T Nation

Going to School for Physical Therapy


Quick question guys...anyone here a PT or PTA? Thinking about getting back into school to at least get an ass. degree for PTA and then pursuing a bachelor's after I would be able to get a job as PTA. Any advice, thoughts, etc?


My cousin's wife is a PT with her master's. She's considering going back to school to get her Doctorate in PT, DPT, because apparently that is becoming the industry standard more and more. So it's worth noting that if you choose this route, you'll likely want to be in school for a lot longer than just getting your bachelors


I believe you don't need a bachelors to be a PTA. There are programs at community colleges to become a PTA. Unless you want to be at school for a long time, i would stay a PTA.


How old are you? Do you have a 4.0 and many, many recommendations and other credentialing? PT school is harder to get into than Med school. PTA not so much.


It is also like this in CA


THIS is the truth! I applied to PT schools for 2011 acceptance. I applied to 11 (ELEVEN!!) schools with decent grades and over 400 internship hours and got an interview (and luckily accepted) into ONE. Competition for PT school ridiculous... roughly 30 spots for several hundred applications


The competition for PT spots in Canada is similar to what is being described here - very fierce. It's not as difficult as getting into med school, but it's damned close. Upon graduation you'll be starting in the high 50k range, whereas a doctor would be starting in the low 100k range. I know a couple PTs who do fairly well for themselves, but a big part of this is from $1500 custom knee braces (DJO, Ossur, Bregg, etc), foot orthotics and compression stockings.


I too am looking to become q physical therapist. After the age of 21 most schools won't look at your high school grades being you are a mature person at that point to them. I'm am taking the human kinetic bachelor route in becoming a PT. Also I've noticed that a lot of these PT programs really look at your final two years in your HKIN bachelors. Must get a B+ or higher to be even looked at. Also look into what exactly the programs want from you with regards to classes. I heard stories of people applying and not knowing that they needed Chem 12.


My wife is a PT in NC and absolutely loves it. She has been a PT almost 8 years and has worked at hospitals, private practices and done home health. When applying for grad school she did not have a 4.0 (high 3s) but did have something like 2,000 volunteer hours at PT clinics, so she pretty much had experience that few others already had. It is a wonderful profession to get into with good salary, sign on bonuses, travel expenses, career advancement etc. and I would encourage anyone that is interested to go for it!

I am not sure about the "harder to get into than MD school" but I know it was harder than I thought it would be. I think she went to at least 3 narrow down interviews (160 applicants down to 80 down to 40 etc). She has her masters from UNC Chapel Hill and at that time it was one of the top ranked PT schools in the nation. She is considering getting her DPT but it would be hard with two small children, so we will see.

Just do us all a favor and be one of the PTs who actually cares if the patient gets better or not. Since my wife has become a PT we have seen/met so many who just go through the paces or treat every patient the same way (I know every profession has these people it just really bothers us to see it so often).

Just a PT spouse's take.