Affiliated Faculty Spotlight: Don Sokolski, MS, PT

Don Sokolski, MS PT, has been an essential member of the teaching team in the UCSF/SFSU DPT curriculum since 1994. He is the Course Director for PT 720 Cardiopulmonary Pathokinesiology, where he teaches the students a problem-solving approach to the evaluation and treatment of patients with cardiopulmonary dysfunctions.

Don graduated with his MS in Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California in 1984 and began working for Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco the same year. His mentor in the cardiac rehabilitation program at Kaiser was the Cardiac Clinical Specialist there, and when he left in in 1988, Don was promoted into his position. Don has a special research interest in exercise training for individuals suffering from cardiomyopathy and heart failure. Over the years at Kaiser, he has served in many roles, including Inpatient Physical Therapy Coordinator, both inpatient and outpatient management of patients with cardiopulmonary disease, performing diagnostic treadmill tests, and providing clinical education and staff development.

In addition to all this, Don began teaching in 1992 at Samuel Merritt University. Fortunately for us, he joined the UCSF/SFSU DPT faculty as a Lecturer and Course Director in 1994, and since then has taught well over 500 students in our program. Feedback is overwhelmingly positive about his teaching and his course, and some comments include: “[Don is] highly engaging, funny, and lively without taking away from content,” and “I can see the concepts taught in the class being used throughout my career and I am very thankful that this class was part of the curriculum”, as well as "Don was so awesome! He made everything so clear and concise.”

In his free time, Don enjoys hiking and communing with nature. He is also a musician and song-writer, and writes PT-oriented parody words to “mostly recognizable tunes.” Watch Don and bandmates, including PT alumnus Jeff Engstrom, here.

We are fortunate and grateful to have Don as a member of our Affiliated Faculty, sharing his expertise and humor with our students! Thank you, Don, for all that you do!
-- Betty Smoot