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I think the DPT is great!

Last post 03-03-2010, 6:25 PM by A F. 24 replies.
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  •  07-23-2004, 12:59 AM

    I think the DPT is great!

    I think the DPT is a great leap forward for PT.  I think it will help promote direct access in all 50 states & hopefully convince our legislators that we are competent & capable primary care practitioners.  I currently have my MPT & am in the process of applying the two t-DPT programs that will best meet my needs.  I am very excited about furthering my understanding on pharmocology, radiology, advanced differential diagnosis, etc.  My only hesitation concerning the t-DPT is that many programs seem to be jumping on the bandwagon just to try & milk 24-60 (yes 60! in some programs) credits at between $600 and $1500 a credit!  I've reached that opinion after spending the last couple of months researching programs and learning that many programs will grant t-DPT's --without evaluation of an 'experience' portfolio or the APTA's PTET--to every applicant regardless of prior level of education / experience. 
  •  09-30-2004, 1:08 PM

    • rhporter is not online. Last active: 09-09-2008, 9:54 AM rhporter
    • Joined on 10-05-2007
    • Mg Of Rehab Medicine
    • Enduracare
    • Mobile , AL
    • 2 Posts

    Only advanced DPT worth anything

    I am one of those who ahs been in practice for 20 years and have the following observations:

    • Entery level DPT graduates have demonstrated no greater level of skills than the old BS graduates. In fact many seem less qualified in that they can't pass boards and have less clinic experence. All these graduates seem to want is to work 8-3:30 M-F with a starting salary of $60,000. I had one new grad apply for a position stating he wouldn't even consider the position if his salary was less than $80,000. Who the heck is teaching these students? Were do they think the money is coming from. They want to see 8 patients a day and have no standards of care or productivity.
    • The DPT should be a true advanced degree after the BS or MS PT program.
    • I would consider (and may have to) a TDPT program just for the title because the programs I have reviewed are in many cases a joke. They have no regulation or standard requirements. They look like a waste of $20,000 plus.
    • The APTA needs to look at a method of 'grandfathering' BS and MS PT's to the DPT like other professions have done.
    • I am aware of one group of BS and MS PTs considering a class action if the DPT requirement ever reduces their job opportunities or income.
    • I have many potential PT students turning to other options ie chiropratic at least that profession has already taken their lumps and has true independent practice.
    • Sorry to those new grad DPT students your getting short changed because your education cost much more and your getting the same or in some cases less education thant the BS students of 'back in the day'.
    • Many PT programs are having to actually go out and find students to fill program space. What does that tell you the advanced degree cost too much for the return and students in programs are less qualified going into the program.

    What was the APTA thinking?

    Wise Old dog
  •  09-02-2005, 3:02 PM

    RE:Only advanced DPT worth anything


    I am new to this country and forum too. I graduated in 2003 from InDIA with a bachelors degree. I want to enhance my skills in my PT profession. I would be very thank ful if one of you can guide me as to the difference between MPT and a transitional or bridge DPT? Is It worth the money, does it really enhance my skilla

    Please I am very confused at this stage.


  •  11-09-2005, 10:22 AM


    I think the DPT is a really bad idea.  Why would anyone want to go to school that long to do P.T. when they could just go to medical school and have no worries about independent practice?  I agree with 'Wise Old Dog' that it doesn't increase the student's level of knowledge much. We already are short staffed in most clinics in my area.  There are going to be even less therapists in the future if the DPT entry level is forced upon us.  The APTA is out of touch!
  •  12-21-2005, 2:57 AM


    I have been a PT for 29 years and am currently in the BU tDPT program.  I love it and I'm thrilled that I had the nerve to do it.  I do not, however, see the need for requiring the DPT.  A 4 year degree is sufficient for the majority of jobs that PTs face out of school.  Having the option of advancement once we have experience it wonderful.  Requiring PTs to face 6-7 years of school to make the same money as masters or bachelors therapists is unrealistic.
    BJ Gerow, PT
  •  12-22-2005, 4:40 PM

    RE:I think the DPT is great! - PLEASE!

    DPT programs are a poor use of time and money in their current form. Schools are opportunistic and hungry for more revenue. Conceptually the DPT is a solid idea, but the manner in which it has been initiated, and the the actual conntent is disappointing. If you want more education and you want a doctorate degree - apply for and enter a PhD program in a related field. The DPT should be purely optional, and more intensive in nature. Mandatory CEU/education was a great idea, aggeressive assessment and development of training programs would be/is a good idea, better training options and more research - all good ideas, but buying an advanced degree - for the titile/image and 'recognition' is a mistake. Are we driven by economics or image? Where is the VALUE in the current educational model sweeping the country?

    It seems like there are alot of people trying to post a profit at the expense of young persons looking for profeessional opportunity and job satisfaction. I think there is a compromise out there, but is the APTA willing to look for it?

    DPT should be optional and much more intensive/research driven. PT PhD should be the golden standard.






  •  12-22-2005, 11:29 PM

    RE:RE:I think the DPT is great! - PLEASE!

    Chad,         I agree the DPT shouldn't be required, but your reaction is off base.  We certainly should have advanced degrees to pursue if interested or looking for advancement.  To say that people 'buy' their DPT degrees is absurd.  I am working extremely hard in the program I am in.  I have learned a tremendous amount and find the education environment much different than when I went to school.  Instead of just being taught we are challenged and involved with the learning process.  I think your bitterness is clouding your judgement on the subject.  We are all better clinicians when we keep an open mind and continue to learn.

    BJ Gerow, PT
  •  02-15-2006, 3:29 PM

    • wgallous is not online. Last active: 10-05-2007, 4:17 PM wgallous
    • Joined on 10-05-2007
    • Dir of PT
    • Rehab One Pt
    • Corpus Christi , TX
    • 1 Posts

    DPT vs MSPT vs PT vs etc

        DPT is a great idea. And it should motivate everyone, if it wasnt for the money hungry educational institutions which are asking twenty grand for it. It is then really unrealistic that PTs will never get paid more for having this title at all. Never. And I say that based on all the healthcare cuts that are happening and will still happen more in the future. If it ever becomes a requirement to finish the school, it will be even worse. Grandfathering PTs with twenty plus years of experience should be a demand, since those are of advanced age cannot get the same physical jobs they were getting before and paying for the DPT program having to pay for the college of their own kids its a nonsense. It seems that we are probably falling in the hands of greedy people.
  •  02-15-2006, 10:10 PM

    RE:DPT vs MSPT vs PT vs etc

    That is too funny!  The poor PTs with 20 years of experience can't physically hold down a full time job!?!  I have 30 years of experience and work plenty.  I get tuition reimbursement for almost half of my doctorate education.  $20,000 for an entire graduate degree is not bad when you consider the average private university tuition is $40,000/year.  It has been published that the experienced PTs will be grandfathered in without a DPT.  We have recently done a salary survey in the health system I work for and the starting salary for PTs was increased with the DPT and master's degree graduates in mind.  We do have a long way to go to recognize the effort and expense of the extra years though.

    BJ Gerow, PT
  •  11-22-2006, 3:28 AM

    RE:Only advanced DPT worth anything

    As a private practice clinician, I think it is imperative that we advance our degree. We have to show that we are educated enough to make good decisions for our patients as independent practitioners. We have to do this to compete for the primary care patients. After 20 years of practice I earmed my tDPT. I do think this establishes a higher standard and expectation from referral sources and patients. If PT's do not want to become independent, then it is not necessary.We can let physicians keep telling us how to treat our patients.
    1year grad.
  •  05-08-2007, 3:55 PM

    RE:I think the DPT is great!

    I think if you want to get a advanced degree that is great. I think if you think for one second that it will automatically get you more respect or pay, you are miss informed.

     Have you taken a real look at the state of research in our field?  I ran a search for all the articles related to back pain in the last 30 years in JOSPT, Journal of Man. and Phys. Therapautics (ACA), Spine, Arch.of Physical Med & Rehab., NEJM, Medline, PEDRO, and what limited access Physical Therapy gives to non-members.  For every study that supports the use of manual therapy, of TENS for example, there are at least 2-3 studies that have shown no effect.  When you look @ a study in NEJM, the cohort number is big, i.e., 200-500+. When you look @ JOSPT or PT, you have studies with 15-20 subjects, & they are all 20 yr old athletes for whatever school is close!

    What about all this push to be educated in manual therapy?  Did you read the article in the last issue of JOSPT (Apr 2007 vol37, Num 4 pp169-179)? That refutes that IF there even is coupled motion in the L spine, it is not reliable. This is a lit review.

    Chiropractic has been on the 'outside' of traditional medicine, and shunned for there inappropriazteness and lack of clinical expertise for the level of care they provide. I read into this as they have too much responsilibity for their training. This is just my opinion, and I nkow there are great chiropracters in practice, so my apologies if they are reading this.  

    In summation, I feel if you want to be more, and be a 'point of entry' provider, you should go back to school and be a MD. If you want to better our profession, then why don't you try to provide some PROOF for what we do, what you do. If you have these 'wonderful' clinical skills which are superior to everyone else, do share please. So many PT's are willing to jump on the band wagon with out really thinking for themselves and being 'checked' by perr review that they are just rouges. The squeeky wheel get the most grease and( I feel) unfortunately it is this 'doctor' thing. Education? Great! Do it for the right reasons though, and the REAL betterment of OUR profession!

  •  08-17-2007, 2:37 PM


    I was wondering that as our profession is moving toward a doctoring profession will our salaries start to go up?  I was told that after Pharmacy converted to the PharmD that thier salaries rose. I actually can make more as a personal trainer then I can as a doctor of physical therapy...One of my patients who is a nurse anesthetist makes 160,000 a year. He said that his program was 51 credit hours past a bachelors. My DPT program was 137 hours past a bachelors. In the end it will be nice to do what you enjoy doing  but it does seem that salaries are abysmal for a clinical doctorate and not commensurate with the education.

  •  10-12-2007, 7:37 PM

    Re: RE:DPT vs MSPT vs PT vs etc

    The tDPT is becoming a necessity.  Payors and Referral sources will be looking for it --maybe not now, but definitely by APTA's goal of 2020.   Was wondering where it's "published that experienced PT's will be grandfathered in"?   I thought one of the driving forces for enrolling in  tDPT programs was the very fact that no such designation would be grandfathered??  

  •  10-17-2007, 8:25 PM

    Re: I think the DPT is great!

    Hey Helen,

     There is a t-DPT at AT Sill University in Mesa, AZ for $7600 for 10 classes, all online and you only have to show up for graduations. Each class is 6 wks; I will enroll next summer.  I just got my MPT last year and looking forward to go to the next step.

    Also, if you have your MPT, you don't het the PET scores.

     Hope that information helps.



  •  10-17-2007, 8:28 PM

    Re: Salaries

    It's true that a DPT will make more than a MPT. My MPT was only 90 units and it seemed a lot, your DPT was crazy with 137 credits.

    At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself do you like your job or not? Money will be there, it's nice to make more and all of us do but it doesn't pan out for DPT unfortunately. I will try to get my t-DPT for professionally and not more $$ because I know that my company will not pay more....

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