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8 Questions for a Faculty Member

Dan Malone, PT, PhD

Why did you become a PT?
I blew my ACL in 9th grade during football.  They opted not to repair it because I was still growing, but I did a little PT and it got me interested in physical therapy as a career.  I went to college at Pittsburg and did an exercise science degree and then moved back to Philadelphia and was part of the first physical therapy master’s degree class at Temple. 

Why do you teach?
I have always enjoyed teaching.  On a good day in the hospital setting, I’m treating 8-10 patients a day.  If I teach 60 students in a day, and they go out and treat 10 patients a day, that’s 600 people I’ve had an impact on.  

What is your favorite part about teaching?
Working with the students and the energy engagement from them.  The greatest compliment that a student ever gave me is that they said they never thought they would have the desire to work with acutely ill people or in a hospital setting, but now they are open to it because of my influence.  That was pretty cool.

How would your students describe you?
I hope they would say that I’m energetic and passionate about what I do. 

What advice would you give to incoming students?
Be prepared for a lot of work, but it is work with a purpose.  Your career in physical therapy will be very fulfilling and it’s a great career choice.  And don’t be surprised if your career path takes a lot of twists and turns.  That’s okay!  

Why do you do research?
I completed my PhD because I was working in the ICU and I wanted to have a better understanding of critical illness and different pathologies that I was seeing every day.  

What is you area of study?
I’m looking at recovery from PICS (post intensive care syndrome).  ICU level care and technology has vastly improved and more people are surviving critical illnesses.  What we’re realizing is that people who do survive have weakness, functional deficits, mental and cognitive issues, including anxiety, depression, PTSD. I’m looking at the effect that rehabilitation has on these individuals. 

What do you like to do in your free time?
I’m a ridiculous Philadelphia sports fan.  You can take the boy out of Philadelphia but you can’t take Philadelphia out of the boy.  And I very much enjoy music, which most of my colleagues know because there’s always sound emanating from my office.