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Striving to Be a DPT

What Should I Do Before Starting PT School?

Published May 27, 2014 1:34 PM by Jocelyn Wallace

The question of what one should do before starting physical therapy school is one I heard often among my peers throughout the application process. Should you study all the muscles and their innervations and insertions? Or should you travel the world? I had three weeks in between finishing my prerequisites and starting my program and, with just a few days left, my epic plans to learn every single muscle in the body have not come to fruition.

What have I done before starting physical therapy school? Most importantly, I started a Twitter account. There's a rich and vibrant community of physical therapists, physical therapy students and physical therapist assistants on Twitter and I've already built relationships that I anticipate will help me immensely as I go through the next three years.

I also dabbled in various free online courses but stuck to video lectures and activities that I was sincerely interested in. I reviewed medical terminology because my class will have a test on it during the first few weeks. I familiarized myself with the APTA and all the resources it has to offer. Finally, I watched a lot of "TED Talks" and other similar videos about healthcare. My favorite has been one titled "How Do We Heal Medicine?" by a physician named Atul Gawande. I found it to be a beautiful synopsis of why I'm going into healthcare and plan on referring back to it whenever I feel like throwing my flashcards in a fire.

Enough of the boring stuff, what else have I done? The important things, of course! I've spent a ton of time at the beach and pool. I've slept in late and stayed out all night and I've gone shopping for perfect summer outfits. I will just have to wait and see if my lack of anatomy cramming hurts me in my first semester. For now, I suggest using your free time to the fullest. You may never get it again.

I'll report back after school starts and let you all know if I'm eating my words.

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