#FAQF...“So wait, you are a doctor? Like a PhD?”
This weeks question is one of my favorites. Most people do not recognize the extensive educational background that is required of Physical Therapists and I believe that it is no one’s fault but our own. It is not fair for PT’s to get upset when people confuse us with personal trainers or athletic trainers or for us to get mad when people refer to their Chiro’s as Dr. but not us because we have done a poor job of educating people on what we go through to get to say we are PTs. So here it is. To become a Physical Therapist you must attend a 3 year graduate program after college to receive a degree from an accredited school as a Doctor of Physical Therapy (#DPT). …Shout out to George Washington University @gwupt @GWSMHS… We learn ALLLLLL kinds of things including wound care, pharmacology, cardiopulmonary diseases, neurology, women’s health and even diagnostic imaging on top of all the anatomy/biomechanics/physiology etc. This is a clinical doctor, similar to a dentist. So no, we do not need to get a Master’s degree first. And no, we do not have a PhD which is an abbreviation of Doctor of Philosophy. After we receive our DPT we have to take at least 2 exams. One is the national board exam, think the BAR exam for lawyers. The second is a state licensing exam. Each state has different laws that PTs have to follow. You must pass both the national and state exams to practice. To recap, we get our Doctor of Physical Therapy title from our graduate school and our license is dependent upon passing the national board exam. So you will always want to look for someone to have DPT, PT after their name because you can still be a DPT without being licensed. And no, we cannot prescribe medications. Not yet at least ;-) Keep the questions coming guys! Till next week ya’ll! . . . .
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