Thinking PT School? Here Are Some Tips! – Part 1

While it’s not application season quite yet, if you’re reading this and thinking about applying to PT school, I’ve got some tips to prepare you for the process. In addition to advice for the application process, I’d also love to share some suggestions about how to prepare for PT school itself. As you can see from the title, I’ve got lots of advice brewing in the ole’ noggin, so I’ll be sharing a few tips each month for the next few months! So without further ado……

  1. Like I said, while the application process is still a few months away, it can’t hurt to start getting familiar with the schools in which you’re interested. While PTCAS has greatly simplified the process, I’d still recommend making some kind of chart, table, or other document that can help you keep track of the specific requirements for each school. There are some subtle differences between schools, and I guarantee that organizing all the information will make the whole process much easier!
  2. If you’re applying during your senior year of undergrad, seriously consider and take some time to think about whether you would benefit from taking time off before starting PT school. And I mean more than just the few months between. Important disclaimer – I took two years off before starting school so I’m a little biased. With that said, it was a HUGE benefit for me to take some time off, work in the field of PT, and learn how to live in the “real world.” Make no mistake, PT school, while sharing some similarities with undergrad, is strikingly similar to the working world. Therefore, having these two years to learn to navigate things like bills, insurance, etc. prevented me from having to stress about learning the ropes once I hit PT school. Now I want to make it clear that I’m not at all saying this approach is for everyone. Obviously, a lot of people do perfectly fine with going straight to grad school. However, I do want to emphasize that it can’t hurt to ponder the possibility!
  3. Volunteer, shadow, or work in a number of different PT settings. When I started down the path towards PT school, I didn’t even know that inpatient or acute care therapy even existed. Outpatient ortho was what PT was in my head. Thankfully, I ended up discovering and working in Inpatient Rehab and absolutely loved it. That experience really ignited my passion for PT, and I wouldn’t have found that passion had I not branched out into new territory. Aside from potentially discovering a new passion, working in varied settings also has the benefit of vastly improving the strength of your application!

 

That’s all for this month! More on the way next month, and thanks for reading!

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