5 Physical Therapy Settings to Explore Before Applying to PT School

physical therapy settings

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.

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Medical Practice Settings: A Quick Guide for Young Physicians

practice settings

For a physician about to finish residency or fellowship, the differences in practice types may seem unclear. Each type of practice has its own positives and negatives, and some may be a better fit for your career needs.

If you are starting your job search, or at least thinking about your future practice options, you should be weighing the pros and cons of each practice type. Keep reading to see the upsides and downsides of each and how they differ from a residency or fellowship training environment.

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Chronicles of a Med Student: Flexibility in Practice

Chronicles of a Med Student

For a typical medical student shadowing in a clinic for a day, it looks a little something like this: we enter the familiar setting of an outpatient clinic and help as the attending physician sees patient after patient in quick fifteen minute intervals. We also get to see things that patients are not privy to—the virtual stacks of paperwork that wait at the end of each visit, the phone calls for consults, the appropriate orders for the workup of a certain condition in a certain patient. It all seems like a blur. Then we think about the clinical world before we even get to practice as a physician: the years of clinical rotations and especially residency are much more daunting, with their own strict rules, long work hours, and meager pay. Do I have to end up in an office or hospital setting? This is a thought that crept into my mind after hours of clinic observation. What I saw as a pre-medical student is somewhat different than what I experience as a medical student which makes this question far more relevant.

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