May 2, 2012
78
4
Status
Greetings,

This is my first post here. I've really appreciated having this forum as a resource while I've come to the decision to go back to school to pursue a DPT. I've found myself getting hung up on some concerns, so I wanted to throw them out in case anyone has any personal experience in a similar situation, or if they have a sense of how I might be perceived during my application process.

I'm 31 years old and making a career change after having worked for a number of years as an actuary. I passed my actuarial exams, but found the drudgery and meaninglessness of the work to be a bit crushing. My path to pursuing PT is a bit circuitous and this is the source of one of my concerns.

I've been trained and certified in the Feldenkrais Method (an alternative/complementary intervention that's been tremendously helpful in alleviating some serious knee pain of mine). I found the work so incredible that I wanted to teach it for a living, so I left my job at the end of 2010 to pursue doing that. After a year of hacking away at it, and four months of volunteering 1-day-a-week at an outpatient ortho clinic, I've become convinced that I need the background of a PT education, the well-roundedness of PT interventions, and the credibility of PT credentials to responsibly work with the populations I want to work with (and to make a living at it).

So I've made the decision to return to school, but have a couple of concerns

Concern 1: The Feldenkrais Method may be perceived as a flakey thing, and I may be perceived as flakey-by-transitive.

I've spoken with one advisor so far at my top choice school. When I mentioned that I was trained in Feldenkrais there was a long silence and a change to the tone of the conversation. I feared I was being viewed as someone touting a comprehensive background in Tantric Reiki.

Does anyone have any experience coming to PT from an alternative background? How do admissions people respond? (and for anyone who wants to argue the merits of Feldenkrais, let me just say I will likely agree with most all criticisms someone might lob at it. I think many Feldenkrais teachers can be too New Age and rather obnoxious, and most of the teaching out there is bad. Still, in good hands it can be amazingly effective stuff.)

Concern 2: I studied economics and math as an undergrad, so only a small handful of my pre-reqs are done. The programs I'm applying to allow application without pre-reqs finished, but pre-reqs must be completed by the time classes start (this seems pretty standard)

While I have a 4.0 on about 12 hours worth of stuff, there's another 30 something hours on Bio, Chem, Physics, Anatomy & Physiology that I need to lock down in a couple of semesters, and I won't have final grades on any of it by the time I'm putting in applications this fall. Does anyone else have any similar experience?

For context, these are my general stats:

Undergrad GPA: 3.66
GRE: 750v; 760q; 5.0aw
 

goyo1010

5+ Year Member
Oct 13, 2010
595
20
Houston
www.linkedin.com
Status
Physical Therapist
Concern 1

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.physio.2010.01.004
https://www.thieme-connect.de/DOI/DOI?10.1055/s-2004-834763
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19553385

Looks like there may be potential in terms of patient outcomes.

Concern 2

You'll be fine; however, try to limit the number of classes you have pending to 2 or 3 max. I applied in the fall of 2010 with 3 or so prereqs still incomplete. As long as you submit the final grades before start of enrollment. And as long as you demonstrate competency in your prereqs and don't have too many incomplete by application time, they won't mind.
 

jblil

7+ Year Member
Dec 1, 2010
1,185
715
East Coast
Does anyone have any experience coming to PT from an alternative background? How do admissions people respond?

Concern 2: I studied economics and math as an undergrad, so only a small handful of my pre-reqs are done. The programs I'm applying to allow application without pre-reqs finished, but pre-reqs must be completed by the time classes start (this seems pretty standard)
I also have an alternative background (look up my profile), and am quite a bit older than you. I got accepted into all the schools I applied to. I think an interesting background can be a considerable plus when applying, if you spin it correctly. For ex., you can say that the Feldenkrais method triggered your interest in PT and now you want to investigate the hard science behind it.

As for uncompleted pre-reqs, I agree with goyo1010. Try to not have more than 3 hanging classes when you apply. I had 2 uncompleted classes when I submitted my app to PTCAS.

BTW, congrats on your stats, they are excellent!