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Physical Therapy

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Applying to Grad School [May. 20th, 2010|03:56 pm]
Physical Therapy


Hi everyone!

 I just joined this community and everyone seems very nice and helpful. I am a graduating student from the University of Toronto, in Canada, and am thinking of applying to American schools for a DPT program. There are a lot of prerequisite courses and general admission requirements to get in, so I'm worried about whether or not I'm competitive enough to get accepted. Other than GPA in the prerequisite courses, what else can I do to increase my chances of getting in? I have around 100 hours of volunteer work in a physical therapy setting (though only doing mundane things such as filiing and providing patients with fresh water...but I did volunteer in an exercise program with stroke patients that was created by physical therapists, but it was organized by a fitness trainer, and not a physical therapist). However, I JUST got a volunteer position working directly under a physical therapist in 2 different MSK settings (one with the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and one in a private clinic), and I'm also volunteering in the Acquired Brain Injury clinic at Toronto Rehab. In addition, I have also had two chances to observe in an in-patient and out-patient MSK unit, and hope to get more chances to observe in spinal chord injury and neuro units. I'm hoping these additional volunteer placements will really help, but is there anything else I can do? I really want to be a competitive applicant since its rediculously hard to get into any PT grad program in Canada.



[User Picture]From: dance_shiva
2010-05-21 03:23 am (UTC)
First of all, take a deep breath. You sound great.:)

I can only tell you about the program that I applied to eight years ago which has (reportedly, and hopefully) changed a lot since I graduated, but I imagine certain things will still hold true.

Your current resume' as you describe it is strong in terms of demonstrating real-time experience, a capacity for high-level classroom performance (if the GPA you mention is, in fact, good:) passion for the work, a go-getting attitude, and an idea of where you're interested in focusing, all of which will make you attractive. Most schools will want you to write something up describing your experiences and goals, and including all of that is a good start.

You may also want to do and highlight things that help to demonstrate a mature view of the therapist/client relationship (and work on developing one if you feel you're lacking in that area;). Demonstrate how you see your role as a knowledgable facilitator assisting whole human beings with their recovery/learning process, rather than a benign savior of the less fortunate or less capable. Engage in things that involve communicating with people from a wide variety of backgrounds, like volunteering at a community clinic. Look at and be ready to describe how the part of the world you live in has exposed you to unique perspectives and opportunities in health care.

Since you're probably going to be going to a school far from home, you may want to think about how you're going to stay in contact with your emotional support system...it may not seem like a big deal right now, but whether or not you have someone rooting for you makes a big difference when you're grinding away at an intensive graduate program.

Good luck!
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[User Picture]From: badxfaith
2010-05-21 06:39 am (UTC)
Do volunteerwork with disadvantaged populations in addition to PT hours. Try to do something that shows your leadership skills, like organizing a food drive, coaching a kid's team, or joining a big brother/big sister program.
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[User Picture]From: milton88
2010-05-22 09:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you both! I am currently looking into your suggestions. :)
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From: neiltherapist
2011-06-24 09:30 am (UTC)
Well, your volunteer work gives you great chances to get into physical therapy graduate school! What else can you do? Well, look for some physical therapy organizations, maybe, you can become a member of one! It can help you when applying for a physical therapy school. Probably, you have some sport achievments or you've taken part in community work... It is worth mentioning as well.
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