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Discussion in 'Clinicians [ RN / NP / PA ]' started by Caverject, May 5, 2004.
And at first, I thought this was for a Chrysler PT! Whoops! How many PT's do we have here on SDN?
Yay, even though I'm in the pre-pharm category, I was one of the people who requested this thread. I have always been interested in the rehab field...just didn't really want to go that route because too focused of studies (just learning about a few body systems rather than almost all of them) and relatively poor job outlook at the moment. Am anxious for PT's to become informed about the new thread so we can start reading their posts!
poor job outlook? please elaborate while considering the baby boomer generation.
I'd think the outlook is the same as pharmacy. i'm assuming you are basing this just on the fact that there are more PT schools then Pharm and thus more PT graduates competing for jobs then what Pharm's go through. Thing is i don't believe this cause it's all relative. that's why there are requirements for admission to these schools. the high admission standards keeps keeps the amount of graduates each year somewhat in check with what is needed. it's not like an undergrad business degree where i can't even imagine how many are put out each year.
Former PT here...Ya know there used to be a PT forum here, but it went belly up as no one participated.
I have been doing a lot of research on this field. Since I'm in the middle of studying for finals, and don't have a lot of time to elaborate, I'll make this short. There was at one time a huge demand for PT's, OT's, SLP's. However, because of Balanced Budget Acts and new "Therapy Caps," there is less reimbursement for therapy services. Thus, while there still may be the NEED for such therapy services, the amount of JOBS available is a different story. If you take a look at some hospital websites and their employment opportunities, you may find a few positions...probably only casual/PRN/as needed basis though. Would love to hear the opinions of former and current PT's on anything related to the field though. Job outlook, salary concerns (dang 7-8 years of school now for the DPT to start out at 40K?!), job satisfaction, etc etc etc. Thanks!
yeah, 40-50k is the number I've seen straight out of school, and around here in Duluth, they still need many, but again, if i go to PT, i'm only going to use it as a vessel to get to a PA, the thing with PA is that you need 2,000 hour of that direct patient experience.
Pharmtech, I think you are right on the ball with that. Demand and wages certainly fluctuate from setting, mid to large size cities having very little demand and lower wages. I personally think it sucks for the newer grads with more debt load and a marginal wage outlook. I made 42k as a new grad in 95 with 5k in debt thanks to empoyer grants. Today the debt load is FAR higher, there are no employer grants and the starting wage is about 50k.
UMDeeMan- Why don't you just go for medical school if you're going to spend 7-8(?) years total first getting the DPT and then another 2-3 (depending on the school) years in PA school? Not to mention the years inbetween to accumulate the patient care experiences you're talking about. I know some people would rather be a PA than a MD or DO, but still. Also, have you considered the costs of a DPT program? At the UofMN, physical therapy school is year-round so it costs just as much as the pharmacy program. You've gotta do what's in your heart, though.
Yup...if it weren't for those conditions, I may have still gone for PT school. However, you've gotta provide for the family and such too, right? I can't comprehend being able to spend 13K on PT tuition to go to school year-round (so not being able to work much during summers) and have undergrad debt and housing payments as well...to come out with 40-50K wage. I think that salary is still decent, but considering all the debt, it is unreasonable. Do you think the demand/salaries will ever pick up? What made you leave the profession? You're lucky you got in before the DPT thing came about. People back in the day could use PT,OT, etc as stepping stones to medicine or whatever. You pretty much have to be committed to those professions to choose them these days.
I know this is off subject but your name striked me....are you a fan of Paul Dee, the athletic director at the University of Miami?
no connection, but funny you should mention that. my undergrad major is exercise science with a concentration in strength and conditioning. if i choose to go the PA/PT route, I have time to do some internships. one of them i was planning on applying for was with the Miami football team as a strength and conditioning intern.
UMDeeMan, dude, from one former PT, CSCS to a soon to be PT...don't be a PA. You will NOT like it. As a PT I really wanted to be in control, and knowing that could not be the case as PT, I chose medical school. It was the best choice of my life. You will see...you will see. Might as well go full throttle if you are gonna do anything, right? If you want to be a Physician Assistant, why not go through Physical Therapist Assistant school, it is cheaper and you won't mind the "assistant" in your name.
I think the gold standard is the way to go.
Yeah, it was a FANTASTIC decision for me. I had no debt and a bit of money saved. I was in a post professional DscPT program, and it was NOTHING compared to the medical school challenge. That is what I wanted, a "hard core" challenge, and be left with the knowledge that I had attained the highest standard. While it was a long haul...nothing worth while is easy.
totally confused man, you are a PT or a physician??? and i'm not med school material, my gpa is going to be 3.3 range.
Well generally the D.O. and the "Wright State Emergency Medicine Residency" gives away the Physician part
I was a PT prior to medical school. And don't sell yourself short with GPA, determination gets you into school if the desire is ther.
Hi, I am a practicing doctor of physical therapy, working in the Chicago area. I am glad to see this forum being formed to allow some recognition to the profession. I have a biology bachelors with a decent GPA and a very good MCAT score. My volunteer work in pediatrics led me to choose a doctorate in physical therapy over allopathic medicine. Practicing in the outpatient orthopedic environment, I am faced with much confusion regarding what and who is physical therapist.
Currently, the whole field is changing direction toward autonomous practitioners specializing in non-invasive and non-pharmaceutical management of neurological and musculoskeletal pathology. There is, however, much diversity to the field, its practitioners and the practice settings. There are those in the field, who have graduated with from bachelors or a certificate programs 10 to 20 years ago. The field, back then, was in its infantile stages, and not much emphasis was place on differential diagnosis, evidence based practice or occupational autonomy.
Then, there are those who have graduated in the last 3 to 5 years, who have obtained a bachelors or doctorate degrees, who, ideally, should have a pretty good grasp on the above topics, plus some bonuses such as radiology, advanced regional anatomy, etc., plus a pretty good exposure to research practice.
As far as the job market, it all depends on the state where you practice. I know there are 13 states in the US that have full ?direct access? to physical therapy, meaning that one does not need a referral from a PCP to obtain PT services. In Illinois there is an abundance of jobs, primarily in the Chicago and Northern suburbs. The unfortunate part is that most of the positions are available at the ?Drive-through? clinics that place very little emphasis or importance of the therapist or therapy, and rather concentrate on marketing and ?selling the product?.
The salaries are also not reflected on your educational level, but rather on the amount of ?sales? or ?customers? that you pull. So, for a bachelors degree, the reimbursement is adequate and fair, and for a doctorate degree it is laughable and poor. So, once again, I am happy to see the introduction of this forum. I would love to answer any questions.
yeah i saw that, but still, your post was conflicting. and as far as determination, i dont' want to be in school until i'm 40 years old. i want to live life, travel, play golf. more so while i'm young then when i'm old and gray.
it's funny to me that you said that when DocWagner was just trying to offer words of encouragement.. just because you dont have the drive it takes to become a physician doesn't mean that other people can't become physicians AND "live life, travel, play golf" etc.
btw, instead of having to "be in school until [you're] 40 years old," you'll be working.. it's not like you're gonna be in some fantastic beach resort living the good life...
last thing.. i forgot to mention this, but it's the reason i was responding to this thread.. i know several people who have gotten in to medical school with a gpa in the lower 3s...
I am a PT who chose to go to medical school. I practiced for 7 years before choosing to go back to school, its the best decision I have made. PT is a great field for a while, but when you look around there really aren't that many older PTs practicing, they either own the clinic or they are in some management position if you see them at all. I have a hard time with the way physicial therapy is reimbursed, you basically get more money for seeing a patient longer (incentive is to overtreat). You can make a good living if you can find a niche, but it seems to get harder each year.
After being a PT there is no way I would become a PA, part of the reason for going back to school was to gain more autonomy and not have to beg for referrals.
As far as the direction of direct access for PTs is concerned, my state has it but the problem is that insurance companies don't want to reimburse without a physicians order. I think there is a huge gap between a DPT and a physician, especially someone like a PM&R or sports med doc as far as diagnosis and treatment. The real problem for the PT is that they cannot prescribe meds (even though the PT usually knows what the doc is going to prescribe) and the PT has no diagnostic equipement (x-ray, etc). PTs are truly great at the art of treating patients, but with the improved diagnostics, physicians are becoming more acurate with diagnosis and have a better understanding whether a patient needs PT to begin with or whether they need surgery or some other intervention.
My wife is a practice PT (acute care) and she made 52k last year. Apparently in the latest issue of "Advance" magazine (which comes out in like every allied health specialty), there is an article about the plethora of jobs now for PTs as compared to a few years ago (when the Missus graduated). Even at my hospital, a large 800 bed hospital, there have been vacancies for full time PTs for quite some time. When my wife applied to jobs in Tampa before I started residency, there were plenty of offers and she was offered interviews VERY quickly.
So, IMHO, the market right now from what I hear is pretty good... the article says that, as do my wife's friends who are all over the nation, they are always tyring to convince us to move to wherever they are as there are high paying PT jobs.
Of note, the article said the national average was 55k a year for a full time PT.
i'm just finishing my generals and getting my degree and then will decide the path. the choice is really dental or pt, just looking into PA. you know med students that got in with a sub 3.0?? well what relative was on the adcom, how high in the 30's was their mcat, or what ivy did the go to?
I'm just graduating BU with my DPT and I'm going straight to medical school. I was an oddball in that I recognized the skills of a PT were awesome to have BEFORE going to medical school. I feel I have a great clinical foundation (ironically with no direction as to what speciality I would want to do in medicine).
Are there any MD/PT's out there who practice both medicine and PT?
Do those practicing MD or DO's still put the PT at the end of their name? My final project at BU was to design a BS/DPT/MD curriculum that would be nine years total. Do you all think that would have gotten you where you wanted faster... or would you have been burnt out?
I generally don't use the PT after the DO...it is a bit pretentious (sp?). But when I do the Sports Med Fellowship, then I may use it on business cards. But in the ED it has no place...few other former RN's, OT's, RT's, pharmacists, EMT-P use the additional letters.
I truly feel the DO says enough. When I was a PT, as with MOST PT's, additional letters made up for some of the insecurities, hence I ended up with the CSCS as well. Nonsense really.
Practicing Medicine and PT can be done WITHOUT a PT in most states (doesn't make it ethical). But as a DO, all of the PT manual techniques are covered more extensively in Osteopathic Medical school, so it is difficult to separate.
Advice for starting school. It will take you by surprise, granted I was out of school prior to starting medical school, but there will be some HARD CORE students out there. Be prepared to swallow your pride, it is a WHOLE nother level.
QUINN, had no idea you were married. You do realize you wife will quit her job once you are an attending don't you! It is the trend/latest thing.
Shhhhhhhhhh! This is actually the first place I put down that information! I figured I had a lot of info to give, but couldnt' really do it without giving my source, so for the first time on SDN it is known that I'm married. Hard to let out the info since I still yearn to put my old avatar up and keep my "alternate" persona.
Fear not, I'm still the beer drinkin', curse-word usin', computer game playin' brash EM resident who will intubate/put in a cordis at the drop of a hat that you all know and love...
but i have a soft side too...............
Do you know of any osteopathic continuing education courses or electives in the DC area for allopathic students. I really want to maintain/enhance my manual skills while in medical school. I heard Michigan has some good ones but that's a bit of a hike for me.
PS. I applied to DO schools too.
I'm likely headed up to the DC area in 2 years when I'm done with my EM residency...
but I get the DO journals and what-not, so if I see any manipulative courses in the DC area, I'll post them here. Juts threw away those mags this past week so next month I'll try to save them.
Going back to the job outlook thing it is GREAT right now. I graduated in January and was offered a position as an acute care therapist on the spot which I took at a major level one trauma facility until I was offered a 120% raise to return to a clinical affiliation site I had worked at as a student. (NO interviews, 2 jobs)
There is a huge demand for therapists right now. Reason? my best guess is that with all these programs switching from MSPT/MPT --> DPT there are students who would normally be graduating and feeding the workplace remaining in school. For those in school and graduating soon this is a great time. We have to watch what will happen with the legislation regarding caps etc. for rehab to really find out what the future will hold. Unfortunately those with the DPT don't seem to be making more than those with an MSPT/MPT.
There are plenty of jobs in the Chicago are. I know I have 2 to 3 recruiters calling me daily. Most of the jobs, however, are offered through the ?drive through? clinics such as HealthSouth, which rely on the therapist as the income-getting horse to support the multiple levels of hierarchy in the corporation. That greatly skews the salary scale, and lowers the starting salary and growth potential of the therapist. There is also not much difference in the starting pay if you are a PT, MPT or DPT, because the reimbursement rate is pretty much the same, and most of these companies have not learned how to market the therapist as the most important part of the therapeutic intervention.
So true. I've worked PRN for a Healthsouth Rehab Hospital for the past 3 years and I can honestly say that the therapy given to patients on weekends there is of little value. They use tech's (not PTA's) to treat half the patients!!! Also, many of the patients there are kept long after they should have been discharged. You don't want to know how many times I've had instruction (from the primary PT) to do "gait training" with a patient at 1:30 only to find out that they can ambulate independently with a walker.
They also were the lowest paying PRN job in Richmond until recently. When approached about it, all the corporation would say was, "Yes, we know we are the lowest paying rehab hospital in the Richmond metropolitan area." Sheesh.
So it was written.