PhDs and ‘Physical Therapy Assistants'
Over the past few months I've noticed a few things about the physical therapy profession that caught my attention, and I wanted to describe the situations here.
First, I was speaking with a physical therapist about the doctorate program education for physical therapists, and she responded, "I think it's a really good thing that they are making physical therapists have their PhD now." We continued our discussion about the degree and the role of experience and mentorship, but I believe this individual didn't know the different between a clinical doctorate of physical therapy and an academic PhD. It's possible that because PhD degrees are more common across many different professions, the term "doctorate" is automatically linked to it. Having the credentials of "DPT" is less common.
Second, I see an abundance of job postings on LinkedIn for "Physical Therapy Assistant." I ignored the posts for a while but on a recent posting I commented that the title should be updated to "Physical Therapist Assistant." That's the correct title. I see this happen a lot, actually. I wonder if this happens in other professions.
I feel like our profession works hard to move forward. We have delegates working for direct access. We have clinicians contributing to evidence-based practice. But, how can we advance our profession if there are still people both within and external to our profession who are confused about the basics of our educational programs and job titles?