Military is a whole different ball game than civilian practice as I understand it. Any current-past military PT's care to comment on differences, esp medico-legal issues, MD-PT relations, populations served, etc.
Joined: May 11, 2004
In my interactions with military physical therapists... if I have understood what they have told me correctly... not every military PT has the ability to truly be a first in line provider. In order to practice at that level - to prescribe medications, order diagnostic testing and read diagnostic test results, those particular military physical therapists have a substantial amount of additional training under their belt. If I remember correctly, they also need, I'm not sure the right word - I think they go through a process and they need certain criteria met before they can advance to being a first in line musculoskeletal provider. And, once they achieve that level, I believe there is annual criteria that need to be met to ensure optimal performance. From what the military therapists have told me, the MD-PT relationship isn't horrible. It's almost like the ego/control kind of thing doesn't have a huge role - the orthopaedic surgeons, in particular, don't want to be wasting their time with non-surgical candidates.