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Melissa Lazinski, PT, DPT, DHSc, OCS

Melissa Lazinski
Associate Professor and Orthopedic Residency Coordinator, Physical Therapy - Tampa
(813) 574-5313


  • Bachelors of Health Science in Physical Therapy, University of Florida (1999)
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy, Regis University (2010)
  • Doctor of Health Science, A.T. Still University (2018)


Dr. Lazinski has been ABPTS Board Certified in Orthopedic Physical Therapy since 2007 and has been an APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor since 2008.  Dr. Lazinski is a 2015 Fellow of the Center for Academic and Professional Excellence (CAPE) of the Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences (PCHCS) at NSU.  She also has training and expertise in vestibular rehabilitation and Pilates instruction.


Courses: Musculoskeletal I, II, (PHTT 6810/L, PHTT 6820/L)

Dr. Lazinski began her teaching career at Nova Southeastern University with the formation of the Tampa DPT program.  Her primary teaching responsibilities are in musculoskeletal courses where her emphasis is on musculoskeletal anatomy and function as well as rehabilitation of musculoskeletal disorders.  Dr. Lazinski enjoys incorporating active learning strategies, media, and web applications in the online portion of her courses to enhance the student learning that occurs at a distance.  During on-campus instruction she uses learning activities such as hands-on practice, guided lab activities, patient case scenarios, role playing, and simulation.

Orthopedic Residency Program

Dr. Lazinski is Coordinator of the Orthopedic Residency Program.  This program has sites in Ft Lauderdale at the NSU Physical Therapy Clinic and near the new Tampa Bay campus at OPPT Palm Harbor.  The Orthopedic Residency Program seeks to engage participants in lifelong learning and evidence-based practice in preparation for becoming a board certified clinical specialist in orthopedic physical therapy.  As Coordinator, Dr Lazinski oversees the operation of the residency program including admitting residents, didactic instruction, clinical mentoring, tracking program outcomes, and maintaining standards set forth by ABPTRFE.  

Scholarly Activities and Interests

Dr Lazinski’s scholarly interest included hybrid format DPT education, instruction of psychomotor skills online, interprofessional education, and simulation. She has published an article entitled Psychomotor skills, physical therapy, and a hybrid course: A case study, which appeared in the Quarterly Review of Distance Education (2018).  As a Fellow of the Center for Academic and Professional Excellence (CAPE) she completed a pilot study in online interprofessional education, and is currently writing a manuscript for dissemination.  Dr. Lazinski is co-investigator of a grant entitled Where does the time go? A work sampling study comparing faculty activities in traditional and hybrid DPT Programs.  Dr. Lazinski has written nine test and measure summaries for hip osteoarthritis for including the Harris hip score, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), 6-minute walk test, self-paced walk test, timed up-and-go test, passive hip internal and external rotation and hip flexion, hip abductor muscle strength test, the FABER (Patrick’s test), and scour test.

Dr Lazinski has presented at state and national conferences on the topics of educational technology, hybrid teaching and learning, and vestibular rehabilitation:

  • Platform copresenter, IPE in a digital world at the Going Deeply Digital, Digital Curriculum Conference (2019)
  • Platform copresenter, Course alignment in a digital curriculum at the Going Deeply Digital, Digital Curriculum Conference (2019)
  • Platform co-presenter, Simulation in a hybrid musculoskeletal physical therapy course: Development, adaptation, and outcomes at the Health Professions Educational Research Symposium (2017)
  • Presentation co-presenter, Why just flip your classroom when you can transform it? The re-design of 3 lecture-based and 3 lab-based courses from traditional to hybrid delivery at the APTA Educational Leadership Conference (2014)
  • Platform co-presenter, Where does the time go? A work sampling study of DPT faculty time at the APTA Combine Sections Meeting (2014)
  • Poster co-presenter, Using Collaborative Web Tools to Achieve Affective and Psychomotor Objectives in Hybrid Physical Therapy Education at the APTA Combined Sections Meeting (2013)
  • Platform presenter, Blogging to create a palpation portfolio: Use of a blog to master psychomotor skills at a distance at the Health Professions Educational Research Symposium (2013)
  • Presentation co-presenter, Let’s Talk Structure, then Function: Vestibular System in Occupations at the Florida Occupational Therapy Association Fall Conference (2012)
  • Presentation co-presenter, 360° of Hybrid Education at the APTA Annual Conference (2012)
  • Submission reviewer for the Strength and Conditioning Journal.

Areas of Practice

Dr. Lazinski has experience in many clinical settings including acute care, skilled nursing, and out-patient.  She also spent several years in a leadership role as an out-patient clinic manager.  Her main area of practice is orthopedics and musculoskeletal physical therapy, but she also has certification and experience treating patients with vestibular dysfunction, balance impairments, and functional limitations due to neurological conditions.  Dr. Lazinski continues to practice pro bono at the Judeo Christian Health Clinic serving under-insured and uninsured people in Tampa, FL.

Professional Activity Summary

Dr. Lazinski is active in the West Central District of the Florida Physical Therapy Association (FPTA).  She has served as an FPTA Assembly Representative for her district since 2010, and served as the Secretary of the West Central District Council for four years from 2013-2017.  Dr. Lazinski has been a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) since 1998 and is a member of the Orthopedic, Education, and Hand and Upper Extremity Academies.  She is also a member of the Residency and Pain Special Interest Groups.

Within the College of Health Care Sciences, Dr. Lazinski is member of the Teaching and Learning Academy, founding Chair of the Executive Council for the Center of Academic and Professional Excellence (CAPE), and CAPE Fellow.  She has delivered faculty development presentations on the topics of hybrid teaching and learning and educational technology to Health Professions Division faculty.  In the Hybrid DPT Program, Dr. Lazinski is the Chair of the Outcomes and Alumni Committee, and a member of the Technology Committee.

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