Dolphino earns Kathy Johnson Excellence in Clinical Teaching Award

By Greg Peters, communications coordinator
School of Health Professions
Jan. 22, 2014

Martin Dolphino

Martin Dolphino

A clinical instructor working with the departments of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science at both the University of Kansas and Rockhurst University has been awarded the 2013 Kathy Johnson Excellence in Clinical Teaching Award.

Martin Dolphino, DPT, OCS, CMPT, has worked with KU's Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science for more than 10 years as a clinical instructor and guest lecturer. Dolphino serves as a mentor to many in the field of physical therapy. As part of his teaching responsibilities, Dolphino spends six months each year with six doctor of physical therapy students from KU and another six months with students from Rockhurst University.

"My goal with every student is to try to make their time with me the most challenging – but also the most rewarding – clinical of their entire education," he says. "I really enjoy helping students make the links and pull all the various aspects of their learning together in the clinical environment."

The Kathy Johnson Excellence in Clinical Teaching Award is presented annually by the Central Academic Coordinators Consortium, which is made up of directors and coordinators of clinical education from doctor of physical therapy (DPT) and physical therapy assistant programs from Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Illinois, Iowa and Texas. The award recognizes one physical therapist each year for exceptional skill and dedication to educating students.

Dolphino also conducts orthopedic study groups in the Kansas City area for physical therapy graduates. He has presented at KU's sports medicine symposium and is a member of The University of Kansas Hospital's Concussion Team.

In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Dolphino is also the physical therapy manager for KU Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. He has been published in the Foot and Ankle Specialist Journal.  

"I can personally attest to the hours – many outside the clinic on weekend courses, evening study groups or lecture preparations – that Martin has invested in teaching and inspiring DPT students," says Megan Bechtold, DPT, OCS, a member of Dolphino's physical therapy team. "And for that I know he is so very deserving of this award."

Dolphino, who is from the United Kingdom, earned a bachelor of science degree in physical therapy with honors in 1995 from Brunel University in London. He received his doctor of physical therapy degree in 2013 from Des Moines University.

Dolphino credits Bruce Toby, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, and the Department of Orthopedic Surgery for much of his success in achieving the Kathy Johnson Award.

"This award is very special to me," says Dolphino, who received the KU Department of Physical Therapy's Outstanding Clinical Instructor Award in 2009.  "It is very rewarding to know that the time and effort I put into my students is recognized and valued."

Dolphino was nominated for the Kathy Johnson Excellence in Clinical Teaching Award by Ann Decker, academic coordinator of clinical education for the Department of Physical Therapy at Rockhurst University with the support of Yvonne Colgrove, PT, Ph.D., director of clinical education and clinical assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science.

"Martin is a lifelong learner, and his passion for learning is culminated in his teaching," says Colgrove.

As the award recipient, Dolphino has been invited to participate in the American Physical Therapy Association's Education Leadership Workshop in October in Kansas City, Mo. This national meeting focuses on educational issues, including clinical education.

Last modified: Apr 09, 2014