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Consortium for the Humanities, Ethics and Professionalism (CHEP)

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ACAPT's Consortium of Humanities, Ethics & Professionalism (CHEP) believes that excellence in physical therapy education and clinical practice requires the ability to make a meaningful connection with the patient and make decisions in uncertain circumstances.

The consortium provides a forum for discussion of the art of physical therapy and the lived experience of patients.  CHEP also provides a platform for sharing resources that focus on how to teach the humanities, ethics, and professionalism in physical therapy education.


  1. Discuss and explore the role of humanities, ethics and professionalism in physical therapy.
  2. Advocate for the emphasis of the humanities, ethics, and professionalism in physical therapy education.
  3. Balance the pillars of evidence-based practice including patient values and preferences, clinical expertise, and best research evidence.
  4. Serve as a platform for sharing resources that focus on the humanities, ethics, and professionalism.

Classroom resources available

Find classroom activities & lessons for the humanities, ethics, and professionalism on the Curricula Development resources page. Please contribute to the repository by sending your ideas to chep@acapt.org using the repository submission template.

Review a new article (April 2022) from CHEP's leadership:  Humanities instruction in physical therapy education to cultivate empathy, recognize implicit bias, and enhance communication: A case series.


CHEP members can be any faculty members at an ACAPT member institution interested in the humanities, ethics, and professionalism.

Watch these popular presentations

Physical Therapy Student Essay Contest

CHEP joins the Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation (JHR) to sponsor the annual Physical Therapy Student Essay Contest. 

The winner receives a $250 award from CHEP, and the contest winner and two finalists will have their essays published in a future issue of JHR.  Deadline: Annually in January. 

Congratulations to the 2023 recipients!


Congrats to Mary Anne Riopel, PT, DPT, PhD at Moravian University

Dr. Riopel is the recipient of the $1,000 faculty award sponsored by ACAPT and InSPIRE SWADES

Physical therapy & critical perspectives of disability

For inquiries about the Consortium for Humanities, Ethics & Professionalism (CHEP), email: chep@acapt.org

CHEP's Purpose: To illustrate the central themes of the consortium initiatives and provide ideas and resources for integrating humanities, ethics, and professionalism into PT curricula.


We believe scholarship focusing on the “art of physical therapy” and the “lived experience” of the patient is needed. Further, we advocate that a course correction is needed to embrace all three pillars of evidence- based practice with equipoise.

The educational community needs to be intentional in the cultivation of humanistic values in the professional curricula. In 1976, a Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners’ editorial stated, “… the choice between the arts or science represents a false and dangerous dichotomy. In many aspects of the doctor and patient relationship, the knowledge and understanding of drama, literature, and philosophy can greatly help understanding.”1,2 As Johanna Shapiro points out,  “[Medicine] is a kind of a renaissance profession in that it really requires all of the brain, all of the heart, all of the soul, and you can’t get that only through science.”3

The inclusion of the humanistic values into healthcare practices addresses perspectives from the patient, clinician, and educators with overlapping intentions.

  • For patients, the avenues of the humanities often provide a means of self-care to promote health and resiliency, giving a space for well-being of body, soul, and mind.
  • Clinicians with a foundation in humanities may design treatment strategies better addressing the holistic needs of patients.
  • In addition, such a clinician may find a personal outlet in aspects of the humanities to balance the emotional demands of patient care.
  • Lastly, embedding  the humanistic values into student education leads to improvement of observation skills, empathy, communication, and self-reflection, each of which facilitates patient-centered care and positive outcomes.3-5 Humanities education may provide students with an approach to develop self-care strategies and resiliency as they face the many negative consequences of dealing with illness day in and day out.3, 5   

The interplay of professionalism, humanities, and ethics should be recognizably tight. We believe the consummate professional clinician is indeed the renaissance clinician.


To educate toward excellence and expert practice, we need to instill the ability to make judgment in uncertain conditions. With exposure to elements of humanism embedded into curricula, students are enabled to think from multiple viewpoints.


Operational definition of the humanities

"Attention to the humanities in physical therapy education helps to develop and nurture skills of observation, analysis, empathy and self-reflection.  The humanities are those disciplines that explore and seek to understand the meaning of 'being a human being' in the world."


  1. Editorial. The arts as aids to learning. Journal of Royal College of General Practitioners. 1976;26:555-559.
  2. Fieschi L, Matarese M, Vellone E, Alvaro R, De Marinis MG. Medical humanities in healthcare education in Italy: a literature review. Ann Ist Super Sanita. 2013;49(1):56-64.
  3. Krisberg K. Humanities program helps medical students see through a patient's eyes. 2014; https://www.aamc.org/newsroom/reporter/may2014/380438/humanities.html, 2016.
  4. Dennhardt S, Apramian T, Lingard L, Torabi N, Arntfield S. Rethinking research in the medical humanities: a scoping review and narrative synthesis of quantitative outcome studies. Med Educ. 2016;50(3):285-299.
  5. Macnaughton J. The humanities in medical education: context, outcomes and structures. Med Humanit. 2000;26(1):23-30.

Position: Chair
Medical University of South Carolina


Position: Vice Chair
University of the Incarnate Word


Position: Secretary
Creighton University


Position: Nominating Committee 2021-2024
University of the Sciences

Amanda Sharp, PT, DPT

Position: Nominating Committee
University of Minnesota


Position: Listserve Coordinator
Emory University


Position: Web Admin
Western University of Health Sciences, California

Persons elected to a leadership position are expected to attend the annual ACAPT Educational Leadership Conference (ELC), where CHEP's annual business meetings are held.


Position descriptions

Chair official duties from consortium rules:

  • Preside at and facilitate all meetings of the Consortium.
  • S/he shall be the designated liaison to the ACAPT Board of Directors unless otherwise determined by the Consortium officers.
  • Shall be an ex-officio member of all Consortium committees except the Nominating Committee.
  • The Chairperson will assure currency of essential information on the ACAPT Consortium website.
  • Attends the ACAPT Annual Meeting.

Because of unique responsibilities and duties of some of the leadership of CHEP, the chairperson of CHEP will also perform the following duties usually assigned to other officers:

  • Prepares an annual budget and coordinates funding matters with the ACAPT Treasurer (Vice Chairperson)
  • Prepare and submit written reports of the activities of the Consortium to ACAPT Board of Directors (Secretary)

The Chair delegates the website responsibility to an appointed Web Administrator who will serve a three-year term and function as a member of leadership team. The Chair also calls and leads the business meetings of the CHEP leadership whether in person or by conference call/video meetings. Responsible for coordination with secretary for scheduling and issuing agendas in advance of the meetings.

The Vice Chair shall:

  • Assume the duties of the Chairperson at the request of the Chairperson or in the absence or incapacitation of the Chairperson and oversee Consortium ad hoc committees as a voting committee member.  
  • Serve as the Parliamentarian during the annual and special meetings. 
  • As requested, assist chair with preparation of an annual budget.
  • Coordinate the joint CHEP-JHR annual writing contest.
  • Represent the Consortium related to any Consortium program planning responsibilities for ELC.
    • Communicate with Chair regarding budget allocation forELC programming.
    • Serve as the CHEP liaison for ELC logistics including space, equipment, and catering needs.

The Secretary shall

  • Be responsible for keeping the minutes of all Consortium meetings of members and/or officer - and share with ACAPT staff at acapt@acapt.org.
  • Prepare and submit written reports of the activities of the Consortium to ACAPT BOD.
  • Notify Consortium members and ACAPT staff of the date, time, and place of Consortium meetings.
  • Maintain the Consortium’s archives and correspondence.
  • Share Consortium minutes and policies and procedures with the CHEP Web Administrator for placement on acapt.org/chep.

Additionally, the secretary performs the following duties:

  • Schedules web conferences and includes participation information in the notification of the date & time of leadership meetings.
  • Follows up with leadership committee members for approval of minutes.
  • Monitors the CHEP email account.
  • Establishes organization and shared online storage for CHEP documents and collaborative projects.
  • Provides customer service in communication with the leadership committee by including links to shared documents relevant to email communications.
  • Formats meeting minutes so they are appropriate for posting on the CHEP web page.
  • Communicates with the Chair for agenda items, dates/times of leadership committee meetings, and general meeting information.
  • Works with the Web Administrator for communicating CHEP events and news.
  • Sends requests to marketing@acapt.org to add CHEP announcements and updates to the ACAPT newsletter and social media outlets.

Official duties from consortium rules for the Nomination Committee Chair:

Nomination duties

  • Communicate with the nomination committee to identify candidates for CHEP leadership positions - chair, vice chair, secretary, nomination committee.
  • Obtain bio statements and consent to serve statements from nominees.
  • Forwards bio statements and consents to serve to acapt@acapt.org and webmaster.
  • Send election results to nominees, acapt@acapt.org and webmaster.

Grant duties

  • Coordinate with CHEP leadership to identify topic for grant.
  • Communicate with Webmaster and ACAPT to advertise the grant call.
  • Receive CHEP grant applications.
  • Disburse completed CHEP grant applications and scoring criteria to nomination committee members.
  • Summarize grant scoring information collected from nomination committee members.
  • Report CHEP grant summative findings to nomination committee and acapt@acapt.org.
  • Identify a CHEP grant awardee in collaboration with nomination committee members and report winner to acapt@acapt.org

The Webmaster (appointed) shall:

  • Assume a three-year term and function as a member of the leadership team during that the same period of time.
  • Attend and participate in all meetings of the Consortium.
  • Assure currency of essential information on the ACAPT Consortium Website.
  • Maintain the current membership listing is up-to-date on the website.

Listserv & repository manager (appointed) - CHEP Resource Facilitator Functional Job Description shall: 

  • Manage the repository and coordinate updates with acapt@acapt.org.
  • Solicit submissions for the repository at least quarterly.
  • Review submissions for adherence to posted guidelines.
  • Post about repository on listserv, as appropriate.
  • Initiate discussion thread via emails from the listserv at least monthly.
  • Respond to topics others bring to the listserv.
  • Serve as a reader for the annual student writing award contest. 

Incorporating humanities & ethics into curricula

CHEP-JHR Student Essay Contest:  CHEP joins the Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation (JHR) to sponsor a judged writing competition designed to encourage deep thinking by students about the role and value of humanities, ethics and professionalism in academic training and professional life.   The annual CHEP/JHR Physical Therapy Student Essay Contest submissions are accepted annually from mid-November to January.  See details here.

CHEP Educational Repository

Click on the links below to access a repository for classroom lessons and ideas related to humanities, ethics, and professionalism in physical therapy education. 

Please consider contributing to the repository by sending your ideas to chep@acapt.org using the respository submission template.

Health humanities syllabus repository - curricular resource for health humanities educators

Watch CHEP's Oct 2020 presentation: Incorporating Humanities & Ethics into Health Professions Curricula from Nicole Piemonte, PhD, Assistant Dean for Medical Education at Creighton University School of Medicine.

CHEP List Serve

Use the sign-up instructions below, and tell us all about the good things you are doing with Humanities, Ethics, and Professionalism in physical therapy education!

To find older messages after you join:

  1. Click on “my settings” toward the bottom of any email you have received from the CHEP listserv. This will link you to a screen that has a tab for messages on the left of the screen. Click on “messages” to find messages that have been sent in the listserv
  2. Alternatively, you can go to gaggle.email and sign in. Then scroll up and a box will appear on the bottom right of the screen that you can click on to find your groups. After clicking on this, you enter your email. An email will be sent to you. In the email will be a blue box that says “member”. Click on that box and you will be taken to the CHEP page on gaggle.


Links to related material: 


At the 2021 Educational Leadership Conference (ELC) on Saturday, October 23 at 8:15 a.m., join PT faculty in dialogue with disability studies scholar, Benjamin Reiss, PhD to explore the integration of disabilities studies in PT education and practice.

Watch the CHEP's Oct 2020 presentation: Incorporating Humanities & Ethics into Health Professions Curricula from Nicole Piemonte, PhD, Assistant Dean for Medical Education at Creighton University School of Medicine.

Following are CHEP business meeting minutes:

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