Search
A DPT in Your Future?

A DPT in Your Future?

In 2000, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) set forth a vision statement that by 2020, every practicing physical therapist would be trained at the doctoral level, earning a doctorate in physical therapy (DPT). This level of education is essential, according to the APTA, given the growing body of knowledge in physical therapy and the needs of an aging America.

"The APTA's goal is to prepare an autonomous but collaborative practitioner who can work in a variety of settings," explains Dr. Robert Sandstrom, PT, PhD, associate professor and chair of the physical therapy department at Creighton University in Omaha. "Today, physical therapists can see patients of all ages, from newborns to the oldest individuals in long-term care. It takes time to prepare a therapist for this responsibility."

In a remarkably rapid manner, the APTA's vision is becoming a reality.

In 1995, Creighton ran the only DPT program in the US. Today, there are 117 programs, most of which have been formed since 1999. Of the 204 US physical therapy programs, more than half are accredited to enroll doctoral students.

More to Learn

Why the need for extra schooling? For starters, there's a lot to learn. "The amount of information in healthcare is growing exponentially," says Mary Jane Harris, PT, director of the APTA's Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. "There is just more information physical therapists need to effectively function in a healthcare delivery system."

A bachelor's-level education didn't allow enough time for students to get both a good liberal arts education and the necessary grounding in physical therapy, she says. PTs now entering the profession must graduate from accredited programs, which now include only master's- and doctorate-level programs. But many now believe that master's-level programs simply aren't enough for the challenges this profession presents.

Physical therapists also need expanded training in business-management skills as more enter private practice.

Other factors affect the length of schooling, too. "We are facing a tremendous challenge of disablement in our society with the aging population in the US," Sandstrom explains. "We're confronted by a population which is increasingly suffering from chronic disease and disability and yet has high expectations for how they want to live. How are we going to keep this population healthy?"

The APTA's answer: A doctoral-level education.

Off Campus, On the Job

There are two paths to the DPT degree. Students embarking on their physical therapy education can enroll in an entry-level DPT program that will culminate in a doctoral degree. Sandstrom predicts that by 2015, nearly 95 percent of all physical therapy programs will be entry-level DPT programs.

For accredited practitioners already in the workforce, transitional, or post-professional, DPT degrees offer a convenient way to earn a doctorate while remaining employed. Most transitional programs follow a distance-learning model, with only brief on-campus experiences. Plus, they build on and recognize the skills and knowledge practitioners have acquired while working.

For example, Creighton's distance-based transitional DPT program runs two to three years but includes just one brief on-campus experience.

At Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in Provo, Utah, the transitional DPT program runs eight months with only two week-long stints on campus. Doctoral students in the program gain skills they can immediately use in their clinical practice.

The Rocky Mountain curriculum stresses evidence-based practice -- integrating the best research evidence with clinical experience and patient values, according to transitional DPT program director Gail Dean Deyle, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT. "Our graduates are very pleased with their new abilities to find and apply the best available evidence for diagnosis and intervention in their practice," he says.

Earning a DPT won't necessarily translate into a higher income, according to available PT salary data, but it does demonstrate a commitment to the profession and can help practitioners treat people more effectively.

Financial assistance is available for PT education.

Latest Jobs

Brush Grocery Kart Inc
Posted: 10/30/2014
Brush, CO, 80723
Kmart
Posted: 10/30/2014
SPRINGFIELD, MA, 01104
Kmart
Posted: 10/30/2014
HOLYOKE, MA, 01040
BigR.io
Posted: 10/30/2014
Boston, MA, 02108
Life4DiabetesAgents.com
Posted: 10/30/2014
Dallas, TX, 75202

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile

 
 
 

Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
ArtBistro
Create and connect.
Excelle
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships
Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Education.org
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military.com
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.

Interviewing

100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2014 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2014.4.65.72-215
eTrustLogo