Who is a physical therapist and what do they do?
A physical therapist is a licensed professional who more recently has completed a master’s or doctoral program and has passed their respective State Board Exam. A physical therapist’s primary objective is to use their acquired skills to restore his/her patients back to their optimal functional ability.
Why did you choose to be a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant?
I was originally was going to be an Orthopaedic MD, but didn’t like the schedule demands and level of liability. I switched to PT as it was a chance to be a clinic owner, be at the top of my respective food chain and operate in a dynamic environment that marries my undergraduate degree in kinesiology, my athletic career and passion for science.
What’s the difference between a physical therapist and a chiropractor?
Yield to practice acts. Physical therapists restores optimal functional ability and dig heavily into biomechanics and fault mechanics. Chiropractors are focused on overall health and focus on the spine and neuromusculoskeletal system. Both professions are qualified to do manipulations (adjustments for chiro), apply modalities, and do soft tissue work.
Who needs physical therapy?
Our patients come in with a range of needs. We see standard pain patients (low back, neck, knee, shoulder, etc), post-operative patients, work comp- pathology and return to work assessment and clearance, athletes-pathology stemming from biomechanical errors and return to play clearance, neuro- stroke, MS, some pediatric.
How long do physical therapists and physical therapist assistants go to school?
4-5 years undergraduate, 3 years doctoral program, hopefully a 1 year residency or fellowship; 4 years undergraduate and 2 year graduate school (respectively)
What degree does a physical therapist currently require?
Doctorate is current entry level but if past PTs began practicing with their bachelor’s they were grandfathered in.
How much does a physical therapist and physical therapist assistant make?
In California the average is $98,419 with a range from $83,612-$106,790 and an assistant average $61,990 with a range from $50,806-$74,276.
How hard is it to get in to physical therapy school?
It is becoming increasingly hard but attainable with focus. Nearing med school criterion the minimum standard requirement is a 3.0 undergrad GPA with GRE scores of 150 in each category with a 4.5 writing score.. BUT over 3.5 GPA and GRE score of 155 in each category with a 5.0 writing is what schools are realistically looking at.
How many patients do you see a day?
Every clinic varies but we see 15-20 patients per therapist. Our outpatient orthopaedic clinic is highly specialized and each patient gets a high level of focus, modification and progression regularly as they improve or even fail to improve.
How many evaluations do you get to see?
On average our clinic sees 20-30 new patients per week
Are PTs specialized?
Yes. There are residencies in Orthopaedics, Neurologic, Pediatrics, Sports, Women’s Health, Wound Care, Hand Therapy, Lymphatics.
Who can own a clinic?
Any licensed medical practitioner (ie: MDs, PTs, Chiro, PTA, PA, etc)
What is the best and worst part of being a PT?
The best part of our job is helping people get back to their normal lives and better in most instances. Worst part relates to the business side of medical: documentation, liability, dealing with insurance and money in general, grumpy patients.
How is your clinic different than other clinics?
In general…We’re hyper focused nerds and take pride in what we do at the highest level possible. We constantly dig into cutting edge research and continuing ed to get better faster so our patients get better faster. Also…We rock out, watch cartoons, joke, yell, and generally keep good vibes with high energy.
Do you guys have internships?
We have many options for interns as we are a teaching clinic. We have short rotation spots for our “adventurers” who are just looking to understand the profession. We have a contract with the CNUSD school district for semester or year long interns. We do take undergrad interns that are getting volunteer hours to progress and apply to a graduate program (we also hire from this pool), and graduate students who are already in a graduate program receiving professional mentorship.