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Is there cross over degrees that combine a doctorate of physical therapy degree and an athletic trainers certification simultaneously or must students pursue these two goals separately?

#athletictraining #physicaltherapy

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Kyle’s Answer

Good Question, as previous replies mentioned traditionally ATC is a 4 year degree and then you sit for the ATC certification. However, in the future ATC will no longer be a 4 year degree as the profession is moving towards a masters degree to solidify there role ( similar to the DPT for physical therapy)

Athletic training and Physical therapy have commonalities in that they both deal with the human anatomy, injuries to the body, and science of exercises to prevent and heal.

ATC focus more with On-Field care and work, being present during games to treat athletes with injuries on the side-lines. They also create and work with CSCS to create preventative and effective exercise routines.

Physical Therapist is very vast, Outpatient PT mostly focuses on patients with chronic pain conditions or post-surgical (ex. ACLR, Total Joint replacements) Neuro In-patient or Outpatient PT works with neurological patients ( Stroke, Brain Injury, Vestibular disorder) Sports PTs in some aspect operate similar to ATC, but also work with athletes in rehab after injuries.

Kyle recommends the following next steps:

Research ATC education requirements and possible changes in the future
Research DPT education requirements
Shadow ATC at local sports team or center]
Shadow DPT in outpatient, inpatient, and possibly sports settings
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Beth’s Answer

Yes, many physical therapists also are athletic trainers. It takes a lot of hard work and extra classes but it can be done. Physical therapy is a post graduate program . Choose athletic training as your bachelors degree track - or kinesiology/sport science, be on a team, or work with the team trainer while completing athletic training classes and physical therapy prerequisites. Graduate and get into a physical therapy program.
Be aware that physical therapy is very competitive and you must keep a high gpa to get in.
Both PT and ATC will require a certificate test at the end of your classes. The test is usually 8 hours long and covers everything you have learned.

Beth recommends the following next steps:

Shadow a PT/ATC to see if you like the work
Keep your grades up.
Go to APTA. Org to learn more
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Pro’s Answer

Try looking at Interdisciplinary, General Studies, or Liberal Arts/Liberal Studies Degrees: Or even an Individualized Major that you can name yourself.
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Justin’s Answer

In order to be accepted to PT school, you must first have an undergraduate degree, including all of the prerequisite classes that are required to apply to PT school. I graduated from Texas State University with an undergraduate degree in Exercise & Sports Science, which is equivalent to an athletic training degree. I did not pursue an Athletic Trainer certification because I knew I only wanted to be a PT. However, there were several classmates of mine who pursued an AT certification & became certified after graduating, then applied & were accepted to PT school. Basically, an AT certification requires an undergraduate degree & is often used as the degree that many students obtain to get into PT school, as it encompasses many, if not all, of the prerequisite classes required to apply to PT school. I hope this answers your question. Although an AT certification & PT doctorate cannot be achieved simultaneously, one is a stepping stone to the other.
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