05-09-2008, 11:37 AM
View Full Version : Wow, surpised by some comments here
05-09-2008, 11:37 AM
05-09-2008, 04:25 PM
i can't wait to hear the responses you get.
if you search the forum, i too have made posts about how discouraging this forum, and others, have been in regards to my career decision. most of the negative comments you will find here come from people who have moved on to something "better", so i'm curious to see, as you asked, why they got involved in the first place. like you said, salary information is readily available and observation hours are required to even apply to PT programs.
05-09-2008, 04:44 PM
Danae00, hey there. we are in a similar situation althought I do not make $100K, but sure have had a decent job. PT is also something that I am trying to get in right now. Just want to give you a headsup, you must be fully determined that this is what you wanted and you would do anything to get it. Get ready for a tough ride for the career change. the PT school has become much more competitive now days. When I first applied for 2008 admission, I was very confident that I would get in. but here I am, being placed on waiting list for all 3 schools. Disencouraged as I am. although, once in a while I would wonder did I make the right decision and if my sacrifice of giving up a good pay job was worth well. I would suggest that take time to make decision, and once you know for sure, be mentally prepared for whatever is coming your way. Sometimes, things don't always work out exactly we planned. I think I was a little idealistic when I quit my job, surely underestimated the chanllenges of getting into a PT school. That's probably the reason why that I got hit pretty hard with this unexpected result. Don't make the same mistakes I made. ^________^ Got yourself mentally prepared for the best and the worst result. I still believe that if this is truly your dream, you will get it not matter how long and how hard it might take. Just got to be stay positive ans strong in times of things do not work in your favor. Best of Luck!!!
05-09-2008, 05:02 PM
First, I think PT is a great field. I would imagine there is an unrepresentative number of unhappy PTs because they wanted to go to medschool, came to this forum as a premed during the application process and stumbled upon the therapy section. At least that is what happened for me.
I basically fell into therapy after undergrad. I had hit a very hard patch in my life and a friend of mine introduced me to an occupational therapist in his family who got the wheels in my head turning. I completed the volunteering, GRE in about two months, and went to Ohio State without 6 of the prereqs on the hope that they would still consider me if I completed everything before the program started. During school, I liked the science portion of the curriculum, but just wasn't excited about the clinical aspects. After graduating, I quickly decided that I wanted to go back to med school, and hit the ground running while working mainly PRN and contract work in almost every type of setting.
Not to get too religious, but I honestly felt called into medicine, however the area I want, orthopedics, would not have been a goal had it not been for my experiences in PT. I think that by being in the trenches of PT, while not being overly excited about the work, will make me that much better of an orthopedist some day because I will have a better insight into what my patients will be experiencing outside of the limited time they have with me. It has been a real "everything happens for a reason" type of experience.
05-09-2008, 06:01 PM
My first career was as an OT. I think that rehab is an extraordinary experience, and can comprehend why you love it.
I left OT for specific reasons that I feel medical school/medicine could address. I admit to quickly criticizing things that I see as irrational or poorly thought-out in rehab, but also do the same in medicine (and politics and sports, etc). I, however, cannot deny that rehab is an extremely rewarding and fulfilling experience.
I wish you the best of luck in your pursuits.
05-09-2008, 06:23 PM
05-09-2008, 07:42 PM
That makes a lot of sense. I didn't really account for all the pre-med students who may have went into PT as a backup.
I actually meant PTs who decided they want to go back to med school may have an unfavorable view of the profession and there's more of them here than on a strictly PT forum. Sorry if that wasn't clear from my post. I actually doubt many people set on medicine use PT as a back-up, since the two have very different scopes of practice.
05-12-2008, 10:02 PM
There seems to be a lot of negativity surrounding the PT profession. Salary seems to be a common complaint coming from practicing PTs and there seems to be a lot of recommendations to "go to med school" as well.
I guess I just don't understand this viewpoint. Salary is one of the easiest things to research before getting into school. Anyone applying has to know that, yes, PTs don't make a lot. It is also a difficult program to get into and I understand that the classes themselves aren't exactly a cake-walk either. So really, the only reason I can see that one would get into this field in the first place is because they are passionate about it. If you wanted a ton of money, or if you were interested in medical school, why would PT be even a consideration?
Anyways, my situation: I'm currently 29, and am already making close to $100K in my current profession (non-medical related) and have had job offers for more. I'm nowhere near the salary limitations of my profession, and I would be suprised if I wasn't making $140K+ in 5 years time.
But I'm planning on going back to school in a PT program in 2009, knowing full well that I may need to incur some debt and that I'll likely only be making $65k when I'm done. Why? Because while making a lot of money has its perks, it doesn't make up for the fact that I do not love my career. In fact, I don't really even like it. I am very very good at it, but I will never find it personally fulfilling.
But PT *is* something I'm passionate about. I currently volunteer assisting with PT and OT programs for the severly disabled, and I love it. Really really love it. And the thought that I could actually be paid for doing something that I love so much is just mind-blowing. Wow. $65K isn't exactly a ton of money (esp. coming from $100K), it is still a livable wage even within a single income household. Dual income? You're laughing.
So for those somewhat bitter PTs out there, did you ever have this deep passion for the field? If so, when did you lose it? Why? And if you didn't have this passion, why did you go into PT in the first place? Was this your first career right out of school?
I'm just trying to understand the negative sentiment on this board.
You can make $100K with a private practice, but I did not go into PT to become a business person. I know a PT who sold her three clinics to a large PT owned practice (more like a small corporation) as reimbursement was hitting her bottom line and they provided an offer she could not refuse. Yet, she stopped practicing PT after opening her 2nd clinic, so she got into PT for more of the business than actual practice.
In the end, it will depend where end up practicing. Some areas of the country are heavily controlled by HMO's or PPO's or by corporations (such as HCA/HealthOne, where I live). For me, the change to another profession is I got tired of supervising ex programs (Yes, I was very passionate about PT volunteering over 1000 hours prior to PT school in a variety of settings which was a bonus to every school I applied to). Only a small fraction of my patients require manual techniques, so I like the idea of using my hands in the treatment of my patients, albeit in a very, very small cavity. Plus, I don't want to wait until my retirement years for PT's to become autonomous. I feel it will take another 10-15 years for change to finally occur. Getting all 50 states to recognize direct access is just one step in the process that also includes the fight with insurance companies for reimbursement. I don't plan on hanging up my PT license when I become a DDS/DMD. I do plan on keeping my license up to date which includes attending CEU's per my state licensure requirement. I think some of the sentiment (at least partly for me) is dealing with the BS you get from some MD's/DO's and the hard work you put in at the clinic with little appreciation (not necessarily salary). I mean I know CNA's making as much as PT's which is completely ridiculous!
Well I hope you the best in your quest into PT. It is a great profession. I do have some disagreements with the APTA's vision, but that is another discussion in itself.
05-13-2008, 11:37 PM
05-20-2008, 06:49 PM
Thanks for your input! Having done a bit more reading, it seems that the situation for PTs in the US is a bit different than it is up here in Canada. We have direct access, most company health plans (at last in my experience) don't require a medical referal for PT, etc.
Not saying that everything is roses and puppy dogs up here. It just seems that many of the complaints I'm hearing are US specific. At least that's my theory, and I'm sticking to it ;)
Hey great to hear you are so passionate about PT. I am a new PT grad from Canada. A lot of the negativity on the forum is probably from US PTs who left PT because they wanted to be MDs which is fine. In Canada PT is actually a pretty decent investment. You can get your education for about 16k. Starting salaries range anywhere from 60-75k depending on where you work and how many hours (private out-patient and homecare is on the higher side while hospital salaries are on the lower but with good benifits). Here with PT how much money you make comes down to where you are willing to work and how many hours you are willing to work. I know several PTs who own clinics and pull in well over 120k a year you just have to find the right location. Also I know PTs who about 2-3 years after graduation are doing homecare 50 dollars per visit/hour working about 50 hours a week and are pulling in 120k a year. If you dont want to do homecare or have the headaches of owning a business you can still make between 80-100k in a few years through profit sharing working at an out-patient clinic. So....you can make a good living and still enjoy what you are doing with PT.