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If I want to be a Physical Therapist what classes should I try to take in highschool?

I'm a 9th grader who swims and enjoys other sports. #physical-therapist

Take every science-related course your school has to offer and also if they offer courses such as anatomy or medical terminology take those as well. Another great course is AP Bio. Also, you can take certain medical-related courses at a close-by community college. Anjali S.

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Susie’s Answer

Good for you! Yes, you should take science and math coursework, specifically chemistry, physics, anatomy, psychology, and biology in the sciences and whichever maths you match with, including statistics, if possible. You will need to take all those at college as well, so that will give you a foundation. However, my high school coursework that I found especially helpful in my PT training was my classes in journalism, debate, languages, and philosophy! Yes, as a PT I need to know the science and math- and there are 7 years ahead after HS to learn that, if you study in the USA- so in HS I would suggest also taking coursework that opens your mind and teaches you how to listen and communicate. Writing, speaking, and listening are key to our work. Team sports definitely helps us learn to communicate, so enjoy all those opportunities, if they bring you joy.

I played a few sports in high school, but I wish I had taken theatre, music, dance, and more languages, too. It depends where you plan to practice and what your interests are. In Chicago, there is a need for therapists who are fluent in Spanish and Polish, neither of which I studied in high school, only tried to learn much later. I also wish I'd learned to play an instrument, as I could use that in my pediatric practice! If your passion is art, theatre, music- or you just want to try those out, take those classes, too. Now is the time to see what you are good at, or what is challenging, but still interesting.

If you can, volunteer in your community in a role where you are serving others, or helping in some way, like teaching swimming to children with special needs. If you get the chance, travel and learn about other cultures. All that will be helpful. Good luck and I hope you become a PT! Good luck with your swim career, too!

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Carolyn’s Answer

You may also want to see if your high school also offers a sports medicine or human physiology class as well.

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Thomas’s Answer

You should definitely take biology, chemistry, and as many other science classes as you can. This will help to prepare you for the classes you will have to take in college.