The Old Guard
Something occurred to me while I was talking with our student the other day. She is a new grad MSPT working on her DPT. We were talking just before I left for graduation. It struck me that her CI isn't a DPT but a bachelor level PT. I mean nothing negative by that as her CI graduated only a few years after I did. That thought has stuck with me. I think it is ironic that bachelor levels PTs are training the new DPTs.
My original degree was a Bachelor of Science degree in physical therapy. I completely agree with the argument that someone who has been practicing that long has learned enough through experience to be qualified to do so. Eventually the MSPTs and PTs will be grandfathered in to allow them to continue to practice. I have doubts about that because experience is only valuable if it causes continued growth. But that's a topic for a different day.
I find it curious that PT schools haven't stopped that practice. The whole point of the DPT is the expanded education. If a DPT student has a CI who isn't a DPT, did that student receive adequate training? Most of the instructors at the two Houston-based schools are in the process of or have obtained a DPT. Obviously this is so they can teach DPT students. I'm not trying to nitpick but it strikes me something is wrong with this picture.
Maybe those new grad DPTs don't know that much more than we did when we were new grads. Or, maybe those new grad DPTs don't know enough to be CIs. The ones I've run across have been pretty clueless in treatment situations. It seems those of us who graduated way-back-when still have a valuable asset, no matter what our degree. We have the knowledge of doing. You just can't teach that in a classroom. Nor can you teach the ability to keep the 10 patients on your caseload straight in your head for note writing.
Lately I've been having more days when I feel old. The DPT may be new but I'm still the same. I might be older but my knowledge is still valuable. I hope PT schools continue to recognize this and continue the current practice. They'll only be hurting their students if they change.