scientific Inquiry II (1)  Students participate in research projects in collaboration with their research advisor. Students may be engaged in proposal writing, data collection, data analysis, and interpreting and reporting their findings.
PHT 6219 and PHT 6219L Physical Agents and Electrotherapy/Lab (3)  Theory and practice of Physical Therapy agents such as light, sound, water, superficial and deep heat, and electrical current as interventions for clinical problems such as edema, pain loss of motion, and tissue dysfunction.
PHT 6934 Clinical Integration II (2)  Integration of foundational and clinical science courses to develop clinical decision making skills for physical therapy practice. Students are presented clinical case studies of complex patients with multiple co-morbidities involving orthopedic, neurological, cardiopulmonary, and integumentary disorders commonly seen in physical therapy practice. Students then formulate an evidence-based practice Physical Therapy Plan of Care.
PHT 6312 and PHT 6312 L Orthopedic III PT/Lab (3)  Advanced course on arthrology, joint evaluations, joint mobilization techniques, indications and contraindications for joint mobilization of the extremities, spine and TMJ. Students will be introduced to screening for medical diseases and orthopedic differential diagnosis. Selected manipulation techniques for the spine will be included in this course.
PHT 6328 Pediatric PT (2)  The course will cover principles of pediatric examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. 
PHT 6620 Scientific Inquiry III (1)  Students will participate in a research project in collaboration with their research advisor. Students may be engaged in proposal writing, data collection, data analysis, and interpreting and reporting their findings. Students will disseminate the findings of their study in a formal presentation, such as a poster presentation in a research forum or scientific meeting.
PHT 6935 Clinical Integration III (2)  Integration of foundational and clinical science courses to develop clinical decision making skills for physical therapy practice. Students are presented clinical case studies of complex patients with multiple co-morbidities involving orthopedic, neurological, cardiopulmonary, and integumentary disorders commonly seen in physical therapy practice. Students then formulate an evidence-based practice Physical Therapy Plan of Care.
PHT 6960 Professional PT Practice (2) This course is designed to examine and evaluate student’s preparation for professional Physical Therapy practice prior to the third and fourth clinical education experiences.  It will review the current physical therapy licensure examination test blueprint and the strategies for successful completion of the licensure exam. It will also test current preparation via diagnostic tests in particular content areas and will be administered by the professors who have previously taught in the curriculum.  A final Comprehensive Exam will be administered during the last week of the course.   
PHT 6373 Gerontology (2)  Identification of the unique challenges presented by the well and ill older individual with the identification of strategies to manage these problems.
PHT 6402 Psychological Aspects of Disability (1)  The study of the psychosocial aspects of rehabilitation in physical therapy care.
PHT 6420 Teaching and Learning (1)  Introduction to learning theory and teaching methods used to identify individual learning styles and enable the learner to have a successful learning experience. This information will relate to learners in multiple learning situations.
PHT 6713 and PHT 6713L Prosthetics and Orthotics/Lab (2)  Management of the upper and lower extremity amputee and overview of the phases of prosthetic management, including the rationale and guidance for selecting orthoses for orthopedic and neurologically impaired patients of all ages. 
PHT 6733 Special Topics in Physical Therapy (2)  The purpose of this course is to provide the physical therapy student additional information concerning medical special interest groups, issues, or conditions, such as women’s health. This knowledge will be integrated  and applied into the physical therapy plan of care.
PHT 6822 Clinical Ed. II (4)  A supervised full-time, eight-week clinical education experience in a selected physical therapy setting which is designed to provide students the opportunity for mastery of a variety of skills, as well as administration and supervision in physical therapy, under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. Students are expected to practice in a safe, professional, ethical manner with adherence to legal standards.
PHT 6823 Clinical Ed. III (4)  A supervised full-time, eight-week clinical education experience in a selected physical therapy setting which is designed to provide students the opportunity for mastery of a variety of skills, as well as administration and supervision in physical therapy, under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. Students are expected to practice in a safe, professional, ethical manner with adherence to legal standards. 
PHT 6824 Clinical Ed. IV (8)  A supervised full-time, sixteen-week clinical education experience in a selected physical therapy setting which is designed to provide students the opportunity for mastery of a variety of skills, as well as administration and supervision in physical therapy, under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist. Students are expected to practice in a safe, professional, ethical manner with adherence to legal standards. 
PHT 6151 Health Promotion and Wellness (3) This course will provide an extensive study of wellness principles with practical application of skills to enhance the physical therapist’s ability to be able to assess family health care needs and access and practice and consult in health promotion and wellness. Students will learn to seek out community resources and develop specific fitness and wellness strategies for physical therapy populations over the life span, including basic nutrition, education and marketing strategies.
PHT 5070 Diagnostic Testing in PT Practice (3) This course is designed to provide a basic understanding of the indications and implications of commonly the students used diagnostic imaging tests related to physical therapy practice, including x-rays, MRI, bone scans, CT scans, PET scans, ultrasound and other diagnostic tests and allow him to be able to integrate findings with physical therapy diagnoses. Emphasis will be placed on interpreting images as it relates to the physical therapy treatment.
PHT 6730 Differential Diagnosis (3) This course is designed to assist the physical therapy student to be able to consider and identify signs and symptoms associated with a broad spectrum of conditions and pathologies represented by musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary, neurological and systemic diseases, specifically where differential diagnosis is important for the successful outcome of rehabilitation interventions for clients. Emphasis is placed on methods to determine the most appropriate intervention strategy for each patient or client through the diagnostic process including referral to other appropriate healthcare providers.
PHT 6609 Advanced Evidence Based Practice (3) This course will focus on a review and critique of Physical Therapy literature, including validity and reliability of measurement and sampling procedures that will assist students in making clinical decisions that are consistent with the professional literature. Students will enhance their  understanding of evidence-based practice, including how to generate clinical questions and critically apply the literature to determine its application to patients with cardiopulmonary, orthopedic, neurological, and other medical problems.