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09/04/2019

Physical therapy career?

QUESTION
Physical therapy career?
I am an undergraduate finishing 2nd year of college. What should i do now to make myself appealing for physical therapy program, besides GPA, and Volunteering at a hospital, what else should i do?

ANSWER
All schools do their admissions process differently, but I will tell you how our school has done it in the past and now. Years ago, you had 300 qualified applicants competing for 36 slots. So, they basically looked at GPA first…those with the highest GPA in the prerequisite courses, had references, and could write a decent 2-3 paragraph essay got the slots. Many people with very good GPAs were overlooked because they were not the top 36. I’m sure there are still some schools who do it this way, but I know many have changed.

Now, anyone who has the minimum GPA and complete all other requirements start equally. They are all invited in for an interview and writing sample. The interview questions were pretty tame:
Why do you want to become a physical therapist?
If you weren’t going to become a PT, what would you do?
What current trends in healthcare do you think are important to PTs?
What do you do to relieve stress?
What are your strengths and weaknesses?

My advice is to know yourself, what motivates you, your strengths and weaknesses, what are your time management skills and stress coping skills. Get a general idea of trends in healthcare.

For the writing sample, we basically look to see if you can form a proper introduction and conclusion, write complete paragraphs, organize an essay and use appropriate language and grammar. We are not as interested in how you answer the questions (unless you cannot back your points) as we are on how well you write and follow directions. For instance, we often ask the question: what would you do if you saw someone park illegally in the handicapped spot? One student went on to write why she should be accepted into the PT program (she obviously wasn’t)…one student was worried after the essay about his answer as to whether we “agreed” with him…he made a clear and conscise paper that was well-written…he WAS accepted.

Be “down with yourself” and practice your writing skills…that’s my best piece of advice