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7 Ways to Stand Out During Your Physical Therapy Interview

Updated on July 16, 2014

Are you ready for your physical therapy interview?

I remember when I began the process of applying to physical therapy school. The whole experience stressed me out.

My questions were the same ones you have.

How should I prepare? What did I need to know? Who were the interviewers? What is physical therapy? What is the difference between physical therapists and other medical professionals? Is my resume good enough?

My research to answer these questions along with the advice from some great mentors provided me with a lot of ideas and answers that I successfully used to get into school.

The following article provides 7 ways to stand out during the interview and jump start your physical therapy career.

(If you have been accepted to several schools already, check out What is the best physical therapy school for you which provides my thoughts on ranking physical therapy schools.)

1. Experience, Experience, Experience, and more Experience

Getting into the clinic

There is a reason this is number one on the list of 7. Experience in the clinic will shore up deficiencies in other areas. So if you are looking at this because you are wondering if your GPA is too low to get in, here is the best way to strengthen the resume (besides retaking some of the classes that lowered your overall GPA). When I talked to my classmates, I noticed that the majority spent significant time in the clinic. I also asked others about the questions they received. The interviewers can ask anything they want so the there are a lot of different topics. The lessons learned in the clinic are essential to being able to answer the questions.

Beyond just preparing for the interview, however, getting to work with the patients really shows you if physical therapy is the right choice. When you know that and know strongly that the answer is yes, then this certainty will come through during the interview.

For example, can you answer these questions confidently?

Do you like to work with people?

Can you work with people in pain that are really pissed off? (That happens in the clinic quite a bit with the changes in healthcare and the necessity of decreased time with each patient to meet the economic demands of keeping businesses viable)

Do you know what to do if a person starts crying because of their pain and inability to make it stop? (If crying makes you uncomfortable, that's OK because experience in the clinic will help you to get over this fear and be a compassionate health care professional)

Can you deal with a busy schedule?

I could go on and on with the questions. My point is that physical therapy is not for everyone. Make sure it is right for you before you start this journey and the best way to know is to experience first hand what it is. To me 40 hours is not enough - which is minimum for some programs. Shoot for higher and you will be rewarded for the hard work.

2. Know Your Material - Impress the interviewers with your knowledge

Since you read this far down the post, I assume you are motivated to do everything possible to get into school. Here is the number one thing to do to separate yourself from everyone else; read everything you can related to physical therapy.

Do you know the current thought leaders in the field of physical therapy?

Do you know about the history of the profession (how or why it started?

Do you know certain areas that interest you?

I read these books before going into the interview and it gave me the confidence that I could talk for hours about the physical therapy profession. If you are willing to put in the time, I suggest getting this books.

AND when you get into school you will be that much farther ahead and ready for the rigors of classwork.

For example, I knew my interests and read quite a bit about it. I approached a faculty member about some ideas on the topic. My preparation allowed me to work on multiple research projects, lead a couple, and be first author on publications (not to mention the peripheral benefits of getting scholarships and recognition by your fellow peers as a person who is dedicated to the field of physical therapy)

DO NOT BUY NEW TEXT BOOKS

On the road to physical therapy, there are going to be many costs. If you know that orthopedics or manual or motor control or biomechanics is going to be a large part of your practice, then start now. If you are driven you will get into physical therapy school. You do not need to wait to start the process. That said, buy an older version and you will save A LOT. So unless you have money to burn, go for an earlier edition.

Technology will have a BIG impact on Physical Therapy
Technology will have a BIG impact on Physical Therapy

3. Learn About The Problems Facing Physical Therapy

What do I mean by problems? This may or may not have triggered anything for you, which is alright since I am not interviewing you right now. But if you get into the interview and have no clear answer, the interviewer will see this lack of knowledge as a sign that you have not researched the profession.

Here are some link to articles and papers that I think you should read:

Vision 2020

The Future of PT

Diagnosis in PT

Disabling Our Diagnostic Dilemmas

Why Evidence Based Practice in PT

Electronic Health Records in PT

Or you can listen to podcasts about physical therapy which will give a great deal of insight into clinical questions that are being explored:

PTJ Podcast

You are only limited by the amount of effort you want to expend.

Combined Sections Meeting in Chicago
Combined Sections Meeting in Chicago

4. Research The School And The Faculty

This is one thing to give yourself a huge advantage in an interview, but at the same time is very valuable in helping you decide on the school you eventually select. I looked up the publications of the faculty at each school that I applied to. I read the abstracts and then read the full article of the ones I thought interesting.

Go to PTCAS for a list of schools and links to their university home page for the physical therapy program (If the school is not on PTCAS just look up the webpage in google). There you should find a list of names for the faculty. Some of the pages have a list of all of there publications, which could be considerable. If I were you, I would not look beyond the last 5 years.

Now go onto pubmed, and quickly read through some of the abstracts that you found from some of the faculty. With that effort, you will know more than 99% of students going in for the interview. You may even get lucky and read an article that was written by the person that interviews you.

5. Read Interesting Books

I cannot guarantee what questions an interviewer will ask. Preparing by learning about physical therapy is the best thing for getting into school (in my opinion).

The next best thing is to be interesting. I was asked about books I have read recently at every single interview. My wife (also a PT) was not which shows there is variety in the interviewing process. Read a book or you are missing a great opportunity to stand out.

Here are a list of interesting books that relate to health with applications to physical therapy. At the very least you will learn something useful while also helping you chances to get in. I love reading so if you have recommendations, mention them in the comments.

6. Explore Your Strengths And Weaknesses

Or they will be pointed out for you

Where are you strong?

Where are you weak?

The question I get asked the most is about GPA and GRE. If you are low in either of these, that means it will be more difficult for you to get past the initial culling phase of the selection process. Think about it. PTCAS (the centralized application center for many physical therapy schools) allows for huge numbers of applications to numerous schools. So it is not out of the norm for 50 spots in a physical therapy class to get 1000 applicants. That number has to be cut drastically because no school will interview that many people.

Is your GPA low. My advice is to retake a couple of the low scores at a community college. Its where I took some of mine and I did not feel like it has hindered me. Actually, if the problem originally was a lack of motivation or because you were lost in a huge freshman class with about 100 other people, then a smaller class at the community college is the answer.

Now for GRE you must get over the minimum. If you do not, the risk is not getting to the interview where you can showcase all the other strengths. If you do poorly, retake the test. If you are worried about it being too low, retake the test. You may think that this is stupid and does not relate to physical therapy. And you would be right. The reason schools require it is that it relates to ones ability to do well in graduate school. So view it as a hoop to be jumped through.

After taking care of these two, the strengths can be built by doing all of the the things listed previously. If you do not want to go back up and look at those previous sections, here is a quick rundown:

1. Get into the clinic

2. Know you material

3. Look at the problems facing physical therapy

4. Research the school and faculty

5. Read interesting books not directly related to PT

7. Things To Never, Ever Say Or DO - ....if you want to get into physical therapy school

These are critical and somewhat easy ways to prevent messing up your interview.

  1. I decided Medical School would be too hard or too long or anything similar (these people you are talking to have dedicated their lives to this profession so don't be an idiot. Say I want to be a PT more than any other profession, which should be true or else why are you there. Sounds logical but many people make this mistake.)
  2. I thought physical therapy school would be easy (Kind of a repeat of the previous one but it just reinforces the importance. Once again do not say things that will make the interviewer irritated at you. They are looking for the best and most dedicated - show them that's you.)
  3. Anything rude to the PT students helping out that day (they will tell the professors and interviewers about the interaction.)
  4. Act arrogant (Be humble about your accomplishments.)
  5. Ignore glaring weaknesses in your application (if you have low grades acknowledge this, and then emphasize strengths.)
  6. Forget why you there. (You are there to vie for a highly competitive seat. Appreciate the opportunity and do your best.)
  7. Be unsure of why you want to be a physical therapist. (If an interviewer asks why you want to be a PT, you should be able to answer with confidence why you are there.)

Good Luck

I wish you the best and I hope you become a member of the physical therapy community. If you have any questions leave a comment below.

You can also contact me HERE.

Do you have any questions? Ask them below

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    • CraigAllenSmith1 profile image
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      Craig Allen Smith 17 months ago from Tucson Arizona

      I took science courses at a community college. It will be weighed the same in the PTCAS calculation.

    • profile image

      Kenny 17 months ago

      Hello Craig, I feel super late to this article, but thanks for the information! My question is that I am about to rack up my last year as an undergraduate and the only thing that is bringing me down now is my GPA. It currently stands at a 3.1 overall but by the time I graduate I am going to hope it is at a 3.3 GPA. The reason for my low GPA is cause of my science courses where my science GPA is standing at a 2.96 so I can't even apply for PT school if I wanted to. Since I took my courses at a University do you think I can retake it at a community college to bring back that GPA or will I have to take it at the University that I am attending at?

    • profile image

      Stacisu 2 years ago

      I have just been asked to interview and will be completing my B.S in biology in dec. 2015. My interview with the P.T. school is in 2 weeks and I am so glad I ran across your post, it has been very helpful! If you catch this post before 9/15/15 and have any other tid bits for me that'd be great!

    • CraigAllenSmith1 profile image
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      Craig Allen Smith 2 years ago from Tucson Arizona

      I hate hearing that. Have you asked how can get more out of the experience from the PTs you are shadowing? Are you writing down things that you learn at each volunteer session?

      It is normal to feel awkward in a new situation. Here is my suggestion: commit to a certain amount of time each month. Write down the hours you are going to hit, get it scheduled, and stay until you get the hours. Ignore the initial feeling of being out of place. Just keep going until that feeling goes away (I promise it will).

      Let me know how it goes.

    • profile image

      Jordan 2 years ago

      Hello,

      Thank you for this article. It both terrified me and gave me direction as to what to prepare for. I am currently studying for my first GRE test and volunteering/shadowing and for one reason or another am feeling stuck. I am volunteering at three different locations, possibly four here soon, but am never entirely sure what to do after volunteering at one place after a certain amount of time. I feel like I've asked all the questions I can and get really short, unhelpful answers and I find myself just standing around unsure what to look out for. I am by the PT at all locations and I feel like I don't get all too much out of it. I need up to 100+ hours and am only at 30 because of this. What would you recommend doing while volunteering/shadowing?

    • CraigAllenSmith1 profile image
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      Craig Allen Smith 2 years ago from Tucson Arizona

      Thanks for the comment.

    • Kirkypt profile image

      Kirk Painter 2 years ago from San Marcos, Tx

      Good points. I agree on all. As a veteran P.T., interviewer for P.T. school, Clinical instructor, and book author on the subject/hub writer I feel you covered all the important parts.

    • CraigAllenSmith1 profile image
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      Craig Allen Smith 2 years ago from Tucson Arizona

      I agree. I think it is critical. Thanks for the comment.

    • profile image

      Elias Rufus 2 years ago

      Craig, one thing that I really like is your first tip. Experience is at the utmost importance in standing out as a candidate. Physical Therapists must have great communication skills with their patients. I know that great communication is what most people seem to look for when looking for PT help. I would also really recommend volunteering and shadowing. This will really let you see what makes a great Physical Therapist.

      http://www.komanorthopedics.com/physical-therapy/

    • CraigAllenSmith1 profile image
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      Craig Allen Smith 2 years ago from Tucson Arizona

      Of course, I love hearing that. Buy it used or if you are still in school get them through a loan. Read them over and see if you like it prior to buying.

    • profile image

      noname 2 years ago

      Just thought I would let you know that this article is one of the best and most useful I have read in a long time! Thank you so much for taking the time to write it, and for putting the links to the books up! I think this will really help set me apart from other applicants.

    • CraigAllenSmith1 profile image
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      Craig Allen Smith 3 years ago from Tucson Arizona

      Morgan,

      Definitely not a problem for it to be volunteer. I do not think it being paid matters at all. I would suggest to continue getting into the clinic. If you have various areas of experience, go spend more time in the one you liked. I feel pretty strongly you cannot get enough time in the clinic.

    • profile image

      Morgan 3 years ago

      All of my experience has been unpaid/shadowing hours, but I feel like I have really learned a lot and solidified my decision to do physical therapy. I have also made some great connections. Do you think the fact all of my hours were volunteer hours instead of a paid position will not look as well when I apply? Do you think they would rather have actual "work" experience? I have over 150 hours in various types of therapy settings. Thanks so much for all of your help!

    • CraigAllenSmith1 profile image
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      Craig Allen Smith 3 years ago from Tucson Arizona

      @CraigAllenSmith1: Here is the Arizona State PT Spring Conference https://m360.aptaaz.org/event.aspx?eventID=99288. If you tell me what state you are in, I will post the link for your state conference.

    • CraigAllenSmith1 profile image
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      Craig Allen Smith 3 years ago from Tucson Arizona

      @phulish: That is a great question. I meant attend a state physical therapy conference. Every state has one. There is a cost associated with it, however topics concerning PT will be covered. It is a great way to gain experience with the field prior to making the commitment to a PT school.

    • profile image

      phulish 3 years ago

      Thank you for posting these articles. They are all great! While reading the comments and responses, I see that you wrote, "... attend a state meeting ..." I apologize for my ignorance, but what does that mean? what is a state meeting?

    • profile image

      Gld0730 3 years ago

      Hi! I'm 26 years old and I graduated in 2009 with a B.A. in Journalism but after 3 and a half years of working in news, I decided to leave the biz and am now in social media. However, after developing a great passion for health, fitness and body movement within the past year, I'm now seriously considering becoming a Physical Therapist. I'm working towards my certification as a group fitness instructor and am thinking about becoming certified in Zumba gold (geriatrics) and Pilates this summer. Will this help my application stand out as far as non-academics are concerned? My undergrad GPA is 3.09 but I'm going to make sure I kick ass in my science pre reqs.

      Thanks!

    • CraigAllenSmith1 profile image
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      Craig Allen Smith 3 years ago from Tucson Arizona

      @cora130: It is definitely relevant BUT you must have a well rounded application. Make sure that you have other experiences that make you stand out.

    • profile image

      cora130 3 years ago

      Do you think being a nationally certified massage therapist with a lot of continuing education hours (ie: general interest in helping people work on injuries and good working knowledge of the musculoskeletal system, etc) helps an application- or would be seen as totally irrelevant?

    • CraigAllenSmith1 profile image
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      Craig Allen Smith 4 years ago from Tucson Arizona

      @anonymous: Leah, I would agree that more emphasis is placed on the extracurricular activities. If you are comparable then don't sweat it. Beef up your resume in other areas.

    • CraigAllenSmith1 profile image
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      Craig Allen Smith 4 years ago from Tucson Arizona

      @Helenru: Helen,

      Taking the pre-reqs in Spring 2015 should not matter. The school will likely state that you must show proof of passing those classes prior to a entering PT school. I do not see why it would negatively impact you. MAKE SURE YOU PASS!

      As for the GRE, look at the schools you want to apply for. They will have minimums listed. Sometimes just an overall score, or scores for overall, verbal, and quantitative. Get a higher score than the minimum. If you don't then you run the risk of getting your application thrown out prior to an interview. Really, the GRE is just one way to eliminate people that have not met the minimum requirements.

    • profile image

      Helenru 4 years ago

      Craig,

      Thanks for this great info! I graduated with a B.S. in oceanography, and I've been a military officer for the last 6 years. As a result, I've had to take some of the prereqs at a community college. I plan to apply in fall of 2014, but I'll still have 2 prereqs that I'll have to take in Spring 2015. Will that negatively affect me? The universities I'm interested in say that as long as there is a "plan" to complete the prereqs, that it's fine (but I'm still concerned). What do you consider competitive scores for the GRE on the new scale? Do they put more weight on verbal than quantitative or vice versa or are both equally important?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @CraigAllenSmith1: Thanks for responding! I'm pretty comparable to previous classes (similar GRE scores and GPA), but it's hard to tell. With PT schools being so competitive, I assume they put a lot of emphasis on extracurricular activities, passion for physical therapy, etc.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @CraigAllenSmith1: Thanks for you answer! I would say I'm pretty comparable (GPA and GRE scores similar to those of the previous classes), but PT schools are so competitive it's hard to tell.

    • CraigAllenSmith1 profile image
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      Craig Allen Smith 4 years ago from Tucson Arizona

      @anonymous: Leah,

      Great question. The number is not going to be the same for everyone because of the variables that you believe are most important. If you are concerned about tuition, I would apply to as many that are within the budget. If you are really motivated to get in (and are worried you may not get in) then apply to as many as you can afford. I would also suggest that you apply to those not participating in PTCAS. It should decrease the applicant pool.

      A lot if it depends on your confidence in your application. How do you compare to the last several classes that entered the school?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hi Craig,

      Thanks so much for posting this! I was wondering if you had an idea about what is a good number of physical therapy programs to apply to? I know they are highly competitive and I want to try to make sure I get in the first time I apply. Thanks!

    • CraigAllenSmith1 profile image
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      Craig Allen Smith 4 years ago from Tucson Arizona

      @anonymous: Elena,

      That's a very difficult question to answer. The point of the personal statement is to provide your story. It ties together everything else in the application.

      Does that make sense? Not the best answer...

      Craig

    • CraigAllenSmith1 profile image
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      Craig Allen Smith 4 years ago from Tucson Arizona

      @anonymous: Tyler,

      you definitely do NOT need to go back to school to earn another degree. I would go to a community college to get the prerequisites done. It will save you a lot of money.

      Now to get accepted to PT school will depend on what your resume and personal essay show about you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks for the great article! As far as the personal statement goes, what exactly do programs look for?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      This was a very helpful article craig, but I was wondering if you could give me a little advice here. I recently graduated with a BA in an unrelated field to PT and I was wondering what would be the best route to get excepted into a PT program do I just need to go back to school say at a community college and just take the classes listed as prerequisites or would I have to go back to a 4 yr college and get a degree in something related to the PT field if I want any chance of getting into a grad school program?

    • CraigAllenSmith1 profile image
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      Craig Allen Smith 4 years ago from Tucson Arizona

      @anonymous: Matt,

      The books were ones I have enjoyed. If you want an overview of the profession, I would suggest Magee's book (http://www.squidoo.com/workshop/best-books-for-phy... Otherwise, I just wanted to give you a wide variety. Any of them would be beneficial. Find something that interests you. For example, if you are shadowing a PT and you notice they use a lot gait analysis, get the book by Perry on gait analysis (http://www.squidoo.com/walking-the-basics).

      As for the interesting books, start with Spark and Brain Rules. Easy reads with tons of info.

    • CraigAllenSmith1 profile image
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      Craig Allen Smith 4 years ago from Tucson Arizona

      @kaseyrivenburgh: Thanks!

    • CraigAllenSmith1 profile image
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      Craig Allen Smith 4 years ago from Tucson Arizona

      @anonymous: Gunnar,

      Why do you want to be a PT? What does the information page about the school say the average GPA of incoming students is?

      Here is the basic formula to stand out:

      1. Read as much as you possibly can about physical therapy. Go to apta.org and the website of the school you applied to and read everything you can find. (If you want a more explicit list I can list out my favorites)

      2. Attend a state meeting. I promise you that will make an impression and allow you to meet people in the profession (really good idea if you are applying to a school that is in that state).

      3. Get into the clinic and follow a PT.

      Anyway to get back to your original question: why do you want to be a PT. We can start there, just type it out below.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hey Craig,

      I am wondering which of the books you posted you find to be the most beneficial. That goes for both categories of physical therapy related books and for the interesting books. Are they all equally beneficial for a potential PT student to read? Or are a handful more important than others? Thanks!

    • kaseyrivenburgh profile image

      kaseyrivenburgh 4 years ago

      Great tips.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks for the article extremely inciteful. I have applied once for PT schools and was put on several waitlists. I plan to reapply this fall. I asked about the weaknesses I had during my application process, and I was informed that my GPA was slightly below what many other had in the class (3.47 Overall, 3.54 Science). Secondly, I was informed that my interview was average. I was curious if you had any tips or major points that would allow me to stand out. I know exactly why I want to be a PT, but what do you think is the best way to phrase my answer to stand out?

    • CraigAllenSmith1 profile image
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      Craig Allen Smith 4 years ago from Tucson Arizona

      @anonymous: Mary,

      That sounds like a great experience. To me the best way to reflect this experience is to bring it up in your statement. If the criteria of PTCAS states it has to be under PTs, include the stuff that was under PTs but not all of it. But you are right, you need to get this into your application because it is a big plus. By making it part of your statement you can reflect on the experience and show how important it was.

      Does that make sense?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hi Craig,

      Thanks for the article - very helpful. I recently graduated from college and am now working full time, studying for the GRE, and taking an exercise physiology class on the side. I'll be applying this fall for 2014 admission into DPT programs. Unfortunately, I realized a bit late that I want to be a PT, and don't have nearly as much clinical experience as I'd like. I volunteer at a local rehab center 4 hours a week and have had roughly 20 - 30 hours already. However, years before I decided on physical therapy, I had an internship working with children who had severe physical and mental disabilities (120+ hours). Not realizing that I would be applying to PT school at the time, I didn't keep any record of how many hours were spent with the PTs. It was valuable experience - everything from splints/braces/etc., working on range of motion, bringing the patients to various doctor's appointments and orthopedic surgeons, spa/water therapy, fine motor, becoming familiar with charts and terminology, etc. I know that any experience needs to have been under licensed PTs to be included on DPT applications, so I'm hesitant to include this experience as 120 hours - certainly not all of it was with the PTs. At the same time, it was the best experience I've had and was the initial cause of my interest in PT. Any ideas on how I can honestly reflect the experience that I got during this internship without having a formal record of specific PT hours? Thanks in advance!

    • CraigAllenSmith1 profile image
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      Craig Allen Smith 4 years ago from Tucson Arizona

      @anonymous: Wayne,

      Its all about how you present this during the interview process. So let me turn the question around - why should a school accept you if you failed calculus twice? Did this experience make you grow or change? Give this question some thought and respond when you get the time. When you write back - imagine I am the interviewer that is deciding whether you will get in or not; what would you say?

    • CraigAllenSmith1 profile image
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      Craig Allen Smith 4 years ago from Tucson Arizona

      @anonymous: Ruth,

      Great question. To me, the purpose of clinical hours before schools is to figure out if physical therapy is the right choice. I used the clinic hours to get a real feel for what physical therapy is and to saturate myself in issues facing practitioners in the current healthcare system.

      Here is a step by step strategy to improve the observation experience:

      Step 1: Ask the physical therapist what to expect (what population and problems will you be observing) when you go to the clinic or hospital.

      Step 2: Do a little research on these problems. The best starting point is on www.apta.org

      Step 3: Show up dressed in professional attire (or whatever the therapist is wearing)

      Step 4: Be attentive to the process. Follow the therapist's lead. If the therapist is serious, be serious. If the therapist is joking around, do the same. Don't feel like you need to do anything out of the ordinary.

      Step 5: Do not take away from the patient experience. In my opinion (but you can the therapist) you should ask questions after the patient session, not during. Taking notes is not necessary. Instead focus on the PT/patient interaction. Absorb the experience.

      Hopefully this helps. If you have some other questions, after before or after your observation, feel free to ask.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hi, I would like your opinion on a situation. I'm now a graduating senior in Exercise Science but during my Junior year I failed an elective calculus class twice as well as having to retake chemistry to get a C.All of these things had to with a full time work schedule coupled with pledging.Fast forward over the next 3 semesters I received all A's,held a couple of jobs,became an impact mentor, earned a good GRE score and got what I think of as some good letters of recommendation ( teacher, former pt school alumni,pretty well known doctor). This brought my gpa 3.45(overall),3.3(pre-req) and 3.55(last 60 hours).Do you think this will be enough to get me in some state schools. Thanks for your brilliant posts also!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      What would you recommend to get the most out of clinic hours? I'm starting my hours next month, and am hoping to come up with some clear learning objectives to maximize the time I invest in the clinical setting as an observer/participant. What was helpful for you? Did you ask a lot of questions? Take a lot of notes? Listen? Initiate conversations with patients? Any tips would be appreciated. Thank you!

    • CraigAllenSmith1 profile image
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      Craig Allen Smith 4 years ago from Tucson Arizona

      @anonymous: JD,

      Great questions. First off, all of your hard work has placed you in the driver seat. You have enough things on resume that you will be very competitive in my opinion. Focus on reading as much as you can about physical therapy (maybe attend a state meeting).

      As for residency, PTCAS really has nothing to do with determination of you residency status. That has to be through the state that you reside and the school you want to attend. This means you need to find out what the residency requirements are because losing your residency may take two to three years to regain and double or triple the cost of school.

      Does that answer your question?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hey, awesome post here I found this really useful! I am a Junior now at my University and I have a 3.5 GPA and a 3.6 Science GPA. I have about 25 hours of PT observation down and I am trying to find a way to get more. I am in a fraternity, a science club, and a pre-profesional society. I have about 50 hours of community service with my frat and other things in and around the community. I work 2 jobs at my university so technically I work full time and go to school full time. I have been emailing all the schools for which I am interested in and I found that I have completed most of the prerequisites. I have began but not completed my PTCAS because I didn't know if I should apply right now because I do not plan on starting in 2014. What else can I do to try and solidify my chances to get in? I also wanted to know that if applying to PTCAS as an Illinois resident (which I am for the moment) would mean I would have to stay in the state for PT school or be forced to pay out of state? Or is it fine if you do the PTCAS as an Illinois resident and move out after and gain your residency then finally go to school?

    • CraigAllenSmith1 profile image
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      Craig Allen Smith 4 years ago from Tucson Arizona

      @anonymous: No worries I just wanted clarity. I do not think it does, but it rewards those that get an application in.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @CraigAllenSmith1: I mean is it easier to get in? Sorry if that sounded rude.

    • CraigAllenSmith1 profile image
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      Craig Allen Smith 4 years ago from Tucson Arizona

      @anonymous: Thanks Sienna, I am glad this is helpful. I really do not have a great answer for you. I am not 100% sure safety schools really exist especially with the advent of PTCAS. I would suggest applying to multiple schools if you are concerned about making it in and schools that are not on PTCAS (the applicant pool will in all likelihood be smaller but I no longer know which ones are not part of PTCAS). I think the rankings have severe limitations - but really is the only thing out there that gives info comparing schools.

      Have you looked at this article? https://hubpages.com/education/best-physical-thera...

      If you can speak to current students, that is another great resource to investigate.

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      Craig Allen Smith 4 years ago from Tucson Arizona

      @anonymous: Le,

      What do you mean by prestigious?

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I am wondering if this just a myth or not. The PT schools that have rolling admissions are less prestigious? Thx! Pardon my ignorance. I'm just trying to gauge.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @CraigAllenSmith1: I'm so grateful you respond to everyone's comments! You are such a big help.

      I do not have a high gpa. It is about a 3.1 (my science gpa) do you suggest trying for an early decision thing? Because I do not want to end up getting rejected from like all the schools I apply to when regular decision comes out. I'm also really new at finding what schools are "safety" schools. I searched online and looked up the rankings, but that is all I have. Applying to college was definitely and easier process because almost everyone around knew what were the good ones, what were ok ones, etc., so we had a lot of references. But since PT is so specialized, is there a resource we can use to figure out? Thank you again.

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      Craig Allen Smith 4 years ago from Tucson Arizona

      @anonymous: Great question Sienna,

      I took some of mine at a community college and I was accepted at each school I applied, so I do not see it as a limitation. I would be very surprised if an applicant has been downgraded by what college one attended to complete the prerequisites. In my mind there are so many more important things to consider.

      I do not believe organic chem is required but you should always double check the specific requirements of each school prior to applying.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      thank you soo much for all these articles! i have the books you recommended on hold at the lib so i can read them!

      i was wondering if it would matter if i took most of my science pre req's at a community college during the summer since my major is not PT related and it's hard to fit in major req and hard science classes during the normal semester. so during the summers, i come back home and take all the science classes at the nearby community college. my grades are good there..but do u think the admissions would think less of me? also do u have to take organic chem? i don't have time for that, since im applying for PT schools in the fall :/

      thanks!

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      Craig Allen Smith 4 years ago from Tucson Arizona

      @anonymous: You are obviously doing something right if you have made it that far. At this point, I am not sure if you can doing anything more for this current cycle if you are on a waiting list. The school (I assume) made a list that ranks all of the applicants. With PTCAS, some people that are listed ahead of you will probably not choose the school that you are wait listed for. Keep your fingers crossed and you may be in.

      Now, if it does not go that way and you need to apply next year, I have a lot of suggestions. BUT first, what you done so far? The easiest route is to into the clinic and put in some hours, and read as much as possible.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      These articles are great! So first of all, thanks for putting this information out there. My question is,

      what advice would you give to someone like me, who has been placed on the admission waiting list, and wants to improve their chance of getting accepted? And as a bit of a follow-up question, what do you suggest I do to strengthen my application for the next admission cycle, should I not be offered a spot?

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      Craig Allen Smith 4 years ago from Tucson Arizona

      @anonymous: If your GPA is below the cut off, then it will be very hard to get an interview. You need to retake some classes that are bringing your GPA down.

      Clinical hours will help build your resume, but meeting the minimum GPA is a must.

      What is your GPA?

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have a really low GPA and I really really want to get into a PT program. I have cried and done so much to a higher GPA but it is really heard to do so. I have been doing clinical hours but I don't feel so confidant that I would get in any school. Can you please help?

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      Craig Allen Smith 4 years ago from Tucson Arizona

      @anonymous: Time in the clinic is invaluable. It provides you experience that allows you to communicate with physical therapists at your interviews. Further, it lets you know if this path is right for you. The experience is a big boost just make sure the rest of your application is complete and you are ready to go.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      This article was so helpful! I'm currently a PT Tech and have been since last summer. Do you think this would be a big boost in my application? I have about a 3.5 GPA. Thank you so much for your great advice!

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      Craig Allen Smith 4 years ago from Tucson Arizona

      @anonymous: No problem, I hope it was useful.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Really super cool and giving of you to post this! Thanks Man!

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      Craig Allen Smith 4 years ago from Tucson Arizona

      @anonymous: Thanks Emily. I am sure it will go great for you. After you finish, let me know what questions they asked you.

      GOOD LUCK!!!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you for this. I am about to attend my first interview in a few weeks and this was great! Best of luck to you in your future endeavors. Thank you again!!!!!

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      Craig Allen Smith 4 years ago from Tucson Arizona

      @anonymous: Thanks Arica. That's what I was hoping when I wrote it. If you run into any questions as you start applying to schools or preparing for the interviews, email me or ask in the comments.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Your articles have been unbelievably helpful!