physical therapy education and licensing has been interesting to follow over the last 40 years.
this is perhaps the most 'tightly' and successfully controlled discipline,
by their lobby/professional organization the apta.
the apta has long emphasized some of its 'labor union' function and quite successfully, when other health professionals were clueless.
they have always managed to keep the supply side TIGHT and thereby keep the demand high and help with the salary structure.
during periods of genuine shortages when other health fields were ENLARGING class size or boosting enrollment...
the apta and pt schools held fast to small classes.
that worked as planned and demand remains strong for graduates.
there MAY still be a shortage, but what really exists is a maldistribution.
with jobs in rural areas or in senior based facilities going un filled.
urban areas are pretty well stocked these days (except for some hospital/IN patient jobs which are no fun)
and we won't see 'foreign school graduates' or much in the way of 'alternative path' trainees filling the jobs.
again very tight control and lobbying has worked very well from within the organization.
the future looks very good for pt and it appears demand will continue to grow with the aging population....
IF the money and reimbursement (primarily medicare) can survive.
the current 'entry level' degree program is not a Ph. D. it is a DPT.
as in doctor
of physical therapy...
Doctor of Physical Therapy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
the terminology for the entry level degree has evolved from bachelors to masters to doctors...
but the Dpt is still the 'entry level' degree, one doesn't first get a B' or M' and then advance to a D' level sheep skin.
again this works to advance public perception of the qualifications and training required.
the actual curriculum has changed some but not to the extent one might think given the name applied to the degree.
it is still basically a 3 year training program with 7-8 month of clinical experience (so about 2 + years of academics.
this used to happen after about 2+ years of 'undergraduate' education but now a 4 year (bach' degree) is the starting point.
traditionally pt was part of the 'allied health' fields which included...
occupational therapy, speech therapy, respiratory therapy, recreational therapy, social workers and so on...
for at least 20 years pt has worked HARD to not be included in that general classification...
the apta also has resisted getting lumped in with physicians assistants, or nurse practitioners, or pharmacy
or ANY field that must work under
some other provider.
they've also worked hard to have all licensing, oversight and review done ONLY by other pts,
rather than the old daze when md types did the oversight.
the long term and primary goal has been parity with other direct providers...
think dentistry, podiatry, chiropractic, naturopathy and so on, where the provider is called 'doctor' instead of therapist.
terminology is so important and branding/degrees reflect this.
the goal is a public perception of PARITY with all those other doctors
the fact is a 'doctorate in nursing' takes many more years to achieve and is much closer academically to the Ph.D. path.
this is basically REbranding within the PT field and adding SOME additional K/S/A to the curriculum.
dietitians have tried to follow a similar professional metamorphosis with the 'nutritionist' or food scientist rebranding.
it's all about public perceptions AND autonomy and ultimately direct access to patients and reimbursement (the ultimate goal)
within the PT umbrella, licensed physical therapists have long used a variety of assistants, aides, techs and so on...
because reimbursement has been so TIGHTLY linked to DIRECT patient care, boosting income historically meant 'treating more people'...
so like anesthesiology, pt uses assistants (under their direct supervision) to TREAT more patients without direct 1-1 time limitations.
they leverage themselves and have been doing this successfully in the out patient and in patient setting for a long time.
there was a time when basically CLUELESS doctors wrote "prescriptions" for physical therapy.
these docs with ZERO formal training in pt, who may have never been IN a pt clinic were expected to prescribe...
modality, frequency and duration of time spent with a therapist.
these same clueless md types were deciding WHEN to stop/start therapy,
which also impacted REVENUE for therapist and the success/failure of outcome FOR the patients.
within orthopedics many pts worked "under" a surgeon or in clinics that were part of doctor groups...
neither of these arrangements were professionally or financially satisfying for professionals trained in PT.
there were also concerns that the docs might be gaining financially by 'prescribing' the therapy.
PT financial growth and professional growth had ceilings and lead to high rates of BURN OUT...
many therapists simply left the field instead opting for equipment sales, long term facility management or other jobs.
so another goal of rebranding the profession and working toward parity is to keep folks TRAINED in pt, doing PT.
none of this has much/anything to do with the op,
it's good to read you (susan) survived the carpentry and remodel and the pain is better!
now best of luck with the most important part,
getting to a level of function that will allow enjoyment of streamin' and all things physical.
work hard, pain NOW is generally related to efforts at improvement, so keep pedaling and lifting and stretching!
((and where are the pictures of your new scars?))