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kmacPTATC

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I am starting this Fall and would appreciate any feedback about school and how prepared you are (were) for the first two years. Thanks.
 

MSHARO

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I am in the same boat as you are. I'm an ATC, PT in Indianapolis and I am starting at Indiana Univeristy this fall. I thought that I was the only crazy one going back after all of this!
 

Seaglass

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A fourth year classmate of mine was a PT before going to school. IIRC he didn't feel that being a PT gave him a big edge, even in anatomy, but perhaps it was just him.

Casey
 
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gims

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Hi guys, thought I would chime in. I am a 4th year med student, graduating soon and going into general surgery (I'll find out where two weeks from tomorrow!). I originally was an accountant for two years, then hated it, took 2 years of science classes, and then went on to get my masters in Physical Therapy from MCP Hahnemann. But during grad school, I found I was fascinated with the anatomy and the interventionalist nature of surgery (I got to scrub a couple of heart valves so I could see the trauma the pts went through, before I got them up to ambulate the very next a.m.) I also found a deep desire to be the one driving the ship - doing the surgeries - not just rehabbing the pts afterwards. So I put my money (actually my wife's money) where my big mouth is, and took organic chem at night, studied my ass off for the MCAT during my last year of grad school, and got my acceptance. I took an extra six months off and practiced PT at a local sports rehab place, then went straight into med school. It's been a *long* haul :) but I couldn't be happier and my family (wife, kid, parents, inlaws) are in total support so all is cool.

That being said, I felt that because of PT school I was quite ahead of the game for Gross Anatomy & Neuroanatomy, and most of Physiology, except for the gut stuff (which I now love the most - I actually am quite disinterested in the musculoskeletal system nowadays). I often would lead study sessions / tutor / etc. However, nothing's for free :) , so of course all of Histology, Embryology, Pathology, Biochemistry, Genetics, and Microbiology were completely Greek to me, and I definitely felt behind the 8-ball in these areas compared to the other "science-type" folks.

Most of all, however, I felt that I was light-years ahead of my classmates in patient interaction skills. This has actually been pointed out to me repeatedly on my rotations. Yes I am a bit older, but I don't think it was because of age - I think that physical therapists have an inherent positive and motivating quality that brings out the best in their patients even under the most adverse, tenuous, even terminal disease processes. Even now I never leave a patient's room until I've gotten a smile out of them and told them to hang in there. And I always love giving patients anatomy lessons relevant to their disease process, or interpreting what the attending just told them in English :)

Funny, I thought I was the only one crazy enough to go back to school (twice), especially for surgery - it's great to know there are other PT's who wanted to be more proactive in directing their patients' care. Let me know if I can be of help to any of you - good luck and take care.
 

Skialta

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I am a MSI and have been a PT since 1996. It took me a while to finally decide to go back and take ochem and the MCAT. Boy am I glad that is over with. I really don't think you will be all that much ahead, even with anatomy. Sure you will know a lot of things that the other students won't, but it doesn't seem to matter much. In med school we did upper and lower extremities in 3 weeks including disection (that was 6 to 8 weeks in PT school). I think you will definitely shine when it comes to patient interaction and in just general knowledge of medical problems. Funny, I want to do general surgery also, I have really no interest in ortho at all. Good Luck
 

MSHARO

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In my situation I unfortunately didn't start thinking about med school until my senior year in undergrad. At that time I had already been accepted to PT school and I still needed to take O-chem. I decided that if at the end of PT school I still wanted to go, I would bite the bullet, take O-chem and the MCAT and go for it.

It was definately tough trying to work full time and take O-chem in the evening and study for the MCAT. But now that all of that is over I can't wait to start. So 2 years out of PT school and 5 years as and ATC, I am headed back with ortho definately on my mind! Even though my wife is dreading the next 10 years! I just have to find a way to tell everyone at work t what is going on..... How have/did you guys do it and how did your coworkers react?

I am kind of an anatomy freak and I tutored it in grad school some, so I think that it will help me out there Plus, 10 years of daily patient interaction can't hurt in the clinical years. Having friends that have gone through med school, they seem to think that it will also help with pathophys and neuro stuff, but I too am going to be behind when it comes tohistology, biochem, etc. Good luck to all and it is great to see I'm not the only one.
 

kmacPTATC

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I am shifting gears. I have worked as an ATC and/or PT for 13 years ( Do the math...I am one of those OLD premeds). Med school was always in my mind. I started getting serious about it three years ago and now my dream has become a reality. I am having some misgivings about leaving behind a job that I really love and pays very well, but I know this is the right time. I am very nervous about biochem. :scared: Thanks for your input.
 

MSHARO

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I know an orthopod in St. Louis who had a similar experience to you. He was the head ATC at Univ of Colorado and West Virginia and he decided to go back to med school at ~32 when he was married and had a couple kids. He now has a very successful practice out there and says he doesn't regret his decision at all.

It was a very tough decision for me as well. I agonized over it all throughout grad school. I just made sure that I talked to everyone that I could who had similar experiences. Now that I made the decision, I am sure I made the right one. I can't wait for August. As for the pay....my wife is prob. more concerned about the paycheck ending here pretty soon more than I am! Oh well.....more student loans I guess.

I am also worried about biochem, as well genetics. Talking to some friends, they say get one of the board review books and go over that. It should be a good review for med school and for what you'll really need. I am going to start going through that this summer.
 

Skialta

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My genetics and biochem finals are next week, I can't wait to have it over. My co-workers and rehab coordinator were suprisingly supportive of my decision to go back to school. I had a lot of PTs I knew tell me they wish they could do it, and I had a few tell me I was crazy. I was pretty successful also and have had to make some serious lifestyle changes, but it is worth it. I think it is harder on my wife than on me. So I assume you guys all went allopathic over DO, what factored into your decision?
 

kmacPTATC

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Location and cost. I love ostopathic techniques, in PT circles it is "manual therapy" ;) but the tuition played a role in my decision. I was actually encouraged to apply to DO schools by my boss, an MD. But it worked out and I got into a top notch allopathic program. I could not be happier. As soon as I found out I canceled my other interviews.
 

MSHARO

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Yeah, I pretty much knew that I wanted to go allopathic from the start. Some of this was cost and location, however I am not much into manual therapy techniques so I knew I wouldn't be into OMM either. This is probably due to my background and the schools I've attended. Nothing really against DO's or osteopathic school, but it just isn't my thing. Actually my father-in-law is a fairly well known DO, and he told me to go allopathic as well. Especially for ortho. He thought that it would be tougher to get into the better fellowships as a DO. If I was going for primary care, I definately would have considered the osteopathic route.
 

jalabert

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A lot of ATCs out there, interesting. It's funny how the people on the residency forums complain about how they work so hard and don't get any money. I'm sure if they had worked as ATC for a while they'd have a different perspective.
 
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jalabert

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Vicarious only. I have been teaching future ATCs for several years now and I am often in awe of the workload some of them manage. Many would put most surgery residents to shame, especially with the new regs.
 

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i am a PT who went back to med school after a few years. i love every minute of it. i had a definite advantage in gross and neuro. but biochem was a struggle. believe me, the biggest advantage will be with patient interaction. we have only limited patient contact in year 1 but my instructors have already noticed my expierence with patients. i think PT is very necessary but it was not for me. if you find yourself frustrated and wishing you were in charge of your patients care than you needed to become an MD. good luck. btw, is anyone working while in med-school? i have been pulling a few shifts per month (mostly on breaks) and find that the extra cash is really helpful.
 

MSHARO

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As far as the work hours, I totally agree about ATC's. Football camp and the regular season can easily average 80 to 100+ hours per week, especially NCAA Division I and NFL. They can be truly brutal. All of this for relatively crappy pay. I tell my wife that it can't be much worse than working those hours again! When I went to PT school and was in class all day, and studying all evening, I thought it was somewhat of a break!
 

Skialta

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I am currently doing a little home care, I do between 12 to 20 visists a week and still manage class quite well, it is the paperwork that kills you. It has worked quite well, I find most patients are willing to be flexible around my schedule.
 

EMDrMoe

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Originally posted by jalabert
A lot of ATCs out there, interesting. It's funny how the people on the residency forums complain about how they work so hard and don't get any money. I'm sure if they had worked as ATC for a while they'd have a different perspective.

Working as an ATC does give you a great perspective, I think. I worked for 6 years after grad school, and although I worked in a clinic/high school position (one of the best time/pay ratios in AT), the hours were much more than were paid. When I heard the "this is your last vacation for the rest of your life" about between 1st and 2nd years of school, I got pretty frustrated. I worked 6 days a week for almost 10 years including school with maximum of 2 weeks vacation a year. I think I'll be ok! ;)

Med school so far has been difficult, but a blast. I have had the chance to do so many cool things and am still very excited to be a physician. I appreciate med school because I know I will always be an ATC and am have the chance to learn more (sometimes seemingly irrelevant details!) every day. :D
 

PTjay

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GREAT THREAD.

obviously (by the name) i'm a PT and will be joining the ranks of you med students in the fall. can't wait to get started! i didn't realize there were so many of us out there but it's great to see.

anyone interested in PM&R specifically due to PT training? i'm considering it but am more interested in ortho at the moment.

best wishes to all!

-J
 

bewitched1081

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well here's something out of the ordinary. i know an md that's in pt school right now.
 

Freeeedom!

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I was an ortho PT prior to med school...yep I was in indianapolis also.
I graduated from med school in 02.
Med school was FAR more difficult than PT school and really there is no way to really prepare you. Be ready for cut throat competition and don't expect to dominate anything more than orthopedic physical exam.
Getting used to the study schedule is the most difficult thing. But let me tell you, it was the most fulfilling thing I have ever done in my life.
Currently I am an EM resident (orginally intended on Physiatry or Ortho...but PMandR was too much like PT and Orthosurg was too boring), and love every bit.

Best of luck guys. and by the way...I went DO.

Feel free to PM me if you want.

The Captain!
 

MSHARO

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Really? An MD in PT school. That is something out of the ordinary. We had a few MD's apply for some of the PhD programs that our deparment had in grad school, but I have never heard of any that actually went back to PT school?

Freeeedom!
Where'd you work while in Indy? Did you go to PT school or undergrad out here? Just curious.
 
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Freeeedom!

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Yep, went to PT school in Indy...worked in Carmel, Speedway and the southside. Decided I wanted to be a DO...and I see myself coming back to indy after residency (maybe at Methodist/Wishard)...but the money is at St. V's and other private hospitals.
Glad I left PT, though I love the field, it simply didn't offer the challenge that I needed...so much political crap. I got my CSCS early in my career too. Worthless. Two things I dearly miss, the great friends and people in PT and the fantastic schedule.
 

jalabert

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Originally posted by Freeeedom!
Yep, went to PT school in Indy...worked in Carmel, Speedway and the southside. Decided I wanted to be a DO...and I see myself coming back to indy after residency (maybe at Methodist/Wishard)...but the money is at St. V's and other private hospitals.
Glad I left PT, though I love the field, it simply didn't offer the challenge that I needed...so much political crap. I got my CSCS early in my career too. Worthless. Two things I dearly miss, the great friends and people in PT and the fantastic schedule.

CSCS worthless?... c'mon
 

Freeeedom!

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Yep worthless...it is an non academic "certification" that doesn't even build upon 1. the basic knowledge of a PT 2. the basic knowledge of an ATC 3. the basic knowledge of a "gym rat"...it simply costs money for those HUNGRY for a title or letters behind their name.
That was me...I slowly felt ashamed of those silly letters and never used them.
 

MSHARO

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I'll second that on CSCS. It is kind of a nice marketing thing for yourself, however most PT's and certainly all ATC's should already know that info. Except for maybe knowing how to set up a gym correctly etc. But that should be kinda common sense. It is only really worth it if you plan on being a strength coach at a university for example. It then just tells people that you have at least met a basic level of knowledge. Nowdays, it is almost required for these positions, but the material level is way below what most good strength coaches know or practice at.
 

freddydpt

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Hi Guys and Gals,

I'm a DPT class of 2004 and entering into GW Med Class of 2008!!! I'm superexcited. I was premed PT from the beginning. It's been a long 6 years of PT school but I'm psyched to be continuing on. I'd actually like to start a club of PT/MD's out there. If you'd be interested, just let me know.

Fred
 

freddydpt

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Quick question for y'all...

Do employers pay malpractice insurance? I was going to apply to some per diem OP jobs while in med school but will the practice or hospital pay malpractice insurance? I want to make sure I make money and not lose any!
 

DOctorJay

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freddy, that's a good question and i'm sure would depend on each individual employer. always a good idea to pick up some of your own professional insurance though as malpractice insurance will cover you under your employer but there's nothing that says your employer can't come after you for a mistake. plus with PT malpractice rates so low it's good protection to have with little cost.

-J
 

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I am currently in my last year in a DPT program and am seriously considering med school once finished. This may be a stupid ?, but does anyone know if being a PT increased your chances of acceptance to med school and is anyone going to a school in california?
 

freddydpt

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dubDPT said:
I am currently in my last year in a DPT program and am seriously considering med school once finished. This may be a stupid ?, but does anyone know if being a PT increased your chances of acceptance to med school and is anyone going to a school in california?

I am in my last year (3 weeks to go actually) of PT school and I will be going to med school in the fall to GW. No doubt it helped me get in. My interviewers loved that I was a PT and felt they were able to talk to me at a clinician level. The typical premed student has little to no clinical experience (unless they're an EMT).

Be ready for the types of questions like...
As a PT, what can you bring to the med school class?
When did you start thinking about medicine?
Why did you decide to go to medical school and not practice as a PT?
Why not osteopathic school? (I got that at Penn State from a DO who interviewed me... who incidentally told me that she would want me as her doctor since I had that extra clinical education... man she was nice!)
What kind of specialty do you plan on? (they always expect ortho or PM&R... if you say something like OB/GYN you can educate them about OB PT and they'll find it interesting cause they never knew)
What go you into PT?
Do you see yourself practicing both PT and MD?

Make sure you put down the thousands of hours you have in evaluation and treatment time and with what populations you have worked with on your AMCAS application. There are tons of application for integration of PT skills in the daily life of a physician. Sports Med, Derm, Ortho, PM&R, Neuro, OB/GYN, geriatrics, public heatlh/preventive medicine, integrative medicine. You've had extra training in the MS, Neuro, and CP systems as well as training in management, health promotion, research, evidence based practice and education theory... AND you've applied it all in the clinical setting already. When you go for interviews, as long as you are enthusiastic about patient care no one will question your motives. I found it also intimidated the hell out of other premeds... especially the really annoying ones who in the time before interviews wouldn't shut up about how they did on the MCAT. But since I took gross, neuro, and yada yada, they knew I was prepared for medical school whereas some feel they are not even with the prereqs out of the way.

I had one interviewer who's sister was a PT. Another interviewer who had a great experience with PT in the past for himself and his patient.

Oh yeah, I got no clue about California though. Good luck!
 

dubDPT

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Fred

Thanks for the quick reply. That was just the info that I was looking for. I will likely be taking O-chem and studying for the MCAT within the next year. Good luck at GW

Warren
 

DocWagner

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I am glad to see so many PTs entering medicine...though I wish more were going into a DO program. I certainly realize cost is restrictive.
 

kmacPTATC

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I am glad to see so many PTs entering medicine...though I wish more were going into a DO program. I certainly realize cost is restrictive.

06-04-2004 08:17 PM

You are right about the cost. I am a proponent of manual therapy and would like to learn osteopathic techniques, but attending a DO school was pretty much out of the question for me.
 
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