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What does it take to become a good successful physical therapist

A student-athlete, wants to have a career that stays around sports and helps others occupational-therapy

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Sierra’s Answer

Hi Trinity, the answer above is fantastic. I noticed that you tagged occupational therapy as well so I will add some additional information. To be an Occupational Therapist (OT) you need to have an education at the graduate level. This means you will need to first complete a bachelor's degree then apply for a master's or doctoral occupational therapy program. Its important to note that currently new PTs can only pursue a doctoral degree while OTs can still do either. In my OT doctoral program we had students with a variety of educational backgrounds. Some had bachelors in kinesiology, psychology, or biology. Others had bachelors in anthropology, sociology, or even religion. Its important to note that every graduate program has different requirements so you may have to add some classes here and there to have a competitive application. You will also need to do a set number of volunteer/observation hours in a variety of settings before acceptance.

Both OT and PT programs last 2.5-3 years. Typically, the first 1.5-2 yrs involves an anatomy classes (cadaver lab), neuro classes and courses specific to each discipline. During the last year, students are sent out to complete clinical fieldwork rotations in different settings such as acute care, inpatient, outpatient, schools, mental health settings (OT) etc... Both PT and OT require students to sit for an national certification exam after graduation before you can begin working. If you have more questions or want to know more about the differences between the two professions I am happy to help! Best of luck!
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Ashlynn’s Answer

There is some good information in the answers above and I just wanted to add some info from an athletic trainer also pursuing physical therapy post-undergrad. I may be biased but I think have an athletic training undergrad background helps tremendously when attending PT school. The AT course load and demands outside of class time help to teach you how to best mange time and work-life balance. It also provides you with a good strong foundation for information that PT school will later build upon.

If you do decide to stay more sports oriented there are so many career opportunities. The world of athletic training is growing by the day and reaching out into new territories.
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Gregory’s Answer

My son pursued and achieved a bachelor's degree in Sports Medicine/Athletic Training. It is basically the same as Physical Therapy, but concentrates on sports injuries. After graduating and his required semester long internship, which he completed at the college sports level - he got a job as an athletic trainer at a high school, where he was the athletic trainer for all sports played at the school. Working at college level and above requires a Master's degree to a Ph. D. degree. Depending on what level you want to work at, you can also work as an Assistant Physical Therapist with a Bachelor's degree at most Physical Rehabilitation facilities. Most successful Athletic trainers were athletes themselves and maintain good physical fitness and health. This is preferred by most employers.
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