Lydia A. Thurston
Associate Professor
School of Health Professions
Department of Physical Therapy
Office: 2153 CHS Building 2
Phone: 205-726-4437

Dr. Lydia A. Thurston, PT, DSc, ATC serves as an associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy. Thurston has over two decades of teaching, research, and administrative experience. Her career exemplifies an energetic passion for interprofessional collaboration and a practical understanding of interprofessional concepts. She attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham, receiving her Master’s in Physical Therapy in 2001 and her Doctorate of Science in 2007. She served as the inaugural Director of Clinical Education for the Samford Doctor of Physical Therapy program during the inception of the College of Health Sciences, gaining valuable accreditation experience and establishing productive collaborative relationships. Her expertise includes specialized training in women’s health and burn rehabilitation. She has publications in the areas of orthopedics, pelvic health, interprofessional practice & education, and health behavior. Thurston lives in Birmingham with her husband, Michael, and their two children, along with their bird dog Gyorgia.

Degrees and Certifications

  • D.Sc., physical therapy, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • M.A., physical therapy, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • B.S., exercise science, Auburn University
  • Licensed and Certified Athletic Trainer


  • Professionalism and Interprofessional Concepts
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Integumentary System
  • Clinical Decision Models

Research Topics

  • Functional Outcomes
  • Health Behavior
  • Interprofessional Practice and Education


  • American Physical Therapy Association, Women’s Health & Education Sections
  • Rehab Professional Affairs Healthcare Advisory Committee (Rehab PAHAC)
  • BirthWell Partners Community Doula Project, Board of Directors
  • Alabama Board of Athletic Trainers, Board of Directors
  • National Academies of Practice (NAP), Professional Member
  • Service Guild of Birmingham, Board of Directors