Best State to Practice
I just finished reading the October issue of PT in Motion, the APTA's publication I receive each month with a copy of the Physical Therapy Journal. The writers of PT in Motion ranked all states and the District of Columbia based on six specific criteria:
● Quality of life (for PTs and the general population)
● Literacy rates
● Employment rates
● Business friendliness
● Technology/innovation ranking
● APTA engagement
I was surprised to see literacy rates as a measurement in this survey. I can't imagine myself saying, "I really like practicing physical therapy in Wisconsin because of our literacy rates," but I can imagine considering job rates (probably the most) and the other criteria. I would be interested to see which states support and publish the most research, but I'm not sure if that's a measureable component. I was very proud to see Wisconsin listed twice in the rankings, but I'm guessing that was an error!
I took a survey toward the end of my physical therapy schooling (about five years ago) that ranked the top 25 places I should live based on my preferences. I know it included the availability of indoor/outdoor activities, population size, climate and a few other factors. My top locations were (I saved the email): Anchorage, Alaska; Missoula, Mont.; Fort Collins, Colo.; and Provo-Orem, Utah. According to the APTA article, Utah, Colorado and Minnesota are the top states to practice as a physical therapist... so if you compare those two lists, it looks like I should re-locate to either Utah or Colorado! I'll have to see what my husband thinks.
Reading this article and reflecting on my own "top places to live" reminds me of the differences I've witnessed in PT practice while traveling for student clinicals and more recently for my job. ADLs I wouldn't have thought to ask a patient are common tasks in some areas of the nation, and things I consider to be common (negotiating stairs to a basement) aren't relevant in other areas!
Have you read the APTA's article? What do you think? Are there better states to practice PT compared to others?