Feb 10, 2010
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DPT / OTD
OK so I basically have worked my butt off to do everything I need to get into the DPT program. I suffered through a waitlist at my first choice school. I just got the call I'm in. Reality!!!!!! 33 months of additional school, $70K in debt after it's over. My life delayed another three years.

While I waited to hear if I got in to any program, I started thinking about a career in health and wellness. My undergrad is Health Science so a job promoting wellness programs is something I'm interested in. I would get a masters in Health Science and be done in 12 months. Since I have been so focused on what it takes to be a PT, I'm not sure if this is fear talking.

Anyone else running scared?
 
Feb 28, 2010
35
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Glendale, Arizona
Status
Rehab Sci Student
Absolutely! I feel the same way! I worked my very hardest to get admitted into a program. Now that I am in, fear has struck me although at first it was uncontrollable excitement. Moreover, I graduate with my BS in May 12th and start my program June 7th. To add fuel to the fire, I live in Minnesota and my program is in Arizona -- I dont think I know what I'm getting myself into (which scares me) but I am still undoubtedly excited beyond belief! Good luck with everything and I look forward to everyone's responses and reading this post.
 

DancerFutureDPT

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I feel you. That's why I made my "fighting burnout" thread. I feel the exact same way (except my debt will be well over $100k). Right now I'm in a position of great financial stability, if I were to start a 9 to 5 job now...but with PT school that won't be the case. I'm terrified of going into debt. I also love my job working as a teaching assistant for a college prep program at a high school, making me wonder if I should go into teaching/advising instead. I do love wellness though too, and I'm wondering if getting a pilates/personal training certification, or a masters in anatomy/exercise science would be just as satisfying.

I'm glad I'm not the only one feeling like this!
 

PT Dad

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Jan 26, 2009
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Unless you are hungry for PT it may not be for you, guys. The course load is brutal and there will be times when you doubt if you did the right thing even if you want to be a PT intensely. You really have to want this to persevere. Good luck in your decisions.
 
Feb 28, 2010
35
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Glendale, Arizona
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Rehab Sci Student
PT Dad - dont get me wrong, but getting admitted into a DPT program has by far been my greatest accomplishment thus far in terms of academia. I want this career more than I want anything else. I know I will thrive in a problem-based and strenuous environment that the program will entail. However, for me it has become one of "those things" that is so much fun to pursue, and once I got it, I got frightened and wondered if I bit off more than I could chew.

I feel that my panic is normal and I am by no means intimidated for what is to come. I am as prepared as I will ever be and excited beyond belief, although I do think it normal to be nervous about something new! :-D
 

jesspt

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Jan 31, 2008
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I feel you. That's why I made my "fighting burnout" thread. I feel the exact same way (except my debt will be well over $100k). Right now I'm in a position of great financial stability, if I were to start a 9 to 5 job now...but with PT school that won't be the case. I'm terrified of going into debt. I also love my job working as a teaching assistant for a college prep program at a high school, making me wonder if I should go into teaching/advising instead. I do love wellness though too, and I'm wondering if getting a pilates/personal training certification, or a masters in anatomy/exercise science would be just as satisfying.

I'm glad I'm not the only one feeling like this!
Dancer - this sounds like buyer's remorse to me. You were all "gung -ho" on NU and its high price tag becuase of your gut feeling, even after receiving an offer from UIC , which would have been a considerable cost savings. So, are you "terrified of debt" or not?

A lot of these threads get repetitive - potential students aksing where they should go, what schools are best, etc. Typically, the advice given by practicing PTs, or current students, is ignored....Go to a cheap school if it is at all possible!

Having said that, I think it is unlikely that PT will be changed so dramatically that new PTs, even those who attended expensive private insitutions, will become destitute, but there may be a few lean years where your income is not what you would desire. But, I think that the cream usually rises to the top. So, devote yourself to your academics, become an engaged memeber of your profession, and become the best therapist you can become. That, to me, is a recipe for obtaining a better salary, and to be happy with your professional life.
 
OP
M
Feb 10, 2010
80
1
0
Status
DPT / OTD
Thanks so much to all who commented. I think it was just the initial shock of so much debt. I am lucky enough to be getting my undergrad in May without any debt so I am much better off than some. I am not scared of the work. I completed my under grad in just 3 years (started taking college courses in high school) so I'm used to a heavy course load.

Thanks for the info on the health and wellness career. I was getting that vibe as I searched for jobs with a Health Science degree. The degree worked well for getting all my pre reqs and I like the program but I have always wanted to be a PT.

Here I go!!!!!!
 

DancerFutureDPT

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Dancer - this sounds like buyer's remorse to me. You were all "gung -ho" on NU and its high price tag becuase of your gut feeling, even after receiving an offer from UIC , which would have been a considerable cost savings. So, are you "terrified of debt" or not?

A lot of these threads get repetitive - potential students aksing where they should go, what schools are best, etc. Typically, the advice given by practicing PTs, or current students, is ignored....Go to a cheap school if it is at all possible!

Having said that, I think it is unlikely that PT will be changed so dramatically that new PTs, even those who attended expensive private insitutions, will become destitute, but there may be a few lean years where your income is not what you would desire. But, I think that the cream usually rises to the top. So, devote yourself to your academics, become an engaged memeber of your profession, and become the best therapist you can become. That, to me, is a recipe for obtaining a better salary, and to be happy with your professional life.
You definitely have some good points/advice. However, I think I would be feeling like this even if I went for UIC too, maybe even moreso, because I didn't feel at home at UIC like I did at NU, and the only reason I would have chosen it would have been the cost. After touring and reading about their programs, to me NU was worth the higher price.

I know I will end up loving it, I just hate making decisions that are this important. I've always had such a broad range of interests and so many things I want to do in life, including PT, that's it's hard to make up my mind (changed my major officially 8 times in college, and more than that in my head but not officially with the school...and I was one of those people who entered school convinced I knew exactly what I wanted to do and wouldn't change my major. Clearly I did change because I am not an English teacher right now!)

I know that most people don't stay in one job or one field forever, which is exactly what a career counselor told me, but I'd hate to spend all that money, and then 5 years out decide that I want to go be a teacher, or something else, and be in all that debt (plus having to go back to school for yet another degree and spend more money). I feel like if I commit to 3 years of grad school, and all that money, that I really need to stay in that career for at least 20 years to make it worth while, and I'm not sure I'm the kind of person who can do something for 20 years. Maybe I could, and I know there are a variety of settings/things to do with a PT degree, but I don't think my personality will let me.

I think the issue for me is not that I don't want to be a PT, but that I want to do so much it's overwhelming. I want to be a PT, but I also want to be a teacher, an advisor, etc., and all at the same time. I've always been a very overcommitted person :)
 
Aug 6, 2009
35
0
0
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
I'm heading to Rosalind Franklin next year... tuition of about 70k . its scary, but its not as bad as somewhere like Northwestern. I'd have given my left leg to go to UIC just for the cost. I toured it and liked Northwestern better, but I know I'd have chosen UIC for the tuition. After a lot of searching, an extra 50k+ was never justifiable. Because neither of those schools came through for me, I am really excited to be going to RF. the Tuition is midgrade, higher than UIC but much less than NU.

To me, it sounds like you should get a DPT/PHD. Then you can practice and teach and the same time. You can advise your students and be in the clinic. but... its usually an extra year or two.

Just my 2 cents. I think if i picked NU's high price tag, i'd start backpeddling too.
 
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jesspt

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Jan 31, 2008
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DPT / OTD
You definitely have some good points/advice. However, I think I would be feeling like this even if I went for UIC too, maybe even moreso, because I didn't feel at home at UIC like I did at NU, and the only reason I would have chosen it would have been the cost. After touring and reading about their programs, to me NU was worth the higher price.

I know I will end up loving it, I just hate making decisions that are this important. I've always had such a broad range of interests and so many things I want to do in life, including PT, that's it's hard to make up my mind (changed my major officially 8 times in college, and more than that in my head but not officially with the school...and I was one of those people who entered school convinced I knew exactly what I wanted to do and wouldn't change my major. Clearly I did change because I am not an English teacher right now!)

I know that most people don't stay in one job or one field forever, which is exactly what a career counselor told me, but I'd hate to spend all that money, and then 5 years out decide that I want to go be a teacher, or something else, and be in all that debt (plus having to go back to school for yet another degree and spend more money). I feel like if I commit to 3 years of grad school, and all that money, that I really need to stay in that career for at least 20 years to make it worth while, and I'm not sure I'm the kind of person who can do something for 20 years. Maybe I could, and I know there are a variety of settings/things to do with a PT degree, but I don't think my personality will let me.

I think the issue for me is not that I don't want to be a PT, but that I want to do so much it's overwhelming. I want to be a PT, but I also want to be a teacher, an advisor, etc., and all at the same time. I've always been a very overcommitted person :)
I'm not sure that any of the things that you currently think you want to do are ruled out by being a physical therapist.
  1. Teacher - I have had two physical therapy students for their clinicals within the last eight months. This is certainly an avenue to pursue should you decide you want to scratch the teacher itch. I also teach a continuing education course for a local CEU provider.
  2. Advisor - I particiapte in blogs and message boards like this one and others, which lets me collaborate both with potential future memebers of my profession and provide some advice to prospective students.
  3. Physical therapist - I practice in a busy, outpatient orthopaedic setting in the northern suburbs of Chciago where I see injured high school athletes, weekend warriors, people suffering from low back and neck pain, and the occasional patient sufferring from vertigo.
And, being a physical therapist has allowed me to do all of these things, all at the same time.
 

Bigshoguns

10+ Year Member
Dec 5, 2008
125
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0
Southern NJ
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Rehab Sci Student
Well, your thinking is ABSOLUTELY right. You are having the "pre-wedding" jitters. This is fine. Just think, you are well prepared from you undergraduate studies. In life you always have to do your Maximum to earn a minimum. [Max = undergrad and getting into PT school. min = starting PT school]. Therefore in PT school you will do ur MAX to earn a MIN = Your License. Let these thoughts fuel your motivation during school, this will help you not slack off or put off studying. Don't worry about the cost of school, and you won't "delay" your life for 3 more years, you will be doing something meaningful and something you will like. Getting a Masters is great, but Doctorate is better, and you can help promote health and much more!

I had similar if not same feeling as well 12months ago, but once you start you will love it and jitters will go away and turn into motivation. That's my 2 cents.


OK so I basically have worked my butt off to do everything I need to get into the DPT program. I suffered through a waitlist at my first choice school. I just got the call I'm in. Reality!!!!!! 33 months of additional school, $70K in debt after it's over. My life delayed another three years.

While I waited to hear if I got in to any program, I started thinking about a career in health and wellness. My undergrad is Health Science so a job promoting wellness programs is something I'm interested in. I would get a masters in Health Science and be done in 12 months. Since I have been so focused on what it takes to be a PT, I'm not sure if this is fear talking.

Anyone else running scared?
 

MJHUSKERS

10+ Year Member
Apr 12, 2009
163
1
0
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
I think it's normal to have jitters, I have them. It's crazy to think that everything you have been working towards since you were a freshman will becoming true in a few months.

I'm really nervous about the fact that I already study about 40 hours a week and every tells me I will study double that in PT school. I hope my undergrad has prepared me for the amount of studying. In my opinion, I took nothing but hard courses throughout college will all the pre-med students (Biomedical major). Then I have friends who were exercise science majors and never had to study and they all have 4.0's. Atleast I will enjoy all the studying instead of bio and chem courses that I am taking now.