The Sunk Cost Fallacy (A Cerasoli Lecture)

The is the recorded Pauline Cerasoli Lecture delivered at CSM 2017.

Although a younger health profession, physical therapist programs’ admissions, education, and post-graduation strategies have long been driven by traditions, assumptions, and prototypicality. This lecture will focus on many of these traditions by examining contrasts with other health professions and what is advocated within the literature. The lecture will provide suggestions on improving physical therapist programs' admissions, education, and post-graduation strategies and will advocate for a reverse strategy (looking at the successful clinician, then working backwards) in designing educational experiences.


Chad Cook, PT, PhD, MBA, FAAOMPT is a professor at Duke University, the program director of the Doctor of Physical Therapy division with a category A appointment at the Duke Clinical Research Institute. He is a clinical researcher and profession advocate with a long-term history of clinical care excellence and service and 17 years of academic experience. His passions include refining and improving the patient examination process and validating tools used in day-to-day physical therapist practice. He received his BS in Physical Therapy from Maryville University (St. Louis) in 1990 and PhD (2003) from Texas Tech University. Dr. Cook received fellowship status at the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Therapy in 2006. Dr. Cook has published over 200 peer reviewed papers and has keynoted in 6 continents and numerous countries. He has two textbooks in their 2nd edition and a third textbook in its first edition. Dr. Cook has a long-standing history of service roles as an editor-in-chief or associate/special topics editor for multiple journals including JOSPT and BJSM.

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Completion Instructions

Review the presentation, then complete the assessment by clicking on the word "assessment" in the green menu bar to the right. You must obtain at least a 70% score to obtain your CEUs.

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Chad Cook, PT, PhD, MBA

Learning objectives

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Critique the non-cognitive intelligence and cognitive intelligence admissions measures that are used in admissions
  2. Compare and contrast predictors associated with success in an academic program versus success as a professional (in practice)
  3. Recognize and reflect on triggers of career-progression modifiers in an academic and clinical setting
  4. Discuss the most common educational investments that are mainstays of an academic program, which are based on emotional investment, not rational need.


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