Clinical Associate Professor, Director of Clinical Education

Dr. Smith is a clinical associate professor who serves as the Director of Clinical Education and is a board certified geriatric specialist. Dr. Smith combines her identity as a clinician with her passion for clinical education and management in her current role as Director of Clinical Education. In this position, she takes a leading role in connecting the clinical community with opportunities for students in Vermont, New England and across the country. She organizes programs to ensure that students are developing strong clinical skills and professionalism while they are working in internships. Paula communicates regularly with partnering clinics to evaluate the progress of students in clinical education. Her areas of practice are acute care, geriatrics, and orthopedics, while her research interests include clinical education, entry level employment, and community outreach in geriatrics. Paula has been active in clinical education at all stages of her career and is privileged to support the professional development of students.

Associations and Affiliations

  • American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
  • Vermont APTA
  • APTA Health Policy and Administration Section
  • APTA Academy of Physical Therapy Education (APTE)
  • APTE Clinical Education Special Interest Group (CESIG)
  • New England Consortium of Clinical Educators
  • National Consortium of Clinical Educators (NCCE)
  • APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor Trainer
  • ACAPT Leadership Summit Planning Subgroup Chair
  • Vermont Office of Professional Regulations Physical Therapy Advisor
Paula Smith, D.P.T.

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Analysis of structured clinical education in transition to workplace, service learning to engage student learning in geriatrics, leadership in D.P.T. education


  • D.P.T.; Virginia Commonwealth University
  • M.S., Administrative Science; Johns Hopkins University
  • B.S., Physical Therapy; University of Vermont


Courses Taught

Dr Smith has a special interest in interprofessional practice and patient simulations.

  • DPT 401 – Health Systems - Policy
  • DPT 415- Psychosocial Aspects of Health and Well Being
  • DPT 451 – Professional Formation and Leadership II
  • DPT 427-Integumentary, Endocrine and Multisystem Management
  • DPT 452- Professional Formation and Leadership III
  • DPT 413 – Movement System III
  • DPT 460 - Clinical Education Experience I
  • DPT 461, 462 - Clinical Education Experience II
  • DPT 463- Clinical Education Experience III