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2018 Clinical Educator Award

Grady Health System's Chitika 'An Ideal Role Model'
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After 26 years, Pam Chitika 92MPT still loves her teaching role at Atlanta’s Grady Health System.

Excellent communicator. Ideal role model. Exemplar of excellence. Those are just a few comments that Emory physical therapy students had for Grady Health System’s Coordinator of Clinical Education Pam Chitika, the 2018 recipient of the Emory Division of Physical Therapy’s Clinical Educator of the Year Award.

Chitika, who earned her master’s in physical therapy at Emory in 1992, joined Atlanta’s 640-bed safety net hospital in 1992 with the intention of staying for two or three years while figuring out where she wanted to specialize. Twenty-six years later, she continues to love the teaching environment at Grady, serving as a generalist who specializes in everything. She especially enjoys working with two Emory physical therapy students a year for 10 weeks.

“It really is an honor to get to work with these students who have been taught by some incredible folks at Emory,” said Chitika. “They may not have the clinical experience, but they are as sharp as you can get, and they know their research so it’s a really nice combination.”

While Chitika loves investing in the next generation of physical therapists, she insists that she benefits just as much professionally.

“I have the anecdotal knowledge that I’ve learned and absorbed over the years, but I get to run that by someone who is in that environment where they are critically analyzing everything they see and do, and it keeps you sharp,” Chitika explained. One Emory student who completed training at Grady offered a glowing assessment of Chitika.

“She remained open minded and allowed me to express my thoughts and impressions, while also guiding me to think more critically.”

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