Recognitions & Certifications
Annette Willgens, P.T., M.A., Ed.D. is a member of the Alpha Eta National Honor Society. She has also completed the APTA’s Clinical Instructor Education and Credentialing Program and is a Credentialed Clinical Instructor, level I & II. Finally, Willgens was Board Certified as a Pediatric Clinical Specialist for ten years.
Willgens teaches in the Professional Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) Tampa Bay program. Her areas of expertise are in hospital based pediatric rehabilitation and acute care.
Willgens’ philosophy is to walk alongside her students. She enjoys giving them the just-right challenge so that they build confidence with clinical scenarios. As a practicing clinician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Willgens teaches using authentic cases and current research. She teaches across all three years of the D.P.T. program. Her core courses are pediatrics, neuroanatomy/neurophysiology, and cultural competence.
Scholarly Activities and Interests
Willgens’ educational research interests focus on pediatric education/curriculum, congenital muscular torticollis, mindful clinical practice, and student mental health. She has published multiple peer-reviewed manuscripts; written book chapters related to clinical practice and lifestyle medicine; and authored and presented many works at national conferences. Her publication on "Failure in Clinical Education" has been cited extensively in the physical therapy literature.
Areas of Practice
Willgens’ primary practice background is in the area of pediatric physical therapy, where she worked in a variety of settings, including early intervention, acute care, and rehabilitation. She has worked in various roles in the clinical setting including staff PT and Clinical Education Coordinator. In the Academic setting, she held the role of Director of Clinical Education for six years.
Professional Activity Summary
Willgens has been an APTA member since 1989 and is a current member of the pediatric, research, and education sections. Her academic career incorporates experience here in the United States (U.S.) as well as service as the U.S. Clinical PT for the Karachi Down Syndrome Program in Pakistan. As a mindfulness instructor, certified by the University of California School of Medicine, Willgens works hard to address students’ ability to self-regulate and be aware of persistent cycles of stress. As a certified yoga instructor, she often uses movement and mindfulness meditation to begin her classes.