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in the physical therapy field what would the hours be that i need to take in order to get through the classes to be order to start my own business or etc?

in the physical therapy field what would the hours be that i need to take in order to get through the classes to be order to start my own business or etc?

Thank you comment icon Physical Therapy is not my field. Kikanza Nuri-Robins

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Subject: Career question for you

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Beth’s Answer

Hi Emmajo, you don’t mention where you are in school, so I’m going to stay broad with my answer.
If you want to run a physical therapy practice, you need to be a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant partnered with a physical therapist. Physical therapy is a graduate level program requiring 6 years of school (4 years for bachelors and 2-3 years for PT program.) Physical Therapist Assistant is a 2 -3 year program.
There are many successful private physical therapy businesses out there. There are many ways to run your business successfully.
Physical therapy school has some classes about the basics of business but it is not enough to give you a solid business knowledge.
1, take business classes as part of your undergraduate program. There will be a lot of required classes to get into your graduate level physical therapy program, but you will have options for business classes too. You are going to need a bookkeeping/accounting class, a business administration class, a marketing class at the minimum. If there is a healthcare administration class, which teaches about billing, insurance, regulations and rules, that would be valuable.
2. Focus on the science of physical therapy, be the best therapist you can be, Take extra certification classes and fellowships to specialize in something. Then you have a very marketable skill which makes you unique in the therapy world. Then hire a business manager to do the business part of your clinic and you can treat patients and do your marketing.
3. There are several companies that help you run your business. You work within their corporate structure but you own your clinic ( like a franchise). They include Greater therapy centers, therapy associates, and others.
4. Get your PT license, practice in a private clinic for a few years. Develop mentors and contacts to help if you have questions, be part of the APTA private practice section. Then open your own clinic. Very few successful clinics open right out of school.

You should ask yourself if you are more interested in the business part or the therapy part. If you are therapy driven, you will resent the time spent balancing your payroll and keeping up with regulations. You would want to go with option #2.
If you love the business stuff, don’t go to PT school, major in healthcare administration, get your billing and coding or health information degree (medical records management). There is a huge need for a business manager in the healthcare world. Then you can hire some awesome therapists for your clinic and you can be partners.
The business part of running a clinic is complex and is really a full time job. ( or several full time jobs - receptionist, biller/insurance verification, scheduler, marketing) You cannot be a good therapist and manage your clinic alone no matter how many business classes you take.

Beth recommends the following next steps:

Go to APTA.org for PT and PTA programs in your area, private practice section information
Select one or two PT programs in your area, see their prerequisites for application then you can plan your business classes.
Explore healthcare administration degrees.
Visit a privately owned clinic spend time with the front office staff as well as the therapists to see if you like it
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