The Relationship Between Professionalism and Leadership: Parent-Child or Sibling?

Academic Article


  • Professionalism has been the foundation of physical therapy's contract with society, with the American Physical Therapy Association's (APTA) Core Values and Code of Ethics serving as its building blocks. Professional formation has focused on professionalism and has been taught in a manner that is more implicit than explicit in doctor of physical therapy (DPT) curricula. As a domain of competence, professionalism alone has not been broad enough to meet societal needs. In reaching our centennial year, many have reflected on what competencies are needed to move forward. The need for leadership competencies is not new and has been espoused by our leaders over the past 100¬†years. Some advocate for the adoption of leadership as a unique domain of competence, separate from the domain of professionalism, whereas others propose that either professionalism or leadership is one domain of competence that subsumes the other. The purpose of this Perspective is twofold: to compare and contrast the concepts of professionalism and leadership, and to make recommendations regarding what constitutes domains of competence within the professional formation of physical therapists. This Perspective offers recommendations addressing professional formation and the adoption of leadership and professionalism as 2 distinct domains of competence and discusses educational and clinical implications of the recommendations. This Perspective asserts that these recommendations must be adopted to move the profession forward into the next century so that physical therapists are recognized as adding value to the health care system and the evolving needs of society.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Physical Therapy  Journal
  • Keywords

  • Domain of Competence, Education: Competency-Based, Leadership, Professional Formation, Professional Identity Formation, Professionalism, Curriculum, Humans, Leadership, Parent-Child Relations, Professionalism, Siblings
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Clark D; Wainwright S; Tschoepe BA; Green-Wilson J; Sebelski C; Zeigler S; McGinnis P
  • Volume

  • 102
  • Issue

  • 9