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Calling PTs 'Doctor'

Discussion in 'Physical Therapy' started by NewTestament, 01.11.13.

  1. NewTestament

    NewTestament

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    Should physical therapists be called doctors?' In 2015 or so half of all practicing PTs will be DPTs, not PTs. Are PTs upset that recent graduates are called 'doctor' but they aren't? They don't proscribe medicine after all. Personally, I don't want anyone calling me 'doctor.' I didn't earn that title, and I don't consider myself a 'doctor.' I think a doctor is one who understands and studies medicine, not someone who has 'doctor' in his title.

    I'd like to hear what current PTs think.

    Kevin
  2. Jarrodmac10

    Jarrodmac10

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    I'm a student, and once I graduate with my DPT I will be addressed as Dr. XXXXXXXX, Physical Therapist. I'll be a Doctor, not a Physician. I'll have put in seven years of school, earning myself that title. If I'm in an inpatient facility with Physicians then I think Physical Therapist alone is enough, we don't want to confuse patients.
  3. Fiveoboy11

    Fiveoboy11

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    These posts by "pre-PT's" or this or that hopefuls are amusing. I would hope you wouldn't want someone calling you 'doctor' since it seems that you haven't gone through any graduate school culminating in a doctorate? Am I right? The last part of your post is invalid opinion and nothing more. The first part of your post has been babbled on and on numerous times on here so look it up.
  4. Azimuthal

    Azimuthal Ninja Zombie Slayer

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    Kevin, why? This horse has been beat, lol. If I hadn't been keeping up with regular posters, I would have given you a 3/10, lol.

    Class discussion in Professional Practice I?
  5. NewTestament

    NewTestament

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    Nevermind. Sorry I asked. Next...
  6. wrennywren

    wrennywren

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    I have zero desire to be called Doctor when I graduate. That said, I disagree with you. A PT who has graduated with a DPT has most definitely earned the title of doctor. I won't begrudge anyone the desire to be call themselves a doctor, I just don't like it for me (even though i will have earned the title).
  7. Jarrodmac10

    Jarrodmac10

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    :thumbup:
  8. radio frequency

    radio frequency

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    Patients are often so confused anyway, why add to the confusion?

    I'll be a PharmD (similar issues exist in the pharmacy world with the more recent requirement of the PharmD), but definitely don't plan to use the title Dr., and probably won't be calling anybody else with that title Dr. unless they are in an academic setting. Frankly, if my PT insisted I call them doctor, I would probably laugh...not because I don't think they worked hard in school, but because it comes across as so pretentious unless you are an MD or DO!

    Technically, lawyers earn a JD (Juris Doctor), but you'd never hear a lawyer being called Dr. just because they earned it.
  9. Azimuthal

    Azimuthal Ninja Zombie Slayer

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    Thank you Dr. radio frequency! Muahahahaha
  10. Jarrodmac10

    Jarrodmac10

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    :sleep:
  11. Fiveoboy11

    Fiveoboy11

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    Your comments about your own profession's worthyness to call themselves doctor in the clinical setting is invalid let alone the projection onto physical therapy relative to your future profession and law. Didn't the law profession make that decision themselves and isn't it a consensus? You haven't completed your training as a PharmD have you?

    All I see here is brainwashed, invalid and projected crapola.
  12. goyo1010

    goyo1010 Muahahaha

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    How in Buddha's name did this type of thread become resurrected?! There's like one thread exactly like this a bajillion pages long with opinions from current PTs, DCs, MDs, med students, SPTs, etc. including some VERY hateful vitriol from the MDs and med students.
  13. GTT4DPT

    GTT4DPT

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    I think the real issue is chiropractic assistants passing themselves off as actual chiropractors practicing physiotherapy in POPTs. Also finding out which top ranked program will allow me to make $100k+ starting out so I can pay off my loans. Also Obama.
  14. radio frequency

    radio frequency

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    Umm, ok. Surprising responses. I am actually a PT backer; PTs do good work and it's a field I considered myself.

    My question for those upset: how does calling DPTs "doctor" benefit the patient? As I said above, a lot of patients are easily confused. If this is merely a way to stroke your own ego, I don't see the benefit.

    As to the comments about the 'worthiness' of my programs' graduates to call themselves doctor, I do think they are worthy, as are lawyers and DPTs. But what's the reason to use the title?
  15. SpecterGT260

    SpecterGT260 Catdoucheus

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    Oh there is just sooooo much fun to be had with that statement. But I don't think you're serious.


    In terms of the OP, I do have a legitimate question: What is different between the training of DPT and PT? Was it simply decided that since PT was a terminal degree in the field it should be a doctorate or is there tangible differences in training? There is plenty of discussion on the conversion of NP to DNP on our boards for this reason. Most of us (actually all...) don't feel the changes to the curriculum, when they actually exist at all, are sufficient to justify increasing an awarded masters to a doctorate.
  16. SpecterGT260

    SpecterGT260 Catdoucheus

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    The lawyer thing was actually a really good point, but I stayed out of it earlier... but was enticed by the chiropractic comment :laugh:

    To put it plainly, the reason to use the title is not for the patient. The rest of the details can easily be argued but I feel as though anyone arguing that one is being fairly disingenuous
  17. Fiveoboy11

    Fiveoboy11

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    Here's some resources for you if you care to read. It goes into detail regarding your questions.

    http://www.paeaonline.org/index.php?ht=a/GetDocumentAction/i/69169
    http://www.apta.org/PTEducation/Overview/
  18. Fiveoboy11

    Fiveoboy11

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    The public has no idea about the education a PT goes through, likely very similar to a pharmacist. Patient's may be more apt to listen to recommendations. Patient's may understand that PT's don't "just follow a doctors orders" if the PT him/herself introducted self as "Dr. so and so, physical therapist" and therefore less likely to demand "US, HP, massage."

    I've heard the "patient confusion" argument quite a bit. If you're talking about someone with dementia or acutely ill then yes you're right, otherwise most patient's are perfectly capable of understanding DPT vs MD. People act like patient's are some low IQ'd zombies walking around, in reality the vast majority are reasonably adept. Just to clarify, patient's are confused NOW and PT's rarely call themselves doctor.
  19. Litlwarrior08

    Litlwarrior08

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    Hope that was tongue and cheek????
  20. Azimuthal

    Azimuthal Ninja Zombie Slayer

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    Buddha says..."IDK, but it was a poster whose initials are...radio frequency" :D:D:D
  21. Azimuthal

    Azimuthal Ninja Zombie Slayer

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    I don't have an opinion about titles but I do have a question for you. Some MD programs are exploring 3-year programs. Will the graduates be considered doctors? Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the title awarded after graduation? Or is it just Resident? Just curious.
  22. Azimuthal

    Azimuthal Ninja Zombie Slayer

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    This is the best answer yet :D
  23. facetguy

    facetguy

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    Q: When does this ever happen?

    A: Only in your mind.

    How do you get from 'should DPTs be called Doctor' to 'chiropractic assistants masquerading as actual chiropractors'?
  24. facetguy

    facetguy

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    A friend of mine is a PT who is now, years later, finishing his DPT. He has to take a handful of online classes to do it.
  25. facetguy

    facetguy

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    Spec, why do you hurt me like you do?

    ;)
  26. SpecterGT260

    SpecterGT260 Catdoucheus

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    This is going to ruffle feathers but I am of the opinion that no online training is truly capable of conveying a doctorate of any kind. IMO masters level work is the acquisition and ability to handle and reproduce a wealth of knowledge done by other people. Doctoral level work is that, and the subsequent owning of that material and the ability to add to it in a meaningful way. This definition runs into issues with people subdividing knowledge such that the hurdle is easier to overcome, but whatever.


    You like it.
  27. Azimuthal

    Azimuthal Ninja Zombie Slayer

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    A tDPT is not accredited, just an FYI.
  28. facetguy

    facetguy

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    I would think a from-scratch DPT is more complete than a tDPT.

    But either way, DPT seems to be a title that doesn't really confer additional scope, privileges, income potential, etc. over the old title. Of course, additional learning (assuming the DPT program provides this) is a good thing. Whether the additional cost of education is worth it is something the PT profession can argue about; I don't think the rest of the world cares much.
  29. NewTestament

    NewTestament

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  30. GTT4DPT

    GTT4DPT

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    But I spend much of the day inside my mind, so this is a very serious issue for me. I only find relief when I go out of my mind, which can be exhausting.

    -------------------------

    For the record to avoid any future confusion: I was mentioning a conflation of topics that seem to produce many comments but little useful information. My intention was to indicate that this discussion was in that category (though there has been some interesting information posted). I guess my true intention was just to have some fun by being ridiculous, and this gave me an excuse. Where's my verbal irony button? Is this it? :banana: What am I doing? How did I get here?
  31. Azimuthal

    Azimuthal Ninja Zombie Slayer

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    I believe the additional coursework was for a move towards further autonomy. Being given more autonomy w/o additional levels of education is backwards to me.

    The rest of the world doesn't have to care. Through my experiences, people only care about who you are and what you do, when they need you. I do not believe the move to DPT is for social climbing.
    Last edited: 01.18.13
  32. Azimuthal

    Azimuthal Ninja Zombie Slayer

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    This :thumbup:
  33. Azimuthal

    Azimuthal Ninja Zombie Slayer

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    lol...Kevin, who should know the general trend of some of the regulars by now. I can honestly say, I saw that coming. :D
  34. jesspt

    jesspt

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    I don't know why a well designed online program couldn't provide doctoral level education. If I'm pursing my PhD in philosophy, I don't know why I would need to be on campus, particularly with technology that now allows access to any journal article or reference material I might need, as well as the opportunity to converse and vidoeconference with any/all faculty members and peers. But, a purely online program is not likely to be a great way to train people who are pursing clinical degrees.

    And I'd disagree with your definition of doctoral level work, or we have a lot of physicians who aren't doctors. Most clinical practioners I know don't add to the wealth of medical knowledge that they acquired. And, this is certainly not a knock on their clincal accumen.
  35. Fiveoboy11

    Fiveoboy11

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    It takes years to attain additional priviledges and scope, you should know that. The APTA advocates for the same rights for all PT's, not separate for "DPT's." The APTA doesn't run around preaching "we're doctors" every two seconds (at all really) to try and treat the GI system. As I hope you know a DPT is preferred in the military (as are residencies and board certifications -- assuming these programs provide additional learning as you say, or is that just isolated to a DPT for an odd reason?). A DPT is often cited as an acceptable degree for entry into academia. So, in some ways it actually does confer additional job prospects, let alone probably about about a thousand hours more education than a MPT when they were the most common (which was probably already at a doctorate level based on credits and compared to other programs that confer a doctorate).

    It doesn't make sense for the physical therapy profession not to be at a doctorate level as far as I'm concerned, considering the facts. DPT's are confered at institutions that graduate other professionals, it is highly competitive to get into, PT's have added to research for years, the credit load in PT school has for sometime been at a doctorate level.

    I am aware that chiropractic education has been at a doctorate level for some time but isn't it true that those programs are isolated, are easy to get into, contribute little to nothing to research, graduate DC's who have a lofty sense of grandiose achievement that doesn't fit reality? Seems to me that DPT is far more legitimate than a DC.
  36. Fiveoboy11

    Fiveoboy11

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    I think what the previous poster meant was something like:

    Q: Why do chiropractor assistants pose as actual physical therapists that claim to practice physical therapy or physiotherapy?

    A: Because chiropractors tell them they can, and it happens often.
  37. Fiveoboy11

    Fiveoboy11

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    Guess I didn't think of it, my bad
  38. goyo1010

    goyo1010 Muahahaha

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    I was actually confused with that response from the poster. lol
  39. SpecterGT260

    SpecterGT260 Catdoucheus

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    I was not aware of this.... It makes me want to draw a parallel backwards :smuggrin:
  40. NewTestament

    NewTestament

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    I know some, but not all, of the trends on this forum, but I still have to ask, in despair, 'why?'
  41. radio frequency

    radio frequency

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    I'm not sure what to make of you. But I guess I don't care, either.
  42. radio frequency

    radio frequency

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    While these aren't terrible arguments, I don't feel totally convinced. While you are correct that the general public doesn't have any idea what kind of education pharmacists undergo, that almost never stops them from asking questions they should be asking their MD instead. People aren't all walking idiots, but even my well-educated, non-elderly parents seem to believe anybody who works in a hospital is a doctor (the argument often goes something like "but the guy who ran the CT scan machine said this!" "Was he a doctor?" "I don't know...but he seemed really smart!"). It's not that I don't think that patients are smart enough to tell a difference, it's that I don't think they will care to bother.

    Of course, my arguments and your arguments in this are just opinions until there's some type of a study. Somebody must have studied your theory already, I would expect...
  43. facetguy

    facetguy

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    I'm not convinced by this argument. Patients will continue to see you in the context of 'physical therapist' and will either follow your recommendations or not. I don't think it will matter to them that you are Doctor Physical Therapist. In our healthcare system, MDs are the big dogs, and patients will still know that you aren't an MD.

    I'm not saying there's no value in DPT over PT, so don't misunderstand.
  44. SpecterGT260

    SpecterGT260 Catdoucheus

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    You guys act like patients follow physician's orders :smuggrin:

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using SDN Mobile
  45. Fiveoboy11

    Fiveoboy11

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    I agree the majority of patient's won't give a damn who you are or what degree you have. Most care about your ability to convince them of the efficacy of the interventions, the actual improvement of the complaints, how personable you are, etc. I still think there would be a subset of patient's who would be significantly influenced by a DPT vs say a BSPT (i.e. the ones who know little to nothing about the education a PT goes through especially nowadays).

    MD/DO's are the big dogs in the minds of patients and in the medical management of patients, as they should be and deserve. But, PT's are the big dogs in physical therapy regardless of what degree they have. I can attest that many patient's and many physician's do not understand that.

    The fact is, PT transitioned from a certificate to a bachelor's degree to a masters to a doctorate over time. It was a legitimate transition that could've taken place a lot sooner based on credit load alone. The switch to a doctorate was indeed quicker than the switches to the others, but I would argue that the switch to the masters (exclusively) was too slow as there was BS programs up through at least 1999. Also, take into consideration that the DC profession originated in 1895, the first school set up shop in 1897 (palmer) and I'm guessing graduated the first DC's in 1901? How does it make sense for a profession to not exist and then graduate people in a field with a doctorate 6 years later? I'd like to know how that is legit and the progression to a DPT over 100+ years should be questioned?

    The usefulness of a DPT, i.e. "why" : why a DC -- there's many countries that graduate chiropractors with a BS or MS isn't there? why a MD -- there's coutries that graduate MD's with a bachelor's or master's is't there? Why the double standard?
  46. facetguy

    facetguy

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    Why do you think that I think DPTs are a bad idea? I simply said not to expect a whole lot of fanfare from patients because I doubt most of them care whether their PT is a BS, MS or DPT. Since you insist on comparing DCs to DPTs (which I'm not doing, BTW), let me say that I doubt all of my patients know my academic background. I've gotten comments like "Oh, a chiropractor. Do you have to go to school for that?" and "College AND chiropractic school? I had no idea...".

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