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PT Student Essay Contest

Physical Therapy Student Essay Contest

Each year, ACAPT joins the Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation (JHRto sponsor a judged writing competition designed to encourage deep thinking by physical therapy students about the role and value of humanities, ethics and professionalism in academic training and professional life.  

The annual Physical Therapy Student Essay Contest offers a creative opportunity to ignite critical reflection in PT students across the nation about ways in which approaching patient care in a holistic manner improves patient outcomes.

Read more about the 202420232022 and 2021 recipients

Physical therapy student essay contest

2023-2024 student essay prompt

Advances in AI technology are poised to transform the landscape of rehabilitation, raising intriguing questions about its impact on humanism in the field.

How do you envision the integration of AI technology in rehabilitation impacting the essence of humanism in patient care?

  • Discuss potential benefits and challenges in maintaining a compassionate, patient-centered approach while utilizing AI-driven techniques.
  • Reflect on the role of empathy, personal connection, and tailored treatment plans in humanizing the rehabilitation process amidst increasing reliance on technological solutions.
  • Draw insights from contemporary viewpoints on writing effective PT application essays, emphasizing the importance of weaving personal experiences and stories into your response to convey your understanding of AI’s potential impact on the humanistic dimension of rehabilitation.

We have chosen the topic of artificial intelligence and machine learning in recognition of the tremendous opportunities this technology offers in our world, as well as the profound societal implications. It is precisely in this space of creative tension that the skills we gain from the humanities provide critical insights to help us interrogate, embrace, and ultimately shape what this revolutionary technology is asking of us as humans. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on this unprecedented moment in the history of rehabilitation science.

  • Note:  This essay prompt was generated by ChatGPT when given the prompt: “Write a physical therapy student essay prompt on the following topic – how will AI technology impact humanism in rehabilitation?”   OpenAI. (2023) ChatGPT Aug 18 version. [Large language model]

Prize description

  • The winner of the Physical Therapy Student Essay Contest receives a $250 award from ACAPT.

  • Additionally, the contest winner and two finalists will have their personal narratives published in a future issue of JHR.

Eligibility and required materials

  • All students currently enrolled in a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) or Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) program are eligible to apply.

  • Submissions must include an original, unpublished personal narrative as well as a short (3-4 sentence) personal bio that includes the student’s current academic institution.

  • Please also provide a brief (less than 50 words) statement acknowledging if AI was used to assist in the writing of your essay. If AI-generated content was used, cite the model or tool used and the manufacturer’s name, including prompts. If AI was not used, provide a rationale (which can be as simple as “I do not know how to use AI”). Both types of approaches to essay development will be accepted. All essays must provide this acknowledgment to be considered for review.


Submissions are reviewed by a selection panel comprised of our guest judge(s) & JHR Editorial Board. Submissions are assessed upon their engagement with the prompt, narrative structure, and attention to language. 

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