Rupal M. Patel, PT, PhD

A headshot of Rupal Patel

Texas Woman’s physical therapy professor and alumna Rupal M. Patel, PT, PhD, attributes her servant’s heart with growing up in India and the values she inherited from her parents when immigrating to the United States. These values now drive Patel to give back to the physical therapy profession and her doctor of physical therapy (DPT) students on TWU’s Houston campus.

Patel has 30 years of involvement with the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). She first joined APTA as a student and has stayed involved in some capacity over the years, including leadership positions at the local, state, academy and national levels.

"I believe that it is my responsibility and duty to serve and give back to the profession that has given so much to me," says Patel. "I had tremendous role models who were servant leaders who inspired and encouraged me to get involved back then."

I believe that it is my responsibility and duty to serve and give back to the profession that has given so much to me.

Patel is currently serving a three-year term as an elected member of the APTA Nominating Committee and an elected delegate-at-large from Texas to the APTA House of Delegates. Patel also holds leadership positions within other components of the APTA, including:

Through APTA, Patel advocates for health policies at the federal level and direct access to physical therapy services in Texas. Patel states that a lack of access to physical therapists leads to poor health outcomes and higher healthcare costs for all, especially for people with musculoskeletal problems such as lower back or chronic pain. These conditions are highly common and manageable with physical therapy services. 

TWU has always supported my participation in professional organizations by giving me the autonomy and flexibility to follow my passions.

Patel credits TWU’s support in her ability to engage in leadership roles within the APTA. "TWU has always supported my participation in professional organizations by giving me the autonomy and flexibility to follow my passions," says Patel.

Patel passes down her passion for professional service to her DPT students. She shares information on ways they can participate as students in the various levels of the APTA, serves as faculty advisor for the National Advocacy Dinners coordinated by TWU DPT students and the APTA Student Assembly and mentors students interested in leadership roles.

"I love that our PT faculty is committed to supporting students' professional development by encouraging involvement in professional organizations with flexible class scheduling and assignments," says Patel. "We need our students to become involved now, so they can lead us in the 21st century."

I love that our PT faculty is committed to supporting students’ professional development by encouraging involvement in professional organizations with flexible class scheduling and assignments. We need our students to become involved now, so they can lead us in the 21st century.

Page last updated 8:46 AM, April 29, 2019