Should I Consider Physical Therapy?

Question by Bob S: Should I consider physical therapy?
I’m a college freshman currently at Drake University. Next year, assuming I get accepted (I’ve already submitted the application), I’m transferring to the University of Minnesota; my first choice major is Biology, Society, and Environment (it’s a BA, not a BS). I’ve been considering physical therapy as a career, which would mean DPT grad school. I have a few questions, though.

1) I only took one biology class (along with a lab) this first year of college; most of my classes were along the lines of history, politics, foreign language, etc. To get on the physical therapy “track,” will I possibly need to take some summer classes at the U of M or (gulp) an extra year? Presumably I will be taking more science classes starting next year if I go through with this; I just don’t want to get behind on the PT “track,” if you know what I mean. Is this sort of thing usually a four-year undergrad commitment, or can somebody enter it after the first year and get right into the flow of things?

2) How is physical therapy school similar and different from medical school? And how are the careers different? (Difficulty of education, debt, workplace, etc.) Can physical therapists work in hospitals? (I would like that.)

3) Is Biology, Society, and Environment a good sort of degree for getting into PT school? It’s a BA. Here’s a link: http://www.clacareer.umn.edu/wcidwami/biology.html

4) I am (hopefully) volunteering at a hospital near my house this summer (I live in Minneapolis) and trying to get to work with the hospitals’ physical therapy department. Is this is a good start for volunteering? What sorts of other activities would be useful?

Thanks!

Best answer:

Answer by Mary
your major is not important, you need the pre reqs. You will need 1 year of gen bio, gen chem, gen physics, and Anatomy and Phys. These all need labs. So if you program does not allow these, then it will take you longer. What is important is the gpa. You will need a 3.5 to be competitive for PT school

PT school is challenging. I did not go to med school but PT school is pretty intense. You will intern for about a year full time. You may have to travel to different parts of the country because the area around the college will not have enough clinic spaces. You will be required to work in a hospital, outpatient ortho, and then a rehab/neuro or pediatrics. You usually get a specialty choice for your last one

I would look at the national PT website under prospective students to answer you questions.

www.apta.org

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