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ADVANCE for Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine is thrilled to welcome you to PT Talk: Blog Community from ADVANCE! Our blog community offers interactive blogs written by PT professionals and our editorial staff. We look forward to hearing more about the rehabilitation field from your point of view. Blogs will discuss issues related to the field, current events and other fun & candid observations. We have provided a comment section so you can voice your opinions and submit feedback. Happy blogging!
November 18, 2015 5:11 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

My post last month, "The DPT: How Did They Miss This?" has generated numerous comments on the ADVANCE website, almost entirely from readers who agreed with its content. One exception, however, was an assistant professor of physical therapy who stated that making the DPT a mandatory entry-level degree ...


The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), Alexandria, Va., issued an important news release on Nov. 9 related to loan repayment for new graduate physical therapists.

The release stated: "In a 'Flash Action' effort led by students from PT and PTA education ...

November 11, 2015 2:38 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

Besides volunteering recently at the Texas Physical Therapy Association (TPTA) annual conference, I also had a chance to meet with both professionals and students. It turned out the number of PT schools is a hot topic in the profession. The answer depends on who you ask.

Students and would-be students both think there aren't enough schools. They complain about how hard it is to be accepted. Some of the locations ...

October 28, 2015 4:25 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

Last weekend was the Texas Physical Therapy Association annual conference. Before the conference began, I attended a board meeting. Among the items on the agenda was a nomination to the APTA. Being curious, I asked what the process was to be nominated to run for a national office.

The process is long. In order to run for a national office, a candidate must be nominated by either the chief delegate of the state ...

October 21, 2015 12:36 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

The more I talk to therapists around the country, the more I get the impression very few of us think that requiring the DPT as the entry-level degree for the profession was a good idea. Taken apart from other issues, the DPT is a good thing. But as the required degree, it created a problem. The market did not and does not support it.

Several years ago when the rollout was being planned, the APTA told us it ...

October 14, 2015 12:14 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

I just got back from a teaching trip in two larger cities near Lake Erie. I was lucky in that I was able to eat lunch with some of the attendees. Both times the discussion eventually turned to concerns about our profession. They had a different perspective than I do.

In that area, new graduates don't hold out for more money. They accept jobs that pay less, which I was told drives down salaries across the board. ...


This guest blog post was written by Jerry Henderson, PT, vice president of clinical community at Clinicient in Portland, Ore.

I personally believe that our profession is an excellent value. That is, our efforts provide a great benefit for the cost. Unfortunately, regardless of the conviction of my beliefs, we have an obligation to prove it to payers and, more importantly, to the consumer. Believing ...


The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), Alexandria, Va., issued an Oct. 8 press release detailing how the organization has spoken out in The New York Times (NYT). This initiative was precipitated by recent reports that skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) are taking advantage of Medicare billing policies. The ...

October 7, 2015 4:27 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

On my way home from work today, I stopped at the grocery store. As I was walking to the front door, a woman stopped me. She had one of those electric shopping carts and asked if I would please drive it back into the store for her. I must have looked shocked but after a quick driving lesson, I got the thing into the store.

I was kind of embarrassed as I was driving. I obviously didn't need to use one. Then ...

September 30, 2015 3:46 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

My hospital serves a large population of non-English-speaking patients. At any given time, one-third to one-half of my caseload speaks Spanish. As a result, the Interpreter Services Department was created. They either employ or contract for interpreters in almost every language. This includes sign language. We are supposed to use these translators or a telephone-based language line whenever we work with a non-English-speaking ...

September 23, 2015 5:43 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

I wish someone could explain this to me. The baby boomers are aging. Each year, millions more of them will become eligible for Medicare. Instead of increasing funding to cover everyone at current levels, the government is decreasing the funding. Everyone will still get funding but with less coverage.

As physical therapists, we know the aging population will need our services. Years ago we talked about the ...


Yoga and Pilates are both well known in the therapy world and are often used as a complementary activity for patients with chronic pain and long-term conditions. Not many people, however, use Tai Chi as an example of such exercises - but maybe they should start.

The British Journal of Sports and Medicine published a systematic review on the effects of Tai Chi on four specific chronic conditions: osteoarthritis, ...

September 16, 2015 3:23 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

This week I thought I'd follow up on my friend's job search. She graduated the same year I did and lost her job last month. I'm tracking her progress because the plight of experienced therapists seeking work is completely overshadowed by how new grads are doing.

As of last Friday, ...

September 10, 2015 10:37 AM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

Wisdom comes to us in many ways. Last week one of my patients told me not to get old. Being an old lady is hard on you.

I've never heard it put any better.


 Editor's note: This blog post was guest written by Kelly McFarland, PT, DPT 

Any physical therapist who has chosen to get into aquatics knows how beneficial it is for patients. However, it's not always straightforward. In order to provide exceptional aquatic therapy to clients, you have to be willing to make changes along the way.

Some of my biggest tips for colleagues who ...

September 2, 2015 4:40 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

Last week I was involved in a discussion regarding membership in the APTA. For once the topic wasn't new graduates but therapists who were members but no longer are. The question was, what would it take to bring them back in? What do they value? I responded by describing how a SNF functions. Fix that chaos and they'll return.

SNFs are unique. Their purpose is to provide rehab for patients who can't tolerate ...


The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), Alexandria, Va., recently issued a press release concerning a new study. Published in the Forum for Health Economics & Policy, the study is titled "Physician Self-Referral of Physical Therapy Services for Patients with Low Back Pain: Implications for Use, Types of Treatments Received ...

August 26, 2015 4:11 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

Previously I've written about the financial burden on newly graduated DPTs. If undergraduate costs are included, a new graduate could be as much as $100,000 in debt. The debt is driving decisions about jobs, salaries and benefits. Until last week, I hadn't considered the effect this ...


While there are many important differences between the physical and occupational therapy fields, it is more often than not found that each profession can learn a lot from the other.

Back in July I went to visit Phoebe Ministries, a non-profit, multi-facility organization specializing in health care, housing, and support services for seniors located in Allentown, Pa., to learn about their newest implemented therapy ...

August 19, 2015 4:41 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

In my last blog, I described my concerns that nothing will change with the APTA, expensive consultant group or not. I expect them to continue with the same message but repackage with new words. I see subtlety in their future. The reason I don't expect change is simple. The same people will still ...

July 29, 2015 5:23 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

I've spent more time thinking about the "new" APTA. This could be a golden opportunity for the APTA to reinvent itself and address the needs of its current non-members. By asking questions and actually listening to the answers, its membership might grow and it could become a true association of the profession.

Alas, I just don't think so. I expect something along the lines of reshaping the message to fit the ...

July 22, 2015 5:19 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

Last weekend I attended a Texas Physical Therapy Association (TPTA) meeting. The purpose was to rethink our strategy for the next few years. It seems the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has been researching why its message isn't being received. Thousands of dollars were spent on consultants to tell them why this has been happening. The answer was simple.

The APTA is getting the message out ...

July 15, 2015 3:08 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

I recently learned Houston is getting another PT school. It's still in the planning stages. They are looking for individuals to develop and open the school. I'm not sure how long that takes but I would guess it will be a few years before the first class is accepted.

I find this unbelievable. Texas has more PT schools than almost any other state. We have two in Houston and five or six in surrounding cities. ...

July 10, 2015 3:14 PM by Jocelyn Wallace of Striving to Be a DPT

My program is unique in that we do our first full-time, 4-week rotation at the tail end of our first year. My first, along with the rest of my classmates, was in the SNF setting. "SNF" stands for skilled nursing facility, or nursing home. I greatly enjoyed my experience in my SNF, which was a 196-bed facility that had approximately 50% long-term care and 50% short-term patients.

The majority of the patients ...

July 9, 2015 5:00 PM by Toni Patt of Toni Talks about PT Today

For the past few weeks, I've been blogging about problems within the profession of physical therapy and our frustrations over them. Everyone agrees on the problems. There is probably some disagreement on which ones should be addressed first. After all, they are interdependent. Attempting to ...



The ADVANCE for Physical Therapy and Rehab Medicine editorial staff will discuss issues in the PT profession, current events in health care and offer their opinions and insights.

Toni will be talking about the PT world as she sees it with 20+ years of experience as well as a student new to the world of post-professional education. She welcomes comments and responses. Anything is fair game!

Lisa Mueller is a physical therapist in Milwaukee, WI. She currently works in an acute-care setting with experience in general medical and critical care patients. With her BA in Spanish, Lisa treats a variety of patients each day.

Join Dean Metz as he ventures out of direct patient care and attempts to have a more widespread impact through public health.

PTA, mommy, runner, all-around chicken wrangler, kindergarten/4th grade art docent and professional juggler (no not really, but it sure feels like it sometimes).

Follow Lauren as she navigates her way through the DPT program at the University of Pittsburgh.

Jocelyn is a student at Nova Southeastern University's DPT Program in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Join in her three-year journey to becoming a DPT.