When you’re planning to apply to physical therapy school, you may or may not have an idea of what you’d like to do once you actually become a PT. Sure, there are plenty of articles out there reminding you of what a great profession physical therapy is, and they’re mostly right! But the majority of the media paints the same picture of what a physical therapist is: a smiling, perky young lad or lady, absently stretching a faceless leg.
The reality is that the physical therapy profession is so much more than stretching people’s legs in a generic outpatient orthopedic setting. (Outpatient ortho is what those pictures represent, by the way, but the pics don’t come close to representing the actual excitement of clinic life). A PT can help to improve the functions—and the lives—of everyone from children with developmental disabilities to active older adults. Physical therapists work in schools, adult day care facilities, gyms, and nursing homes, and they treat people with everything from sprained ankles to acute heart conditions.
Meredith Castin, PT, DPT is a physical therapist and co-founder of The Non-Clinical PT, a resource designed to help clinicians leverage their rehab degrees in creative ways. She enjoys writing, snowboarding, rock climbing, recording music, and spending time with her husband and three cats.