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Physical Therapist

What do Physical Therapists Do?

  • Review patients' medical history and any referrals or notes from doctors, surgeons, or other healthcare workers
  • Diagnose patients' functions and movements by observing them stand or walk and by listening to their concerns, among other methods
  • Develop individualized plans of care for patients, outlining the patients' goals and the expected outcomes of the plans
  • Use exercises, stretching maneuvers, hands-on therapy, and equipment to ease patients' pain, help them increase their mobility, prevent further pain or injury, and facilitate health and wellness
  • Educate patients and their families about what to expect from the recovery process and how best to cope with challenges throughout the process

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Pre-Physical Therapy Requirements

Prerequisites: Due to the varied requirements per program, the Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) has compiled a summary of PT programs and prerequisites for each school.

Application: Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) and Preparing for the Admissions Process

Entrance exam: Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

Physical Therapy Education

Degree: Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

Years of Study: Most programs are completed in ~3 years

Education Overview

More Information

Last Updated: 7/18/16