Well, I recently got accepted to the only school I applied to. Very excited. Western Carolina University, a 6 semester MPT program that will cost me about $15k for tuition and fees for the entire program. With what I've been reading recently on the boards, I feel good about that. One thing I thought some of you practicing PT's might want to chime in on is: What do you wish you had known prior to starting PT school that you came to find out/discover once you were already in school? In other words, regarding school, what do you know now that you wish you had known then? Looking forward to your responses....
isn't that kind of a rhetorical question Grant? One can't possible know 'then' what they know 'now'. That's the whole point...study the didatic info but you really don't LEARN it until you work and apply your knowledge as a PT.
be ready to live, eat, and sh** therapy info for 2 years...inbetween that, enjoy your life :D
....i would have enjoyed St. Augustine beach beach more
Joined: June 27, 2006
try and F* some PT chicks as a short term goal....makes your therapeutic goals achievable
haha, kidding, what i wish i'd knew!
I wish i knew the best books which I should use to study, so many books out there, and I tried to read many many of them, but in reality, the best ones always prevail.
Also, ur placements are what makes you a physio, as a student i thought classes are more important, in Physio, classes are nothing, it is what ur hands tell you...ask ur CIs, they are what makes you a good PT. Also, make sure the placements locations are good.
Believe me, u will have ups and downs, but at the end, u will remember this for the rest of ur life...
Joined: October 27, 2002
From: New York, NY
Question what you learn. Everything!! Don't make life difficult for your poor instructors. But, the field needs PTs who question the status quo and very basic information and make up their own minds about things. This can get difficult as the material piles up. But, keep a critical perspective.
Also, have fun. Some of your classmates will be lifelong friends (if you don't kill them after three years).
When you choose a research project - choose something simple and doable. Save the larger ambitions for your PHD!!!!!!!!!!!
Joined: August 25, 2000
I agree, question what is taught to you. When they describe a technique or method to you, ask where they got that info from. They should be able to back up what they are saying from the literature and not from experience.
Joined: November 9, 2006
Really focus on getting a good understanding of anatomy. Spend a lot of time with the cadavors. Take the opportunity to attend some continuing education courses on topics you have covered in class especially if the student rate is really low.
I'm not sure how real estate is in your area but you might consider buying a 3 or 4 bedroom house and renting out some of the rooms to cover the mortgage & prop taxes. Get creative and you can live rent-free or actually have a postive cashflow. You can do a no money, no cost purchase pretty easily ....find a decent broker. Depending on the dynamics of your RE market, you could perhaps gain equity. Don't refi if you can help it: 1st mortgages are non-recourse. Refi's aka trust deeds are recourse meaning the lenders can come after you for the balance of the note. This way if the market tanks in 3 years, you can walk away with a simple foreclosure on your credit reports. [like a million other ppl if the sh!t hits the fan].
Don't stagnate financially for 3 years; play the 0% game if you can help it for an easy 5-10k/yr in skimmed interest income.
With the roomies, 0% game and 0% state loans (take any and all to skim interest income as well), you might actually live pretty decently.
Thanks for all the feedback. The thoughts about "get ready to eat, drink, and sh#$ therapy", the thoughts on CI's, and the real estate idea stuff are all interesting takes. Since I'm married, the idea of hooking up with a bunch of PT coeds is out - should have started this earlier instead of going back at 31! Were any of you returning students at the time? Did you find that things were "easier" for you? I'm thinking this might work to my advantage since the urge to hang out or party too much has pretty much subsided. Excitement these days is a 6am training run and a good bowl of cereal... Any more thoughts?
Joined: September 2, 2003
Appreciate your education!
I'm not sure what other PT programs are like but there was a large number of students in my class who always liked to complain that our program, while heavy on theory (antatomy, physiology, pathology etc...) and assessment (musculoskeletal, neuro, peds etc...) was too thin on treatment techniques.
Why do we have to learn so much about assessment? Don't Doctors do the assessment? All people care about is getting better, why don't we spent most of our time learning treatment techniques? One student even quit the program because of this.
It wasn't until after I started practicing that I realized how wrong everyone had been. Our education is what sets us apart from all other professions and is why PTs have the respect we do within the medical system.
Joined: February 12, 2007
I'm a recent grad, the one thing that I think I should have taken more from was my gross anat lab. Really study the cadavers, move the extremeties around, look at the shld, and back spine...
Gatta have a night to chill, drink and watch a game. Get a good group of people you can study with. try to pick your proffs brains, they are typically great people and are willing to share great info on the specialty.
Joined: April 22, 2005
From: New York City
At PT school you'll meet classmates that could be your potential lifemates and lifelong friends.
About 3 years ago we had a class reunion; classmates from TX, TN, WI, MI, IN, etc. came and we reminisced about the old days. Most are married with their spouses and kids at the reunion. So enjoy your education and know that your classmates now are your future colleagues, best friends or potential spouse in not so distant future.
The PT educational milieu might be changing now, but when I was in school, we're always the group that stands out and excels at school activities, competitions and sports. Plus the most controversial!
Joined: August 25, 2000
Make a good impression and make a few friends by the first week of classes. Group projects were the pretty common with my program and knowing people who you got along with makes things a lot easier when you have to work together, especially when there were group projects all the way to the end of the program!
They are forgiveable up to a percentage every year for x amount of years. Just have to fill out the paperwork from the school. I have 2 perkins loans (from different schools) forgiven. I just have to file the paperwork each year.
Joined: April 26, 2007
Contact your school for more info, at the end of 5 years of yearly filing of paperwork, your perkins loans will be forgiven.
What i wish I had done when i started PT school was that I'd had the US govt pay me a salary while i was in PT school ~ 35-40k year w full benefits by receiving a commission w the US Public Health Service, same as the military without the oversea deployments. Great $$ to attend PT school. In exchange all you have to do is give the govt 2-3 yrs payback for your salary, you can opt to remain in service as a commissioned officer and practice in an underserved area of your choice across the United States. Im prior military so for me is a win-win situation as i get to retire at the tender age of 44! heres the link for more info http://www.usphs.gov/
BTW ,once you factor all the benefits my current salary has surpassed most of my classmates and many veteran PTs in Texas.
Joined: April 26, 2007
Oh yes i fogot to mention click on the student section as it will explain our COSTEP program, and if selected it can pay ~2500/month and tax free stipend of ~800-1300/month for housing depending on your University zip code. Had i done this i would have not been 50K in the hole...oh well you live and you learn. :)