Doctor of Physical Therapy: Difference between revisions

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(The Doctorate and the Title Doctor)
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As a part of its vision, the [[American Physical Therapy Association]] (APTA) <ref>[http://www.apta.org American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)]</ref> passed in 2000, Vision 2020 that states: "By 2020, physical therapy will be provided by physical therapists who are doctors of physical therapy, recognized by consumers and other health care professionals as the practitioners of choice to whom consumers have direct access for the diagnosis of, interventions for, and prevention of impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities related to movement, function, and health."
 
As a part of its vision, the [[American Physical Therapy Association]] (APTA) <ref>[http://www.apta.org American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)]</ref> passed in 2000, Vision 2020 that states: "By 2020, physical therapy will be provided by physical therapists who are doctors of physical therapy, recognized by consumers and other health care professionals as the practitioners of choice to whom consumers have direct access for the diagnosis of, interventions for, and prevention of impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities related to movement, function, and health."
   
==The Doctorate and the Title Doctor==
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==Use of the title doctor==
The DPT degree has been described as an example of "credential creep" or degree inflation in The Chronicle of Higher Education. ("The six-and-a-half-year doctor of physical therapy, or DPT, is rapidly replacing a six-year master's degree...The American Physical Therapy Association...has not set separate requirements for doctoral programs. To be accredited they need only meet the same requirements as master's programs.") There is concern that the DPT and similar professional doctorates in areas such as [[occupational therapy]] do not meet the standards of traditional doctorate degrees.<ref>http://chronicle.com/article/Credential-Creep/25476/</ref>
 
   
The use of the title 'doctor' by physical therapists and other non-physician health care workers is controversial.<ref>http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/02/health/policy/02docs.html?_r=2&ref=health</ref> In a letter to the [[New York Times]], the president of the American Physical Therapy Association responded:
 
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To provide accurate information to consumers, the American Physical Therapy Association has taken a proactive approach and provides clear guidelines for physical therapists regarding the use of the title "Doctor." These guidelines state that physical therapists, in all clinical settings, who hold a doctor of Physical Therapy Degree (DPT) shall indicate they are physical therapists when using the title "Doctor" or "Dr," and shall use the titles in accord with jurisdictional law.<ref>http://www.apta.org/Media/Letters/2011/10/5/</ref>
 
<blockquote>To provide accurate information to consumers, the American Physical Therapy Association has taken a proactive approach and provides clear guidelines for physical therapists regarding the use of the title "Doctor." These guidelines state that physical therapists, in all clinical settings, who hold a doctor of Physical Therapy Degree (DPT) shall indicate they are physical therapists when using the title "Doctor" or "Dr," and shall use the titles in accord with jurisdictional law.<ref>http://www.apta.org/Media/Letters/2011/10/5/</ref></blockquote>
 
   
 
== Professional degree (the entry-level) ==
 
== Professional degree (the entry-level) ==

Revision as of 04:53, 17 February 2012

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) or Doctor of Physiotherapy (DPhysio) is a post-baccalaureate 3-4 year degree conferred upon successful completion of a professional (entry-level) doctoral program intended for those who wish to become a licensed physical therapist. A one-year transitional degree is also offered for those who hold the Master of Physical Therapy degree. The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree is conferred by 208 of the nation's 213 US accredited professional physical therapist degree programs.[1] After completing a DPT the graduate may continue training in a residency or fellowship. As of 1/26/2012 there were 125 credentialed residencies and fellowships in the US. [2] Both credentialed residencies and fellowships are between 9 and 36 months.

As a part of its vision, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) [3] passed in 2000, Vision 2020 that states: "By 2020, physical therapy will be provided by physical therapists who are doctors of physical therapy, recognized by consumers and other health care professionals as the practitioners of choice to whom consumers have direct access for the diagnosis of, interventions for, and prevention of impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities related to movement, function, and health."

Use of the title doctor

To provide accurate information to consumers, the American Physical Therapy Association has taken a proactive approach and provides clear guidelines for physical therapists regarding the use of the title "Doctor." These guidelines state that physical therapists, in all clinical settings, who hold a doctor of Physical Therapy Degree (DPT) shall indicate they are physical therapists when using the title "Doctor" or "Dr," and shall use the titles in accord with jurisdictional law.[4]

Professional degree (the entry-level)

The professional (entry-level) DPT degree is the current degree conferred by the vast majority of physical therapist professional programs upon successful completion of a three to four-year post-baccalaureate degree program in the United States, that prepares the graduate to enter the practice of physical therapy. Admission requirements for the program include completion of an undergraduate degree that includes fulfillment of specific prerequisite coursework, volunteer experience or other exposure to the profession, completion of a standardized graduate examination (e.g., GRE), letters of reference, personal goals statement, passing the national licensure examination and meeting the requirements of the state(s) in which the physical therapist practices. Typical prerequisite courses usually include two semesters of anatomy and physiology with labs, 2 semesters of physics with labs, 2 semesters of chemistry with labs, a general course in psychology, another course in psychology usually abnormal or developmental psychology, statistics, two semesters of biology and one or two specific courses required by specific schools. The physical therapist curriculum consists of foundational sciences (i.e., anatomy, cellular histology, neuroscience, kinesiology, physiology, exercise physiology, pathology, pharmacology, radiology/imaging, medical screening), behavioral sciences (communication, social and psychologic factors, ethics and values, law, business and management sciences, clinical reasoning, evidence-based practice) and clinical sciences (cardiovascular/pulmonary, endocrine and metabolic, gastrointestinal and genitourinary, integumentary, musculoskeletal, neuromuscular), and physical therapist practice (patient/client management model, prevention, wellness, and health promotion, practice management, management of care delivery, social responsibility and advocacy, and core values). In addition, learners under the supervision of licensed physical therapists, engage in full-time clinical practice by managing patients/clients with a variety of conditions across the lifespan and with an expectation of providing safe, competent, and effective physical therapy.

Transition degree

The post-professional [5] DPT (Transitional) degree is conferred upon successful completion of a post-professional physical therapist education program. The "transition" DPT is intended for licensed physical therapists that hold the bachelor, master, or certificate degrees at the professional (entry-level) level. This program is designed to provide the doctoral credential to those currently holding a master's or bachelor's degree in the field. Post-professional DPT (Transitional) degree programs typically are based on a primarily distance-learning model.

Advanced clinical science degree

The "advanced clinical science" doctorate (e.g., DPTSc or DScPT, DHSc, ScDPT) is one of several degrees conferred by academic institutions upon successful completion of a post-professional physical therapist education program. This program is intended to provide an experienced clinician with advanced knowledge, clinical skills, and professional behaviors, usually in a specific specialty practice area. These programs typically culminate work that contributes new knowledge to clinical practice in the profession. Completion of these advanced clinical science doctoral programs may include credentialed clinical residencies and lead to ABPTS clinical specialization or other advanced certifications.

United Kingdom

Some UK universities now offer a DPT as a post-professional qualification, the qualifying degree remains Bachelor or Master of Science, Physiotherapy (with honours). The Doctor of Physiotherapy in the UK differs from a US clinical doctorate in that it is a 5-year post-professional Physiotherapy specific research programme, which is offered at the University of Sussex in Brighton. Other UK institutions prefer to offer a generic ProfD (Professional Doctorate) as this is recognised across many professions from veterinary medicine to pharmacy. It is soon to be a convention for all UK physiotherapy consultants to have earned a post-professional doctorate (PhD, DHSc, ProfD, DPT etc.)[citation needed] although the ever-changing NHS landscape makes it difficult to predict where the profession will be in 10 years.

References