APTA Vision 2020: What’s your grade?

Alan Besselink, blogger and Austinite extraordinaire has written a thoughtful post entitled, “APTA’s Vision 2020: My 12 Year Report Card.” In the post, Alan breaks down the components of Vision 2020 and provides his summary of the progress toward each.

To review, here’s the Vision 2020 statement from the APTA:

“By 2020, physical therapy will be provided by physical therapists who are doctors of physical therapy, recognized by consumers and other health care professionals as the practitioners of choice to whom consumers have direct access for the diagnosis of, interventions for, and prevention of impairments, activity limitations, participation restrictions, and environmental barriers related to movement, function, and health.”

I’m sure certain parts of this resonate more with different folks. For Alan, the issue of Direct Access takes center stage. I agree with his critique of the APTA PR machine, which labels 40 something states as having some form of direct access to physical therapists…while in actuality, many of those states are not very gate-keeper free at all. Alan points out that the state we both practice in, Texas, is listed as a Direct Access state by APTA. I consider that false.

Here are Alan’s grades for each section:

  • Autonomous Practice: F
  • Direct Access: F
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy and Lifelong Education: F
  • Evidence-based Practice: F
  • Practitioner of Choice: F
  • Professionalism: A
  • Overall: F


Now, I’m not sure I agree with Alan on all of these grades (specifically the EBP and DPT grades), but he makes a good argument for each of his choices in his post. My question to you is, what do you think about the progress we’ve made on Vision 2020. As Alan points out, “As they say, if you do what you’ve done, you will get what you’ve got. Sadly, what we’ve got isn’t much different than what we had 12 years ago.” This may be a good opportunity to take stock and make some changes in strategy before we get too close to 2020 to change!

[icon style=”notice”]I’ll summarize the results of this poll in another post prior to the APTA Annual Conference.[/icon]

How do you Grade APTA Vision 2020 Progress

Physical therapist Blogger, Alan Besselink has already submitted his grade. What's yours?

One Reply to “APTA Vision 2020: What’s your grade?”

  1. Thanks for sharing this post with your readers. I am sure we would agree that open, frank discussion is what we need in our profession. We are going to have to face some harsh realities. I would agree with you in that it isn’t too late to have those discussions.

    With respect to direct access, here is the official word from the APTA:


    It’s pretty hard to tell a legislator in Texas that consumers need direct access when the APTA has a map telling them we already have it.


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