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Consortium for the Humanities, Ethics and Professionalism (CHEP)

CHEP lttrhd-final-04282020

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.


CHEP members can be any faculty members in ACAPT member physical therapy educational institution programs interested in the humanities, ethics, and professionalism.

Classroom Resource Repository Available

Find the new classroom activity/lesson repository for the humanities, ethics, and professionalism by going to the "Resources" tab below. Please consider contributing to the repository by sending your ideas to chep@acapt.org.

If you weren't able to make it to the ELC 2020 business meeting or hear our guest, Dr. Nicole Piemonte, you are welcome to view the recordings of each.

Incorporating humanities & ethics into curricula 

2020 presentation: Incorporating humanities & ethics into curricula - guest speaker: Dr. Nicole Piemonte, Assistant Dean for Medical Education at Creighton University School of Medicine

Congrats to the Physical Therapy Student Essay Contest winners

CHEP joins the Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation (JHR) to sponsor the annual Physical Therapy Student Writing Competition. 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. See details here. Deadline: Annually in January. 

Congratulations to Kelsey Robinson from Neumann University, winner of CHEP's 2021 student essay contest and the two finalists:

  • Xavier Gibson from Springfield College
  • Henry Fok from Columbia University

Students wrote about an experience that significantly impacted their professional growth and identity as a future physical therapist, with respect to the public health crises of racism and/or COVID-19.

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.
Cindy Dodds, PT, PhD, PCS

Position: Chair 2019-2022
Medical University of South Carolina

Nathan Brown, PT, DPT, GCS

Position: Vice Chair 2020-2023
University of the Incarnate Word

Sarah Luna, PT, DPT

Position: Secretary 2019-2022
University of the Incarnate World

Bruce Greenfield, PT, MA, PhD, FNAP, FAPTA

Position: Nominating Committee Chair 2018-2021
Emory University

Sarah Caston, PT, DPT

Position: Nominating Committee Member 2019-2022
Emory University

Shelly Lewis, PT, DPT, GCS

Position: Resource Manager (Appointed)
University of the Sciences

Harsha Deoghare, PT, PhD

Position: Web Admin (Appointed) 2020-2023
Western University of Health Sciences, California

CHEP will be voting on the following positions:

  • Nominating Committee members (2): Three-year term, 2021-2024

CHEP members can view the 2021 candidate slate.

CHEP holds elections in the spring-summer during the ACAPT election cycle.  If you are a CHEP member, you are registered to vote. If you have not yet joined the CHEP, do so now by clicking on the "Request to Join" Box above. As with any organization, formation of a leadership team is representative of its members who vote.  CHEP members will receive an email with instructions for voting on Monday, April 5.If you don't received the email, contact acapt@acapt.org.

  • April 5, 2021: Polls open on the first Monday of the month.  
  • May 3, 2021:  Polls close on the first Monday of the month. 
  • June 2021: Candidates informed of election results. 

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

Candidates must submit their consent to serve form and candidate statements and bios. Submit your information to bgreenf@emory.edu sarah.caston@emory.edu and acapt@acapt.org.


Position descriptions

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 CHEP ad hoc committees or work groups as a voting member.  The Vice Chair shall serve as the Parliamentarian during the on-site meetings at national conferences. 

Nominating Committee Member: The Nominating Committee shall consist of three (3) members.  Each serving for three (3) year terms.  The senior member of the committee shall serve as Committee Chair for the last year of his/her term.

The nominating committee shall prepare a slate of one (1) or more names for each office to be filled.  The slate (i.e. list of candidates) shall be published on the CHEP website and distributed to the membership prior to the election.  The Nominating Chair will provide the slate, together with the information on each candidate, at least 30 days in advance of the election. 

Members of the nominating committee direct and conduct elections by email.  The nominating committee chair notifies the candidates of the results of the election maintains a record of their consent to service for future considerations and needs that may support the work of the Consortium.  

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. 

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: 


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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