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Anyone worried about the Job Outlook/Finances for PT's?

Discussion in 'Pre-Physical Therapy' started by fejin757, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. fejin757

    2+ Year Member

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    I graduated with a B.S in Exercise Science last year and have had the hardest time deciding between PA and PT. After weighing my options, I decided to go the PT route and will be applying this Fall :xf:. I'm not trying to be a pessimist but I'm truly worried about the job market when I graduate in 2015/2016.

    One of the main things I'm worried about is that there are a large amount of DPT schools and each of those pump out 40-60 DPT's each year( with some schools like St. Augustine having three start dates per year). APTA has done a wonderful job at promoting the profession and thus the number of applications and competition keep increasing each year. This is great for the field and provides a lot of visibility and I know that PT is a great career but with future Medicare/Obamacare changes on the horizon, will the projected growth of jobs match the rate of how many fresh DPT grads there will be? Private university's can leave graduates with 100k+ debt and I'm curious if health care changes will lower reimbursement rates for PTs or maybe focus on utilizing more PTAs to cut costs. Maybe I'm just worrying too much but it is a big investment and something I've thought about as I'm readying my applications.

    For example, the state of Florida ( which is where I will be applying ) has 7-8 DPT programs. If each of these graduate 40 students then that is almost 300 DPT grads per year. Can the job market sustain this kind of rapid growth and interest?

    Also, do guys think that the DPT will eventually increase our starting salaries? I really wish this would have stayed as a Masters program because that extra year is a huge financial expense. I've read through the Vision 2020 plan but I'm worried if direct access will somehow lead us to starting to pay for malpractice insurance as well.

    Sorry for the long read. Hopefully I have this all wrong and someone can enlighten me :laugh:
     
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  3. TheOx777

    Moderator Emeritus 2+ Year Member

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    I honestly think it is too early to tell what is going to happen in any healthcare profession. PA is a year less than DPT programs, yet that does not guarantee you will save money. I know several people who are going to or have applied to PA school and they fully expect to pay 80-100K+ for their two year M.S. program. Will they typically make more right out of school? Typically yes, but who is to say that will be the same 3-5 years from now. My advice is to do your HW and find a program that will train you well without costing an arm in a leg. If you can find a program where tuition is 50-60K or less then you are probably on the right track. Also, I would consider which profession you see yourself doing 25-30yrs from now. If you are unhappy with what you do, there may not be enough gold in Fort Knox provide the job satisfaction you are looking for.
     
  4. fejin757

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  5. Shyster

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    You should look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics website (www.bls.gov) and checkout the jobs outlook for physical therapy for the next 10 years. You'll find that the outlook is very good.
     
  6. DancerFutureDPT

    DancerFutureDPT Academic Administrator
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    In theory, yes....but I wouldn't rely on that, especially in today's economic conditions. When I went to college 7 years ago as an education major, it said teaching had a great outlook...now none of my friends with teaching certifications can find jobs. It's a good predictor, but not always accurate.

    The important thing is to do what you know you'll be happy doing, regardless of expected salary and location. You will absolutely be able to find a job when you graduate, it just might not be in the specific area of PT/salary/geographic location you ideally want. Or it could be...no one is completely sure. As long as you love treating patients and the human body, you should be on the right path.
     
  7. TheOx777

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    Totally agree with this!
     
  8. jesspt

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    1. The DPT will not increase salary. Improving our reimbursement will increase our salary, and I think the DPT is unlikely to effect reimbursement.

    2. We already pay for malpractice insurance. Typically it is paid by your employer, but some therapists choose to take out other, additional coverage.
     
  9. fejin757

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    I guess it makes sense that PT's already have malpractice but do you think Direct Access would increase the amount of insurance necessary?
     
  10. jesspt

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    Possibly, but I think it would be unlikely to amount to a significant increase in cost out of a PT's pocket.
     
  11. PTisfun

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    I cannot imagine a PT not having their own malpractice insurance! In our program, we require students to get it before their internships. Most PTs I know have always carried it for peace of mind and as a professional responsibility.
     

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