It’s hard to get into Doctor of Physical Therapy programs.
The admissions process is COMPETETIVE. Like 10% of people who apply get accepted to some programs.
In my research, I keep seeing the same advice over & over about how to get accepted. One recurring suggestion is to know & understand the profession. They want to see that we really care about one day being a physical therapist and that we’ve done our homework on what they actually do for work, and what the different settings are.
With this collab, we’ve found another way to display knowledge of the PT profession, constant self-improvement, and a strong commitment to the field.
And the best part is, any person interested in physical therapy can join in & do the same exact thing!
It’s basically a virtual pre-DPT club! Students all over the world interact and learn from each other through social media everyday, so why not give it a name? Also, colleges always have pre-PT clubs on campus, so why not have an online community for the exact same thing?
My friend Samantha is also pursuing PT. This is when the collaboration part steps in…
She is a talented blogger, Instagram pro, and experienced traveler over at Braidologie & recently graduated with her Bachelor’s degree.
[FUN FACT] She took over her hometown’s Instagram account one time, so you know she knows what she’s doing over there!
We met through blogging, and have had lots of conversations about our PT journeys. We decided to take action and create the one & only (that we know of…) virtual pre-PT club!
The name of our club is Pre-DPT Society.
I’m so glad I got to interview Samantha because she is so smart & I admire her perspective. She made some great points, PLUS gave some really useful advice at the end!
Pre-DPT Society Founders’ Interview with Braidologie :
Jess (PT Contender): How old are you? Where are you from?
Samantha (Braidologie): I am 21 years old and I am from California! I was born and raised in Stockton, CA and decided to stay home for my undergraduate education.
J: Why do you choose to pursue Physical Therapy? What experience influenced your decision?
S: Throughout high school, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in the medical profession but I wasn’t really set on a specific path. This all changed during my junior year when I was on the varsity cross country team and taking an Anatomy class. During practice, one of my study habits was to go over what was learned in class in my head. Not only did this make practice go by faster, but I realized how much I loved anatomy. Coming to the conclusion that every motion and every decision, whether physical or mental, affected multiple body systems in some way was truly fascinating to me. My teacher noticed my genuine enthusiasm for his class and suggested that I look into Physical Therapy as a career. Around this time, my father, an avid marathoner, had developed a chronic overuse injury, plantar fasciitis. He brought me along to his initial eval and following visits so that I could have some early exposure to the profession. As soon as I saw how my father and his PT interacted and how the PT was able to cure my dad of his pain, I knew that physical therapy was worth pursuing!
J: What did you major in for undergrad?
S: For undergrad, I majored in Health, Exercise, Sports Science.
J: Congratulations on recently graduating with your Bachelors! What does the next year look like for you?
S: Thank you so much! My year will mostly consist of working full time as a PT Aide, finishing up some PT pre-reqs at a local JC in the fall and spring, and hopefully some travel in between! My current travel plans include a visit to Barcelona this month and maybe a trip to Vegas later in the summer. I am also planning to devote more time in creating more content for my blog this summer! 🙂
J: In your opinion, what makes physical therapists stand out from other medical professions?
S: Physical therapists are the only medical practitioners that specialize in movement and use it to heal their patients/clients. Not only do physical therapists use movement to heal, but they also teach their patients proper posture and form in exercises to prevent future injury.
J: What do you hope to accomplish in PT school?
S: What I hope to accomplish in PT school is to learn skills that will make me a great PT. I hope to build a solid patient care philosophy and be able to help my patients to the best of my ability.
J: What is one misconception about Physical Therapy that you’d like to debunk?
S: I’d like to debunk the misconception that physical therapy is only for the injured. A big part of treatment outcomes are doing exercises as a preventative measure. Even getting evaluated by a PT is beneficial even if you are ‘perfectly’ healthy, because they could spot some postural irregularities and/or muscle imbalances.
J: Is there a certain specialty in the PT world that interests you the most? If so, do you plan on specializing?
S: One specialty that I’d be interested in pursuing is pediatrics and/or orthopaedics. I’ve observed at both inpatient and outpatient settings, and both specialties stand out to me.
J: What is your main goal after PT school?
S: My main goal after PT school is to be employed as a travel physical therapist. Another big passion of mine is travel, so becoming a traveling PT would be an absolute dream come true!
J: Any advice for those that also which to pursue Pre-PT
S: My advice to those wishing to pursue Pre-PT are:
a. Do your observation hours ASAP→ It doesn’t matter what year you are in college, but the sooner you do your hours, the less stressed you’ll be in your upperclassmen years. Call local outpatient clinics and reach out to the clinic director about doing observation hours. Once you get settled in a clinic and are an attentive observation student, you’ll start to build rapport with the PTs of that clinic. This will be extremely helpful for recommendation letters, references, and even possible employment as an aide at that clinic! Be sure to call local hospitals for inpatient hours. This can be challenging since hospitals usually have a strict schedule about the number of hours each student can do. If it comes down to it, put your name on their waiting list and keep reaching out to other places.
b. Get involved in your campus Pre-PT Club→ Being involvement in a school organization such as Pre-PT Club shows that you have initiative in learning more about the profession. Pre-PT Club can help develop leadership skills and practice networking with other students, professors, PTs, etc. I definitely owe all my success in observation hours, leadership, and networking skills to my undergrad Pre-PT Club! 🙂
c. Journal about your observation experiences→ Journaling about my observation experience was one of the assignments I had for a class. It was extremely helpful in providing a template to ask more questions and it really hone my critical thinking skills. It may seem tedious, but it’s totally worth the time and effort!
Samantha also interviewed me, so feel free to find my answers on this post.
Also, we would love any feedback/suggestions/requests, so please send those over to us. We love a challenge!
I play all day on Snap & Twitter!
Come say hi :))