Morris “Rick” Beato, assistant clinical professor with the UCF Physical Therapy Program, received the Outstanding Service Award from the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) during the organization’s annual meeting and delegate assembly held in Columbus, Ohio on November 5, 2016.
Over the past year Beato served as item writer for the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE-PT), as a neurology and geriatric content expert on the Item Bank Review Committee and Exam Development Committee of the National Physical Therapy Assistant Exam (NPTE-PTA), and as a member of the TOEFL Standard Setting Task Forces for the National Physical Therapy and Physical Therapy Assistant Exams.
In addition to his involvement in entry level physical therapy and physical therapy assistant exam development, Beato also volunteers his knowledge and expertise to developing questions for physical therapy geriatric and neurology board specialty exams. He currently holds appointments to the Geriatric Specialty Council of the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties and to the Neurologic Certified Specialist Committee of the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy.
Beato has been volunteering with FSBPT for three years. Some of his former classmates from graduate school were item writers, and they encouraged him to write questions for the Physical Therapy Exam because of his involvement with the Geriatric Board Specialty Exam. He started writing for the NPTE and was shortly thereafter nominated by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) to the NPTE-PTA Exam Development Committee of the FSBPT.
In physical therapy school Beato loved neurology. His goal was to work with stroke patients. His clinical rotations included working in a spinal cord injury rehabilitation hospital and a cerebral palsy center. When he started working with older adults in skilled nursing facilities, however, he learned that geriatric physical therapy was his calling – one of the things he was meant to do in life.
When asked about his participation in exam development, Beato said, “I love being a physical therapist, and being active in the exam development portion at the FSBPT is a way for me to give back to the profession that has given me so much.” He also said that being recognized by his peers who share the same passion and commitment to patients that he does is a great honor and especially meaningful.
As a full time assistant clinical professor, Beato tries to instill in his students that physical therapy is more than a job – it is a profession; a gift they will share with their patients. He wants the students to be active learners well after graduation because to do less would be a disservice to the patients they serve.