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Exposing Lies in Physical Therapy School

Are you considering a career in physical therapy but feeling overwhelmed by the rumors and misinformation surrounding PT school? Fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we're here to separate fact from fiction and shed light on the truth behind the lies about physical therapy school. Whether you're a prospective student or a curious observer, buckle up as we debunk myths, dispel misconceptions, and provide valuable insights into the world of physical therapy education.

Common Lies and Misconceptions: What You Need to Know

Let's kick things off by addressing some of the most prevalent falsehoods perpetuated about physical therapy education. From the belief that you need a perfect GPA to get in to the notion that PT school is a walk in the park, we'll dissect these myths and reveal the reality behind the facade. Dive into the truth with resources from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

Debunking Popular Myths: Separating Fact from Fiction

Myth: "You Need a Perfect GPA to Get into PT School"

Contrary to popular belief, a flawless GPA is not the sole determinant of admission to physical therapy programs. Admissions committees take a holistic approach, considering factors such as volunteer experience, recommendation letters, and personal statements. Learn more about the admissions process with the Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (PTCAS).

Myth: "Physical Therapy School Is Easy"

While physical therapy school may seem daunting, it's far from easy. Rigorous coursework, hands-on clinical experiences, and demanding internships are all part of the journey to becoming a physical therapist. Discover the challenges and rewards of PT school firsthand.

Myth: "All PT Schools Offer the Same Quality of Education"

Not all physical therapy programs are created equal. Factors such as accreditation, faculty expertise, and clinical opportunities vary between institutions. It's essential to research and compare PT programs to find the best fit for your academic and career goals. Explore career outlooks and industry trends with the Bureau of Labor Statistics - Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Realities of Physical Therapy Education: Navigating the Journey

Now that we've debunked some common myths, let's delve into the realities of physical therapy education. From admission requirements to curriculum and career prospects, we'll provide a comprehensive overview to help you navigate the path to becoming a physical therapist.

About Shanon M. Fronek, PT, DPT, CSCS

Shanon Fronek
Dr. Shanon Fronek completed her B.S. in Biology at Wilmington College of Ohio in 2011 and graduated from the University of Dayton in 2014 as a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT). She is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Functional Movement Screen (FMS) provider, Emergency Medical Responder, and is a credentialed Clinical Instructor. After working for two years in outpatient orthopaedics, she is now working towards specializing in sports physical therapy while completing the Sports Physical Therapy Residency at Saint Francis University. She is passionate about being active within the sports section and expanding the body of knowledge in sports medicine. In 2015, she was appointed to the Public Relations Committee of the Sports Section. Her clinical interests include pathomechanics associated with lower extremity injuries in female athletes, concussion management, and injury prevention strategies for overhead athletes. Outside of the clinic, Shanon enjoys competing in various recreational activities including softball, basketball, and flag football. She also enjoys coaching youth league sports, and supporting the community by volunteering at local Ironman or other endurance-related events. Traveling, running, sunbathing, and watching the Real Housewives are things she likes to do when she turns off her brain.


  1. Ryan Tollis

    Great article, but I am confused on the wording stating it is a requirement for fellowships to first attend a residency.Can you please provide your source for the following:

    “If you are considering becoming a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (FAAOMPT), fellowship candidates are required to have completed an orthopaedic residency program and have obtained ABPTS board certification as an Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist.”

    I don’t believe you are required to have attended a residency to become a Fellow, it is just one of the paths to get there. Per the AAOMPT website, eligibility criteria is:

    *Minimum of one year of post- professional orthopaedic clinical experience with one of the following:
    *1. APTA residency training, 2) board certified clinical specialist credential (e.g., OCS), or 3) equivalent of the above determined through portfolio review process.

    If there have been updates to the requirement please share.

    • Shanon Fronek

      Hi Ryan,

      Thank you for sharing your feedback. I understand where the content was a little misleading and I have made some edits.

      You are correct, generally speaking, residency is not always a requirement to participate in a fellowship program. However, when specifically discussing the topic of post-residency careers paths, completing an orthopedic residency program and subsequently obtaining the OCS credential is the most widely accepted requirement across all the OMPT fellowship programs. As you mentioned, there are other pathways to OMPT fellowship including: (1)demonstrating a minimum years of experience (I’ve seen as many as 5 years), and/or (2) being a credentialed clinical specialist in a related area, and/or (3) completing a residency program in a related specialty area. Admissions requirements do vary by program, so readers are encouraged to seek information from each program of interest for more specifics regarding admissions requirements.

      Thanks again for commenting and allowing me to clarify.

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