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The Perpetual Learner: Joseph M. McCulloch, Jr., PT, PhD, CWS®, FAPTA

Updated: Feb 6

Dr. McCulloch graduated from the Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University, Program in Physical Therapy in 1972. Following graduation, he was commissioned as a Lieutenant JG in the United States Public Health Service and stationed at the Manhattan Outpatient Clinic. After four years of service, he was transferred to the USPHS Marine Hospital in New Orleans, where he served as Deputy Chief of Physical Therapy. Upon leaving the service in 1979, Dr. McCulloch joined the faculty of the physical therapy program at Louisiana State University and was soon asked to open a branch campus at the Medical Center in Shreveport, LA.

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He rose through the academic ranks to become professor and chair of the Department of Physical Therapy for the Shreveport and New Orleans campuses and later the inaugural Dean of the School of Allied Health Professions at LSU Health in Shreveport. He retired from LSU in 2018, following 38 years of service, and was awarded the distinction of Dean Emeritus.

Dr. McCulloch was originally trained in the management of musculoskeletal conditions, but during his tenure with the US Public Health Service, he developed an affinity for the management of individuals with wounds secondary to vascular compromise and insensitivity. It was his work with individuals with Hansen’s disease, and those with venous insufficiency ulcers, that led him to embark on a research path and clinical specialization in wound management.

In 1996, Dr. McCulloch became one of the first health professionals to obtain multidisciplinary specialization by the then American Academy of Wound Management (now American Board of Wound Management – ABWM). He later served on the board of directors of the ABWM, and for 10 years as the Examination Chair. In 2013, he was appointed the inaugural chairman of Board of Trustees of the ABWM Foundation. Dr. McCulloch remains active in semi-retirement by serving as a faculty member of the University of Montana Physical Therapy Program where he teaches the integumentary content, as well as serving as an adjunct faculty member at the Western Carolina University Program in Physical Therapy. Whenever possible, he enjoys cooking, painting, working in the shop and traveling. He particularly relishes any time he can spend at the family retreat in Flat Rock, NC.

Dr. McCulloch’s Prescription for Success:

Number 1: Follow your passion.

Number 2: Get engaged with your national organizations, and colleagues. Hear about the most recent developments first-hand.

Number 3: Be a Perpetual Learner.

Connect with Dr. McCulloch

Notable quotes from Dr. McCulloch’s interview:

We developed all of these programs that developed over, and this has now become a significant component of practice.
To actually heal a Venus Ulcer via compression… We did the first case study on that.
I’d rather be looking at this from the inside than the outside… Let me stick with it.
You’d be amazed at the quality of questions submitted. They were just horrendous. People, including teachers, just don’t know how to write test questions.
If I can come away from a meeting and say I’ve learned one thing new, then that meeting has been worthwhile for me.
Be a perpetual learner. I just can’t learn enough about things.

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Access the Show Transcript Here

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