I Didn’t Learn Anything in Physical Therapy School

I Didn’t Learn Anything in Physical Therapy School

The doctoral training physical therapists receive is broken — they learn just enough to keep you sick.That’s not to say I didn’t learn anything during those three years — I learned a lot from studying for my Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certification, reading articles at T-Nation, studying health protocols by Life Extension, and treating 3–5 massage clients for sports injuries each week.

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t learn anything from my three years of coursework to earn my Doctor of Physical Therapy — at a cost of $130,000 at the cheapest state school I could possibly attend.

That’s not to say I didn’t learn anything during those three years — I learned a lot from studying for my Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certification, reading articles at T-Nation, studying health protocols by Life Extension, and treating 3–5 massage clients for sports injuries each week.

When I asked my professors when we would be learning actual clinical skills, they would tell me I could learn whatever I wanted in continuing education, after I graduated. At one point, I got so frustrated with the system that I took 200 hours of massage continuing education in one semester on top of my coursework, earning my board-certification as a massage therapist.

Follow my journey and look behind the curtain of healthcare education in the US. You may just realize that American healthcare is designed to keep you sick. After all, if your physical therapist gets you better, you’re not a patient anymore — and paying customers are what keep businesses open.


At least I got some work experience, right?

I

got a lot more out of being around the strength & conditioning and athletic training professionals from Virginia Commonwealth University Men’s Basketball as their team massage therapist than I did from my physical therapy coursework or my 40+ weeks of full-time internship work.

(The best thing about PT school for me was that it landed me my dream job while I was a PT student, because I could demonstrate that I was a competent manual therapist through my interest in moving my career forward from massage therapy to physical therapy.)

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