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Toni Talks about PT Today

It's Time to Renew My APTA Membership

Published April 22, 2015 5:21 PM by Toni Patt

It's that time of year again. I just opened my mail and found my APTA renewal notice. For a mere $585, I can continue to receive all the benefits of membership. This amount includes APTA membership, Texas chapter membership and membership in three sections. The only one of those I have any interest in maintaining is section membership.

My last several blogs have been critical of the APTA and the direction it is taking the profession. My biggest complaint is the lack of attention to what the average PT and PTA are saying. We are voicing reasonable concerns. No one seems to be listening. As a result, I've been trying to find a way to communicate with our leaders.

The best I can do is contact the APTA headquarters in Alexandria, Va. Although I would address the communication to the elected officers, I'm not sure they would even see the communication. No matter who sees it, I doubt I would receive any meaningful response. I would like to sit down with someone and ask these questions. I don't see that happening.

Now I have to decide whether I want to spend the money to renew. It isn't about the total cost. It isn't about payment methods. The issue is that I'm not getting value equal to the expense. I have trouble with spending money and getting nothing in return.

Nonetheless I will go ahead and pay the money. It gives me access to current literature. I get a discount on the Combined Sections Meeting when I go. Membership in the sections is well worth the money. I'm not encouraging others to join, renew or not renew. That is an individual decision. But I can see why many will choose against membership.

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I have been troubled with paying APTA dues for a long time, I agree the APTA seems to be disconnected from the working PT, too much emphasis on titles and how many initials you have in your title, not enough on what is truly affecting the profession.

The APTA has turned a blind eye on referral for profit, which affects private practice, yet looks to private practice as cash cows, charging higher dues for that section.

APTA is in the business of raising membership dues, not on representing PT's.

John, , Owner PRO Therapy May 1, 2015 12:46 AM
Lake Havasu City AZ

I've have believed for quite some time that the APTA is a typical beuracracy unable to constrain its spending, with grossly excessive membership fees. As a percentage of income by the "rank and file", it also charges a rediculous amount compared to the American Medical Association.

AMA Membership for Physicians:

Annual regular membership -  $420

Annual regular membership - first year in practice $210

Annual regular membership - second year in practice $315

Annual regular membership - military physicians  $280

Al Miller, Home Health - P.T. April 30, 2015 6:56 PM
Lorain OH

I agree.  I had to drop out of the APTA when I went to graduate school because at that time there was no grad student fee.  After grad school and to this day, I find it difficult to spend that kind of money on membership.  Being in pediatric PT for more than 45 years, I have tried to just buy the journal but now that even cost $200 for four issues.  I try to keep my therapy fees low and often treat children without insurance for free.  How can I afford the membership?

Mary, pediatric PT - self-employed April 30, 2015 4:48 PM
Portsmouth NH

I agree with you Toni, I have not been a member of the APTA for several years because I don't feel that there is much representation for therapists working out in the field, especially pediatrics/schools where I work. I would love to be a member of my state chapter but I can't joint the state without being a member of national organization. I have tried to contact my state with questions in the past, and they have told me point blank that they will not talk to me or help because I am not a member. How is that helpful? How is that being a voice for the therapists? It is very frustrating to me, and unless it changes I will most likely not join.

Sandy, PT April 30, 2015 2:43 PM
Osage City KS

You have a voice...your delegates. Talk to them! Or become a delegate yourself for your state!

There is a lot that is discussed in the national convention that the average therapist doesn't know about because they don't read the notes or sit in one of the sessions...I know because I was a delegate and my eyes were opened!!

There are SO many opinions in our profession and so many things to work on...Rome wasn't built in a day...but things can change with involvement.

Joan, Geriatrics - PT April 30, 2015 2:08 PM
Wilsonville OR

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