By Kate Hunger
When Martha Acosta, Ph.D., PT, GCS, assistant professor discusses her goals for her students, she emphasizes her hope that they will genuinely care for their patients.
"I would like to have them treat patients as if they are someone very special to them," she said. "You want the best person around to work with your loved one."
Acosta's talent for teaching led to her selection as one of the 2018 Presidential Award winners announced last month by UT Health San Antonio President William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP. She was selected in the Teaching Excellence category and will receive a cash award and plaque at a dinner honoring the award winners on March 1.
"I was very excited and very thrilled," she said of her reaction to news of her selection for the award.
Acosta, who joined the faculty of the Department of Physical Therapy in 2007, bolsters her teaching with clinical examples to help her students grasp the responsibility they will have in their practice.
"I am really trying to empower students to understand the responsibility they have to be a competent health care provider, to become lifelong learners, and to feel compassion," she said.
Although Acosta has worked with all age groups in 35 years of clinical practice, geriatrics holds a special place in her heart.
"I always was interested in trying to improve the quality of life for the older adults," she said. "I feel like they are a walking history book. I love to hear the stories they tell."