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Toni Talks about PT Today

New Grad Readiness Survey

Published June 3, 2014 4:01 PM by Toni Patt

Last week I completed an electronic survey asking if new graduate DPTs were ready to enter the clinic. Then it asked about specific areas of education and characteristics of new graduates and how they related to the first answer. It's about time someone looked at this. In my experience, no new graduate is completely ready to be thrust into a caseload but recent graduates seem less prepared than in previous years.

Every new graduate faces an adjustment period from student to clinician. Some transition easily, others take time. In previous years, the students had a fundamental understanding of what to do and why to do it. I'm not seeing that now. This is a common lunch topic when I teach. Many other therapists are saying the same thing.

The schools try to address things such as professionalism, punctuality, readiness to learn and patient-centered therapy. They don't seem to be spending as much time on fundamental knowledge. Or, maybe it isn't soaking in as much as it used to. Students vary in ability and knowledge but I hear this across the nation. We can't all be getting weaker students.

I don't think teaching methodology has changed that much. The problem lies elsewhere. I've had more than one person tell me new grads don't know anything but how to be called doctor. Obviously something is missing in the education because they should know many things.

Not that long ago I worked with a new grad who thought he knew everything. The material he knew, he knew well. He either didn't know there was more knowledge out there or didn't think it was necessary. As a result, all of his patients did the same things all of the time. There was no telling him anything because he didn't listen.

I hope this survey helps someone quantify what the rest of us are describing.

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1 comments

I am not impressed with the DPT program. They know everything in the book but cannot relate it to patient care. I just recently worked with a new DPT graduate and he had  a 92 year old frail patient (female)  do exercises that a 20 year old patient would do and then  he  had  a 15 year old active child (male)  do yellow(light) theraband exercises.

Martha, PT - Outpatient PT clinic June 3, 2014 9:49 PM
Clinton Twp MI

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