The Climbing Doctor shares insight into rock climbers' specific strength training needs.

6 Non-Clinical Skills PT's Don't Realize We Have

Hey there, fellow physical therapists! We're accustomed to focusing on our clinical expertise—the assessments, treatments, and interventions that make up the backbone of our profession. But what about those skills that don't always get the spotlight? The ones that quietly shape our interactions, our leadership, and our ability to navigate the complexities of patient care? In this article, we're shining a light on six non-clinical skills that PTs possess, often without even realizing it. So, let's dive in and discover the hidden talents that make us more than just clinicians!

Effective Communication: Building Trust and Rapport

Communication—it's more than just exchanging words. It's about building connections, fostering trust, and truly understanding our patients' needs. As physical therapists, our ability to communicate effectively is paramount to our success. Whether we're explaining treatment plans, listening to concerns, or collaborating with colleagues, our communication skills set the tone for positive patient interactions. Check out this insightful article on the importance of communication skills in healthcare to dive deeper into this crucial skill.

Empathy and Emotional Intelligence: Understanding Patients' Needs

Empathy—it's the ability to step into someone else's shoes and truly understand their perspective. As physical therapists, our empathy and emotional intelligence play a crucial role in building trust and rapport with our patients. By showing empathy, we create a safe and supportive environment where patients feel heard, valued, and understood. Explore more about empathy and its role in healthcare in this insightful resource.

Leadership and Collaboration: Guiding Interdisciplinary Teams

Leadership—it's not just about holding a title or leading from the front. It's about inspiring others, fostering collaboration, and guiding interdisciplinary teams toward a common goal. As physical therapists, we're natural leaders, whether we're coordinating care plans, advocating for our patients, or mentoring colleagues. Learn more about leadership in healthcare and its impact on patient outcomes.

Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking: Navigating Complex Cases

Problem-solving—it's about thinking on our feet, analyzing data, and finding innovative solutions to complex challenges. As physical therapists, our problem-solving and critical thinking skills are put to the test every day as we assess patients, identify barriers to progress, and tailor treatment plans to meet individual needs. Dive deeper into problem-solving strategies and techniques in this informative resource.

Time Management and Organization: Balancing Patient Care and Administrative Duties

Time management—it's about prioritizing tasks, staying organized, and making the most of our precious time. As physical therapists, our ability to manage our time effectively is essential for delivering quality patient care while juggling administrative responsibilities. Explore practical tips and tools for improving time management skills in this helpful webinar.

Patient Education and Empowerment: Promoting Self-Management and Independence

Patient education—it's about empowering individuals to take control of their health and well-being. As physical therapists, we play a vital role in educating patients about their conditions, treatment options, and self-care strategies. By providing clear, concise information and fostering independence, we empower our patients to become active participants in their own recovery journey. Learn more about the importance of patient education and empowerment in this insightful resource.

Conclusion: Recognizing the Full Spectrum of PT Talents

In conclusion, as physical therapists, we possess a diverse range of non-clinical skills that are just as essential to our practice as our clinical expertise. From effective communication and empathy to leadership and problem-solving, these skills enable us to provide holistic, patient-centered care that goes beyond the treatment room. So, let's celebrate the hidden talents that make us more than just clinicians and continue to excel in all aspects of our profession!


We appreciate the time that Dr. Vagy has taken to talk to us at NGPT.  He invites the NGPT community to learn more climbing performance tips, by visiting:



About the author: Dr. Jared Vagy is a Physical Therapist, a professor at the University of Southern California (USC) and an authority on climbing related injuries. He received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from USC. He is board certified as an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist from the American Physical Therapy Association. He has over ten years of climbing experience and has climbed all over the world. Climbing and injury prevention are his passions and he is committed to combining the two.



Malliou PC, Giannakopoulos K, Beneka AG, Gioftsidou A, Godolias G. Effective ways of restoring muscular imbalances of the RTC muscle group: a comparative study of various training methods. Br J Sports Med. 2004;38:766–772.

Reinold MM, Wilk K, Fleisig GC, et al. EMG analysis of the rotator cuff and deltoid musculature during common shoulder external rotation exercises. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2004;34:385–394.

Van der Heijden GJ, van der Windt DA, de Winter AF. Physiotherapy for patients with soft tissue shoulder disorders: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials. BMJ. 1997;315:25–30.

Wilk KE. Current concepts in the rehabilitation of athletic shoulder injuries. In: Andrews JR, Wilk KE, eds. The Athlete’s Shoulder. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders; 1994:335–368.

Kramer WJ, Ratamess NA. Fundamentals of resistance training: progression and exercise prescription. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2004;36:674–688.

About Guest Poster

Check Also


What is Productivity and Why Does it Matter?

When I was offered my first job out of PT school, I actually turned it …

Leave a Reply

Yes No