The primary Physiotherapy practitioner is the Physical Therapist (PT) who is trained and licensed to examine, evaluate, diagnose and treat impairment, functional limitations and disabilities in patients or clients. The Master of Physical Therapy and Master of Science in Physical Therapy degrees are no longer offered, and the entry-level degree is the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, which typically takes 3 years. PTs who hold a Masters or bachelors in PT are encouraged to get their DPT because APTA’s goal is for all PT’s to be on a doctoral level. physical therapist entry-level educational programs be based on university or university-level studies, of a minimum of four years, independently validated and accredited.
The physical therapist professional curriculum includes content in the clinical sciences (e.g., content about the cardiovascular, pulmonary, endocrine, metabolic, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, integumentary, musculoskeletal, and neuromuscular systems and the medical and surgical conditions frequently seen by physical therapists).
Curricula for the Physical Therapist professional degree include:
- Screening to determine when patients/clients need further examination or consultation by a Orthopaedic physical therapist or referral to another health care professional.
- Evaluation: Evaluate data from the examination (history, systems review, and tests and measures) to make clinical judgments regarding patients/clients.
- Diagnosis: Determine a diagnosis that guides future patient/client management.
- Prognosis: Determine patient/client prognoses.
- Plan of Care: Collaborate with patients/clients, family members, payers, other professionals, and other individuals to determine a plan of care that is acceptable, realistic, culturally competent, and patient-centered.
- Provide effective culturally competent instruction to patients/clients and others to achieve goals and outcomes.
- Prevention, Health Promotion, Fitness and Wellness : Provide culturally competent physical therapy services for prevention, health promotion, fitness and wellness to individuals, groups, and communities. Apply principles of prevention to defined population groups.
- Students completing a Doctor of Physical Therapy program are also required to successfully complete clinical internships prior to graduation.