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Letting go of PT

Discussion in 'Pre-Physical Therapy' started by merlins, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. merlins

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    Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
    I've decided to move on from pursuing PT as a career. It's hard to decide this, but I also feel a great sense of relief knowing that I won't have that enormous debt cloud hanging over me, especially considering such incongruent debt-to-income numbers. I haven't posted much on here, but I've read many thoughtful posts from so many of you. Many have pondered if going into a huge (100K+) kind of debt is basically worth it for a DPT, and that's extremely hard to calculate when all I've been counting on is being a PT.

    Now on the eve of applying, I started seriously pondering all of this- it's as if seeing the high tuition on school's websites were a little too far away/abstracted for me to realize how I'd stand financially after school. It's not just about debt-to-income, but also from what I've gathered from various PTs about declining reimbursement, their views on how the DPT is unsubstantiated, and some who desired to do PA if they had a chance to start over again. I'm now investigating PA and am extremely excited to see a better fit for me, but that's another long post.

    As a sort-of side note, I've pondered how private outpatient clinics are having to hire more PTs to counter declining reimbursement and seeing pts for a shorter amount of time- dovetailing a lot- and that gives me a headache thinking about how my day will play out. Inpatient will bore me to tears as a PT (where I work now as an aide), and I'm not interested in the least in home health or peds. A clearer picture started to form, and for me, the negatives started outweighing the positives (and there are tons of positives too as you know). Of course, I could go on....

    I'd also like to say that it's a bit harder for me to move since I'm married, and we own our house (mortgage cheaper than rent thankfully). Naturally I'd like to stay nearby, which means only one school is really available to me, and it's 28,000/year for tuition only. I just can't justify that.

    I just wanted to share a bit of my experience and thoughts leading up to my decision. Thanks for all of your intelligent ruminations of where PT is headed. We all have some big decisions to make. Maybe I'll see some of you in the pre-PA forum...?!
     
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  3. fejin757

    2+ Year Member

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    Merlins,

    I too have thought about much of what you just posted. I am excited to get out of my current job and pursue something of interest but am also very afraid of the unknowns: reimbursement rates, job market/salary dwindling, loans, and the possibility of working at a SNF or some other setting I have no interest in.

    I'm curious as to why you decided on PA? I entertained the thought but a couple of factors played into not pursuing it: Dealing with more serious illnesses, always being under an MD( I have no problem with this but I feel like it may bother me later), and that some states don't really utilize PA's.

    Could you let me know what you swayed you to PA? Thanks :)
     
  4. Azpt

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    Cool story bro.
     
  5. TheOx777

    Moderator Emeritus 2+ Year Member

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    :laugh:
     
  6. merlins

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    fejin757,
    Thanks for reading my heart-felt post. I can't be 100% dedicated to PA because I have not yet done any shadowing. I love that PA can serve my thirst for understanding pathophysiology, something that is very deeply-rooted in me. I also think it's great that you can transition to different specialties without returning to school (and w/out the responsibility and schedule of a MD), and that it's shorter schooling with a much better debt-to-income ratio than PT. I'm especially interested in ortho, and it's exciting to have the possibility of spending part of your day being 1st assist in surgery, and then doing rounding on pts for the rest of the day.

    What I haven't come to terms with is what it takes to treat pts in their capacity, especially with drugs. I know I'd have to push my personal boundaries with invasive exams and needles. I know it would test my patience when dealing with some MD's attitudes. Basically, I'm going through a bit of a paradigm shift, and I have a lot to learn about the whole field, but overall it seems like a great fit and a smart decision. I just can't ignore that so many OTs, PTs and SLPs who I work with everyday are so encouraging and say that if they would start over again, they would do PA.
    You bring up an some interesting concerns though. I have not yet researched which states don't utilize PAs very much. I work at a large hospital in Oregon, and we have 55 on the roster. I'm sure this will be on my list of questions to ask when I shadow.
    As for being under an MD, this is true, but depending on where you work you can have a lot of autonomy. The MD might not even be in the same facility as you. From what I've read, it's entirely possible/legal to teleconference with the MD. But I guess no matter what I do, I'll always feel the pressure that the Man puts on me ;) You can't escape this in PT either. We can at least count on professionalism.
    I'm just curious why you think it might bother you to be under an MD later on.? I think I might be bothered too, but I can see that happening in any situation where I'm getting older and there are fresh young (fill in the blanks...).
    Best of luck on your research and decisions. I'll keep checking up on this forum.
     
  7. hefe

    2+ Year Member

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    This was a good thread topic and logical thought process. Yes it's not rah rah PT, but people should seriously consider before acting.

    In fact, unless you're in love with the PT profession I don't feel the degree is worth taking on more than ~$60,000 debt combined. Imagine that as you 1 your salary when you're out before taxes.

    If you know what you're getting into you'll be grateful you made the right decision for yourself. PT still has many upsides.
     

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