I will be applying to PT schools in the Fall. One school is a private school (Chapman University) and while all of the therapists and interns I've seen from that school are amazing I would come out at the very least $90,000 in debt :(. The other school is the school I'm at now which is a great school (California State University, Long Beach). If I choose to go there for PT school, I will not only come out with little to no debt but my first year load will be a lot lighter because the first year PT classes are considered undergraduate classes and I am using some of those classes to meet requirements for my major and minor. The therapist I've seen come out of this school are okay.
My main reason for really wanting to go to the private school is because I want to be an amazing therapist (like the people I've seen come out of this program) but I'm not sure all the debt is worth it. Is there anything I could do while in PT school that would make me a better therapist?
Joined: December 22, 2007
AHHHHH!!!! Do NOT go to the private school!!!! I have some very good friends teaching at private schools who would be upset with me for telling you that, but it just isn't worth it. Public PT education in the US is more than adequate and most of your real development as a provider will occur after you graduate. No one will care where you went to school except for the owners of your student loans.
Do the math on the loans and go from there...it is a no-brainer! Good luck.
Joined: March 15, 2006
I'd like to expand upon what Rod wrote. First, I agree with his entire post. Second, the most important thing I tell students that I have in my clinic is to integrate, actually LEARN the stuff, don't just memorize it. Many of your classmates (maybe even you) have astronomical GPAs. Some of your class will have gotten that GPA by brute force, studying a lot, memorizing lists, doing extra credit, etc . . . but when they get to put their hands on an actual patient, who may have more than one symptom, or come from a FP doc who really doesn't know beans about an orthopedic exam, they freeze up because the patient doesn't fit into their neat little algorithms.
Another thing I say to my students is "don't be afraid to say that you don't know something" Find out, but NEVER B.S. your way through an explanation, or an evaluation. You could ruin (or end) someone's life by pretending you know when you don't. 20 "attaboys" equal 1 "aw s-h-i-t"
Be intellectually honest, and curious, and diligent, and have fun, being a PT is a blast and that's coming from someone who has been at it for 17 years. Every day is different and yet the same. The profession is at once immensely gratifying and frustrating.
In school you gain the didactic basis to learn things medical for the rest of your career and gain the tools to critically analyze the things you will learn after graduation.
Hey there! I just so happened to see your post as I was about to log out, and thought I'd share. I don't know anything about any of the schools you mentioned... but I just graduated with my DPT from a private PT/OT school. I chose the university I attended for the same reasons you're considering the private college route!
My school has an outstanding reputation, and great therapists coming from their program. Now I'm not saying Private is better by any means... my advice is to go visit the campus. Set up a tour on a regular school day, and set up a meeting with the program directors. You will know after that!