The Department of Physical and Occupational Therapy Services at Massachusetts General Hospital has a rich history in the area of clinical education.

The clinical education program involves over 200 students per year who participate in a wide range of experiences including:

  • Pre-professional exercise science internships
  • Integrated and full time professional experiences
  • Interprofessional Training

At each level, the goal is to provide an experience that is grounded in the Mass General hospital mission, departmental values and the essential elements of safe, effective and high quality care for patients. The role of clinical instructor is valued by staff and training is provided to assure that individuals have the skills to both effectively treat patients and support the evolving educational needs of students. Students can expect to be challenged throughout these experiences with the goal of preparing them to meet patient needs within a complex and changing health care environment.

Educational Opportunities


Mass General Patient Care Services and the MGH Institute of Health Professions (IHP) have collaborated in the development of a clinical experience that focuses on the development of interprofessional skills using competencies developed by the Interprofessional Educational Collaborative (IPEC)

  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Communication
  • Teams and Teamwork
  • Values and Ethics

Interprofessional pairs of students from the disciplines of Nursing, PT, OT, SLP, PA and Medicine work with a Mass General-trained interprofessional instructor who guides an intensive exposure to the interdisciplinary aspects of care delivery. The goal is to lay a strong foundation for understanding of collaborative practice.


The department provides progressive clinical education experiences as follows:

Level I Integrated Clinical Experiences
These experiences occur concurrently with academic coursework across a semester. Students work in pairs with a clinical instructor, applying skills and carrying out components of care that they are learning in the classroom
Level II Full Time Clinical Education
These full time 12-week experiences occur after the completion of all academic coursework. Over their experience, students work to meet progressive levels of skill, independence and productivity that are outlined and reviewed on a weekly basis.
Advanced Doctoral Experiences (ADE)
The final semester of a growing number of DOT programs includes completion of an Advanced Doctoral Experience (ADE). The goal of the ADE is to support students in developing advanced skills in one or more areas of focus including research, advanced clinical expertise, community program development, teaching and advocacy. In advance of the ADE, students identify a topic of interest and, along with academic and clinical faculty, develop a proposal and implementation plan that can be carried out over the course of the ADE semester.
Incoming Students and Observers

Incoming Students

If you are an incoming full-time, part-time or exercise science student please click here for more information regarding your assignment.

If you are not an assigned student, but would like to be, clinical placements at MGH require a contractual arrangement between the academic institution and Mass General. Presently, we are not able to expand our contract network to new programs.


As part of our departmental education mission, we offer opportunities for individuals in career exploration in the disciplines of Physical and Occupational Therapy to observe the work of our staff in the clinical setting. The goals, structures and application process for the program are included in the information below.

This program is open to individuals who are considering a career in PT or OT who are at least 16 years of age and a junior in high school. The program is not available to individuals who are already enrolled in the professional portion of a PT or OT program. Observation experiences are available on select weekdays only. The program is not available on weekends, evenings or holidays.

Observer Goals & Process (PDF) >

Observer Forms: