DPT faculty, Bridget Eubanks, says Campbell colleagues and students are the best part of her job

“To me, Women’s History Month is an opportunity to reflect on the support for and positive progress of women over time, while also acknowledging the hardships endured and ongoing work required to overcome the gender inequities that women continue to face.”

Name: Bridget Eubanks

Title: Co-Director of Clinical Education and Assistant Professor, DPT Program

Degrees and certifications: Virginia Tech, B.S., Psychology; Minor, Spanish

Duke University, DPT

Duke University, Faculty Development Residency

William Carey University, PhD, Healthcare Administration and Education

ABPTS Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Neurologic Physical Therapy

AHS CPR and First Aid Certification

NSA Certified Stroke Rehabilitation Specialist

ACBIS Certified Brain Injury Specialist

APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor

Please summarize your personal, career, and academic journey: I am a Co-Director of Clinical Education and Assistant Professor of Health Sciences in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Campbell University. I earned my undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in Spanish from Virginia Tech in 2010. I graduated with my DPT degree from Duke University in 2013 and completed a two-year faculty development residency through Duke University’s DPT Program in 2019. In 2023, I graduated with my Ph.D. in Healthcare Administration and Education from William Carey University.

As a Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Neurologic Physical Therapy, I practice in the acute rehabilitation setting with clinical expertise in the treatment of adult neurological diagnoses, specifically TBI. Additionally, I am a Certified Stroke Rehabilitation Specialist, Certified Brain Injury Specialist, and APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor. I am serving the physical therapy profession as a newly elected APTA NC Delegate, Secretary of the Carolina Clinical Education Consortium, and APTA NC Awards Committee member. Additionally, my community service extends through my role as a faculty supervisor in both the CU DPT Community Wellness program and Pro Bono clinic.

I have been fortunate enough to receive awards related to excellence in clinical practice., but am most proud of being awarded the CPHS Professor of the Year Award in 2021. My primary research interests include best practices in clinical education curriculum, DPT student experiences, and gender equity in physical therapy. My publications include “Early Identification of Barriers to Student Success in Physical Therapy Clinical Education: Utilization of a Week One Clinical Survey Tool”, “Participant Outcomes of a Student-Run, Intensive, Short-Term, Task-Specific Rehabilitation Program for Individuals Post-Stroke”, “Doctor of Physical Therapy Student Perceptions of Domestic Versus International Service-Learning Experiences: A Mixed-Methods Approach”, “Student Mental Health and Clinical Education: Exploring the DCE Experience”, “Stress Urinary Incontinence in Female Athletes”.

In my free time, I enjoy being active outside (especially at the beach) or rooting on my favorite sports teams. I especially love spending time with my husband, Tyler, who is also a physical therapist and clinic director, my two-year-old daughter, Sullivan, and my golden retriever, Zillie. My family is also excitedly awaiting the arrival of a little boy in April!

What influenced your decision to pursue your career field and/or your current position at CPHS? As many physical therapists will state, I grew up playing sports and experienced my fair share of minor injuries, which introduced me to the physical therapy profession. The biggest influence on my decision to pursue physical therapy as a career initially came from the idea of integrating my love for sports with my interest in science and the human body. Additionally, I was inspired by the lack of female presence in the sports medicine personnel in professional sports and was excited to break through the glass ceiling. However, one week in the acute rehabilitation setting with the neurological patient population changed that and I never considered working in sports rehab again.

I was drawn to Campbell’s DPT program due to the desirable class size. With the proliferation of DPT programs in the US, including hybrid programs, a small class size in a residential program where I have the opportunity to establish meaningful relationships with faculty, staff, students, and community members was more than enough to pursue my current position and keep me excited to come to work every day.

What is your day to day like in your current position and what do you enjoy most about what you do? I learned very early on in my career as a clinician that I do not thrive in environments that are routine or predictable. It helps me to stay energized and engaged when every day is different. I think that is why I have loved my position at Campbell so much – every day is different, which keeps me motivated and excited. Some days I’m teaching, some days involve patient care activities with community members, other days are more research-focused, and other days involve department committee meetings.

My favorite parts of my job are my colleagues and our students. I would not have nearly as much fun at work if we did not have the team we have at CU DPT or the students who motivate us to be the best we can for them.

Please tell us about the research you are most proud of: The research I am most proud of is the study I completed for my PhD dissertation, titled “Do Gender-Related Characteristics Impact Female Faculty Career Progression in Academic Doctor of Physical Therapy Programs?” This study explored the experiences of female faculty in DPT programs in the US and if gender, or more specifically any gender-related characteristics such as pregnancy or motherhood, impacts female faculty career progression. The reason I am so proud of this study is that evidence has demonstrated that several challenges disproportionately affect women in academia, but there was no prior research available related to female faculty experiences in academic DPT programs. This study was the first to establish a baseline of female faculty experiences in the physical therapy profession.

My current research projects that I am collaborating with other faculty members are titled “Professional Identity Formation through a Peer Learning, Integrated Clinical Experience” and “Reliability of Physical Therapy Clinicians in Identification of Nystagmus Patterns.”

Please describe any additional accomplishments: Fun fact: My daughter, Sullivan, won the inaugural Camel Crawl at a Campbell basketball game in 2023 and won us free diapers for 6 months! We are convinced that the audience support from DPT students cheered her on to victory!

At Campbell we believe in purposeful lives and meaningful service. What legacy are you leaving in your life / your chosen field? The legacy I want to leave in my life is simple and I try to be intentional about it every day: be a supportive and loving wife, mother, daughter, and sister and demonstrate a life of love, encouragement, and hard work for my children.

The professional legacy I hope to leave is to encourage students and support them in their journey to becoming evidence-based, empathetic physical therapists. Additionally, I hope to facilitate, on various levels, a better understanding of the barriers that professional women face and ways to create more supportive work environments where women can thrive.

Reasons why prospective students should choose Campbell over other Graduate and Professional Schools: Campbell offers a smaller environment where students can build meaningful relationships with fellow classmates, faculty, staff, and the community. Campbell’s emphasis on interprofessional education and a holistic approach to patient care equips students to leave Campbell ready to make an impact in the healthcare setting and community of their choice.

Additional comments: To me, Women’s History Month is an opportunity to reflect on the support for and positive progress of women over time, while also acknowledging the hardships endured and ongoing work required to overcome the gender inequities that women continue to face. Women offer a unique perspective, and increasing our visibility increases our value. This is something I have developed a passion for in both my personal and professional growth. I feel fortunate to have crossed paths with incredible men and women who have been instrumental in supporting my success as a professional and a mother, and Women’s History Month allows me time to relish in my gratitude for those individuals.