The following post is written by Josh D’Angelo and Efosa Guobadia

With World Physical Therapy Day quickly approaching on September 8th, we have been discussing how we can play our part in strengthening the profession at the international level. We are currently in Guatemala (Efosa’s seventh trip here; Josh’s second) and will be teaching to, treating with, and presenting on advocacy to students and professionals in Guatemala City at the Universidad de Panamericana throughout the week.

We hope to broaden the discussion, generate ideas, and connect PT’s across the globe through this week’s #DPTstudent chat. We have also launched and will be discussing the hashtag #globalPTconnect, under which we will be live tweeting during much of our trip.

This is a profession that we all love and gives us so much, so trying to create ripples, bonds, and connections seems the next step. Simply joining the conversation will help to spread awareness of international efforts. You never know- you may be the next one traveling internationally and making global connections. Conversations like these is where it all begins.

We look forward to chatting.


Efosa and Josh

If you would like to read more about Efosa and Josh’s trip prior to the discussion, check out their most recent PT Haven article


Residencies seem to the hot topic now that I have entered the third and final year of my DPT program. Residencies are designed to help build a specialization as well as foster mentorship and increase clinical reasoning skills. If completing an APTA accredited residency you are eligible to take the OCS, NCS or other specialization designation test sooner. (More details about that here.) Deciding to pursue a residency after graduating from a DPT program is a big undertaking and should be well researched and understood by the student. You can find a great comprehensive list of residencies in different areas of specialization here. The point of this post is not to discuss to many different kinds of residency models but instead to discuss some topics that #DPTstudents should be aware of before diving head first into post DPT residency.

Let me start with a little background on why I decided to ask clinic owners or hiring managers their thoughts on residencies. I was discussing the many options of post DPT graduation residencies with my husband. With a confused look on his face he said, “I don’t understand. You will have just finished 3 years of a doctorate program but you need to do a year or longer residency to land a job that would pay you exactly the same as if you hadn’t done the residency?”  I wasn’t sure how to answer his question. Would I make more if I did a residency? Would I be a better candidate or would I just be considered a silly new grad who happens to be more in debt? Would an employer be willing to help me pay for it? (Please note that there are residencies that pay you as a full time employee and incorporate mentoring hours and clinical hours. In my case, I want to stay in Colorado so I have only been looking into distance based residency programs with weekend hands-on intensives. I also want to begin my career where I  plan to live for the foreseeable future just as a personal choice. Ok, back to the topic!)

I made a short survey and with the power of Twitter I was able to get 35 clinic owners or hiring managers to complete the survey and many offered additional comments. The n=35 is not statistically significant but I think it gives a good insight regardless. This is what they had to say.

Question 1: Does completing a residency increase a new grads chance of being hired?

YES. 66.6% said yes, 33.3% said no. Many of the comments that accompanied this question stated that a residency provides more experience and mentoring (read: “less needy”) and therefor the student would be perceived as a better candidate. However, some of the comments were not along these lines such as “I would not give a residency grad higher priority than I would to a well-informed, motivated and articulate new DPT who has not gone through a residency.”

Question 2: Is the salary higher for a residency grad vs a new DPT grad?

You have a 50/50 shot at making more money as a residency grad. The results were split right down the middle (one person did not answer this question). Many of the comments on this question stated that just because a new PT graduated from a residency program does not mean they are able to bill the patient more for their time. One commenter stated that often times residency grads request a higher salary but the skills they bring have not brought extra value to the clinic. This owner/ hiring manager states “you have to look at what type of value/niche the potential PTs residency brings to the practice and community. We pay people based on the individual value they bring.” It’s all about value.

Question 3: As an employer, do you offer any assistance for an employee wanting to complete a residency?

I was really surprised by the answers and comments on this question. The majority (50%) do not offer any assistance on continuing education including a residency, 30% offer some continuing education budget, and 20% of the respondents host a residency in their clinic. Many of the comments posted on this question simply stated that as a small private practice, this is too big of a financial burden to provide a continuing education budget. One responder said they would support an employee wanting to pursue a residency but there would be pay back stipulations if a certain time commitment of employment was not met. 

Question 4: Do you have any other thoughts you would like to share regarding new DPT grads exploring residency programs?

I will let these comments speak for themselves:

I think that we do our profession harm if we imply a residency is the only way to specialize. I think it’s great that it’s an option, but it’s too soon (at least in women’s health) to determine a good cost-benefit analysis.

Therapists who complete the residency programs may have didactic knowledge, however the clinical translation is a value lost on my practice. I would suggest a 2-3 year level of experience prior to attending a residency as a criteria, a new grad is a new grad- residency or otherwise.

I encourage new grads to do a residency is they have the financial means. If they don’t, then I think they should think twice

I think it’s a great idea to explore a residency if you can support yourself on a potential lower salary for awhile.

I think a residency is a fantastic thing to do for the motivated individual to take their practice to the highest level. However, I do not believe that increased pay or anything to that effect should be the motivating factor to pursue a residency.

If you are in a position to attend one, great. The mentoring and experience should be beneficial. But do not think that it is the only path to excellence. As an employer, I would prefer a keen, passionate and well informed new grad over one who has been groomed to follow outdated paradigms and has become a follower of any one particular technique (i.e. McKenzie, Paris or Dry Needling). I much prefer a strong critical thinker who is willing to apply uncomfortable truths about research and evidence into the practice of PT. I do not see this push in residency programs so far.

I found the results and comments posted on my little research study to be very eye opening. I hope this helps you put things into perspective as it did for me. Attending a residency can be very beneficial in many ways, but think twice and ask many questions before jumping in as a residency is not the only way to success.

Manipalooza from a #DPTstudent Perspective

photo 2-2 (2)There are some experiences as a #DPTstudent that leave you feeling energized, happy, and confident that you absolutely made the right career choice. This was one of those experiences. This past weekend I had the amazing opportunity to attend Manipalooza put on by Evidence in Motion. Manipalooza is a “3-day festival of hands on learning in manipulation, soft tissue techniques, pain management strategies, sports PT, and practice management. Participants will learn the most cutting edge techniques from experts in the PT field.” I can’t possibly fit everything I learned into a blog post but I am going to recap the many highlights of this experience.

photo-15 (2)


Saturday kicked off with a freestyle rap performed by a CU student on whatever PT topics the audience threw at him. You can see the video here. How someone raps about CT junction manips or G codes is beyond my comprehension but it was amazing and had everyone laughing to start off the morning. After an introduction to the weekend, Dr. Larry Benz kicked off the presentations with one titled “Deliberate Practice: Taking Your Skills from Good to Great”. This presentation focused on how to create a mindset of growth in order to continue to advance. One topic that Larry discussed that I find myself reflecting on again and again is the concept of “normalized discomfort”. This means that you have to fail in order to be able to grow. We must become more comfortable with failure and constructive criticism as we tend to learn the most from it. If we are not challenging ourselves outside of our comfort zone, we will never move closer to where we want to be. I would say that I found the whole weekend challenging and because of his talk, I was able to tell myself “it’s ok that you are struggling with this technique, this is challenging, and you are learning.”

Daphne Scott, leadership extraordinaire, then took to the floor with a presentation called “Change, Willingness…and Love”. Daphne lead the group through an exercise where we took a complaint we had about work or life, and showed us how to analyze and redirect the complaint and turn it into something more productive but to also stop wasting creative energy on blaming ourselves and instead just recommit to your goal. We discussed how change is hard and how upwards of 70% of companies who try to implement change fails.

After the short morning presentations, you had the choice of 3 different sessions: manual therapy of the foot and ankle (ortho track), neuromuscular intervention for chronic ankle instability (sports track), or time management and the illusion of time (business track). TJ and I decided to go to the ortho track, but I wish we could have been at all 3! Some of the techniques we went over I had previously learned in school but it was really nice to see a few modifications as well as get a nice refresher! I was also exposed to several techniques that we did not learn previously.

TJ practicing a rear foot distraction technique
TJ practicing a rear foot distraction technique


After lunch I decided to switch tracks (the afternoon classes that were offered were manual therapy of the knee, Eval of athletic movement: the ACL, and Career development: Yours and Theirs) and attend the business track on career development lead by Daphne Scott. It was a small group and Daphne asked all of us to tell her what we wanted to get out of the session. TJ and I were the only DPT students in the room (in fact, there were hardly any students at the event at all! Maybe 8 total for the Saturday session and just the two of us on Sunday!) and it was interesting to hear clinic owners talk about developing their staff. We also talked a lot about passion and spotting the employees who find their position to be a job, a career or a calling. A job is something you do to make money. Scooping ice cream when I was 15 was a job. A career is something you are trained in and have room for advancement but would quit if you won the lottery. My previous profession of an accountant was a career. A calling is what you think you were meant to do and you would still pursue it if you won a few million bucks. For me, this is my future in physical therapy- I am passionate about it so much that even if I were rich I would still be a physical therapist (granted, one that takes super fancy vacations).  I was able to leave that session knowing what I am looking for as far as career development goes and how to be sure that my values align with a potential employer.

A few of my classmates that attended!


The Sunday sessions were equally as fun! We kicked off the morning with 4 hours of thoracic and rib cage manual therapy and manipulations taught by Tim Flynn. The afternoon was 4 hours of cervical manips taught by Jason Rodeghero, EIM’s orthopedic residency director. Both sessions integrated clinical reasoning alongside of the manual techniques. What I absolutely loved about all of the lab sessions is how many EIM faculty were there to help! I had personalized attention from at least one -but most times 2 different faculty helped- on every single technique. I was offered advice on how to modify skills based on my size, how to adjust my hand placement, and several times a faculty would place their hands over mine to make sure I was where I was supposed to be. Jason even taught us a little trick to help with speed of manipulations by using a water bottle to practice the small quick movements! I have been doing this with my water bottle every day…but make sure the lid is on tight enough or else you have water all of the floor…not like I did that or anything.

Learned several modifications for this technique in order to perform it on patients bigger than I am (which is everyone)
Learned several modifications for this technique in order to perform it on patients bigger than I am (which is everyone)

I was introduced to some of the techniques in school but I left on Sunday with many more skills in my proverbial PT toolbox and a greater sense of confidence about using my hands on a patient. In fact, I thought to myself many times, “I had no idea this many manual techniques even existed!” As I said before the weekend was challenging. TJ and I would talk through each technique in regards to when you would use it on a patient before practicing on each other. With many of the techniques we struggled at first, but with deliberate practice (Thanks, Dr. Benz!) and amazing faculty there to help us we were successful with all of the techniques before we left. We ended Sunday by attending the complimentary managers reception at the host hotel where we were able to chat with the EIM faculty and other participants.

TJ and I with Dr. John Childs and Dr. Tim Flynn
TJ and I with Dr. John Childs and Dr. Tim Flynn


Unfortunately, I had to high tail it back to Wyoming for clinical on Monday, so I missed the last day. However, one of the best parts about Manipalooza is that EIM gives you online access to their Moodle which is an online classroom and I was able to download all of the slides from the sessions I missed!

I would argue that Manipalooza is one of the absolute best conferences a DPT student could attend. The clinical reasoning, hands on labs, and amount of fun is unparalleled. If you want to take your manual skills to the next level before graduation this is the place to go The personalized attention allowed me to leave with a sense of confidence in the skills that I learned. Manipalooza will be an event that I attend year after year. It is just too good to miss!

Thank you again to EIM for such an amazing event!

Passing of the #DPTstudent Chat Torch

The #DPTstudent chat was created in November of 2012 and has been going strong every Wednesday at 9pm EST since then. The chat has been recognized by the APTA, clinic owners and students alike as a great tool for networking and learning outside of the classroom. Eric Robertson, one of my mentors and a huge enthusiast of the chat, told me once that he thought the chat was one of the most innovative things to happen to DPT students. I never expected it to be as successful as it has been, but I am humbled and excited about how big of an impact it has made. Personally, I can say that I have learned just as much through this chat and interacting with those on social media as I have inside the walls of the classroom.

Don’t worry- the life of the #DPTstudent chat is far from over! In fact, it will be revitalized and have a new energy to it as several new chat leaders take the reigns. As TJ and I move into our final year of PT school, our energy will be focused on our final clinical rotations and transitioning into the professional world. Before we introduce the new chat leaders, let us take a moment to reflect on how far the chat has come and how many students and professionals it has impacted.

According to Symplur.com, #DPTstudent has had…

30,765,113 impressions

31,213 tweets

2,343 participants <- holy cow!

and an average of 2 tweets per hour, every day, for the past 17 months.

TJ and I will still be active on the chat, but please welcome your new chat leaders!

Tyler Tracy @TylerTracy10

My name is Tyler Tracy and I’ll be starting the DPT program at Texas State University in May 2014.  At 31, I am older than the traditional DPTstudent as I am completely changing careers.  After completing my undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice, I spent about 5 years working as an investigator where I conducted investigations on behalf of the US government.  My wife and I are expecting our first child in September 2014, I have the coolest dog alive, and I’m an absolute sports junkie! I have been exposed to the world of physical therapy through my wife and best friend who are both physical therapists in different settings (pedi and neuro respectively).  I have also had the opportunity to see PT from a patient perspective a few times due to breaking 13 bones!  I have already gained a wealth of knowledge through the #DPTstudent chats and I look forward to continued growth with Jocelyn, Laura and the other students / professionals who participate with us!

Jocelyn Wallace @Jocelyn_SPT

My name is Jocelyn Wallace and I’m starting the DPT program at Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, in May 2014. I graduated from the University of South Florida with a B.S. in Environmental Science and plans to be a lawyer. After two years working as a paralegal, I knew that path wasn’t for me but I did get experience working for PACs and the FL State Senate. I am excited to apply these experiences to advocate for the profession I believe in. I’ve spent the past year working at a #cashPT practice and have completely absorbed myself in the profession. I even started up the company’s social media plan and got on twitter myself to “practice what I preach”. That decision has already paid off tenfold as I have been given the opportunity to help lead the #DPTstudent chat, learn and connect with countless fellow students and professionals. I am beyond eager to see what the next 3 years on Twitter bring!

Laura Webb @lauralwebb

Hi! My name is Laura Webb and I am a 2nd-year physical therapy student at the University of Kansas Medical Center. I am president of my class, and am involved in the Kansas Physical Therapy Association Student Special Interest Group. In my spare time I like sailing, playing music, training for triathlons and teaching water aerobics. I consider myself a coffee connoisseur, and I love chickens. I’m looking forward to helping out with the #DPTstudent chats!

The transition to these amazing new moderators will be taking place soon, so be sure to follow them and welcome them!

Pheminism and Physical Therapy

Several weeks ago, women equality in the field of physical therapy became quite the hot topic on Twitter. We even hosted a #DPTstudent chat on the topic. The essence of several of the online conversations was that in a profession made up mostly women and started by women, there is a higher percentage of men who “make it to the top” / “own clinics” / “are CEOs and entrepreneurs”. Many of the conversations focused on the potential reasons on why this was happening in our profession. The next few paragraphs are my response, as woman in this profession, to those conversations.

First thing is first. The issue of women equality in the workforce is not unique to physical therapy. In fact, it is most all industries. In some fields it is worse than others. My husband works in IT Network Security and he has no female coworkers. Physical therapy comes in high on Forbe’s list of “Best Paying Jobs for Women in 2014” stating that women earn 89% what their male counterpart earns. Not perfect, but certainly not nearly as bad as real estate agents where women are said to earn only 60% of what a man would earn. Woman earning equal pay to male counterparts has been a long debated topic and there continues to be a push for women equality in many fields. Physical therapy still has some work to do to reach full equality, but I am happy to know we are at a better starting point than most other professions.

It is important to recognize that men and women are different. We should be seen as equals, for sure, but women and men tend to be very different creatures. We are wired differently and I’m not just talking about our anatomical parts. Well, I guess in some ways I am. If a couple wants to start a biological family, the woman is the one with the parts to bear the child. Many women volunteer to leave the workforce to raise a family and if she chooses to enter the workforce at a later time, she will earn less money due to her time away. Women have more decisions to make regarding their family and career balance than a man does. This can be mitigated by being with a partner who equally shares responsibility for house hold chores and child care.

I am passionate about women equality. I want to know that I would be offered the same exact salary as my male equivalent. I also recognize that men and women potentially have different needs, requirements and dreams. Maybe her dream is to raise a family. Maybe she wants to own a company. Maybe she wants all of that. That is okay and we as a profession and society have to recognize and be supportive of that. I’m not sure there is a hard and fast solution to women equality in any field but having conversations and raising awareness can only help the issue. So far, the only issue I have encountered from being a woman in this profession is the lack of stylish shoes that still have enough arch support to allow me to stand on my feet all day without pain. I know that the hardest part is yet to come but with recognition of this issue, mentors of both the female and male variety, and a husband who is willing to vacuum, I am set for success to overcome obstacles.

As mentioned before, I’m not sure there is a quick fix or even a planned solution for woman equality in the workforce but the first step is recognizing the issue and starting a conversation about it. Some women involved in the discussion have proposed that we continue this conversation. One such examlpe of this is the PropelHer initiative. Heidi Jannenga, who generated the idea thinks that PropelHer can provide a platform for on campus conversation between faculty and students as a way to explore this issue further.  Keep your eyes out for the launch of PropelHer soon!

But in the meantime…perhaps we need to take the dancing approach to talk about women equality. (Super funny Jimmy Fallon clip!)





I’m sure we have all had an ache, pain or other ailment and immediately went to Web MD to diagnose ourselves. With how accessible information is on the internet, the majority of our patients will at least try and research potential diagnoses for their issues. How does this effect us as clinicians? How do we get patients to trust us if we don’t necessarily agree with what they read on the internet? We often talk about the positive affects of social media on healthcare, but what about the negative affects? Do you think the internet has made our roles as educators more difficult? Let’s talk about it Wednesday at 9pm EST!


Happy Women’s History month! To celebrate the accomplishments of women in PT as well as discuss the current issues and future of women in the profession, we will be joined by 3 fantastic women who are leaders in the PT profession. Ann Wendel (@pranapt) is a private practice owner of a cash based PT clinic in Alexandria, VA and is also involved in many side projects such as writing articles on health and fitness for various blogs and magazines. Heidi Jannenga (HeidiJannenga) is the co-founder of Web PT, the leading web-based electronic medical record system for PT. Sue Falsone (@suefalsone) is a business owner and was the first female team physical therapist to be hired in Major League Baseball history. She spent some time with the LA Dodgers.

So what do these women have in common professionally? They have all faced challenges as a woman leader. They have overcome obstacles. They are passionate about having true equality of women and men in our profession by helping upcoming women leaders know their potential. In their personal lives, these women are all very different. They have different hopes and dreams, family and marital situations, and strengths. Yet their passion of shedding light on how to develop women leaders is in sync.

The chat this Wednesday will focus on many of the themes discussed in Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In. Haven’t read it? No worries! Watch her 15 minute TED talk here and be prepared to be enlightened and empowered. The conversation will be open, honest, and at points, potentially challenging. This chat is not just for our fellow females but also for the men so that we as a whole profession can be elevated. As Sandberg points out in her book: In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.

See you Wednesday at 9pm EST! The live chat link will be posted on Twitter and Facebook a few minutes before go time.


I will leave you with a few of my favorite quotes from Lean In that truly resonated with me…

“The more women help one another, the more we help ourselves. Acting like a coalition truly does produce results. Any coalition of support must also include men, many of whom care about gender inequality as much as women do”

“Success and likeability are positively correlated for men and negatively for women. When a man is successful, he is liked by both men and women. When a woman is successful, people of both genders like her less.”

“There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”

“There is no perfect fit when you’re looking for the next big thing to do. You have to take opportunities and make an opportunity fit for you, rather than the other way around. The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have.”



“The vision of PT-PAC is to become the #1 health professions PAC providing the resources to create a network of Congressional champions on physical therapy issues.”


The APTA’s political action committee (PAC) is the sole fundraising organization that provides access to and influence of legislators to champion PT legislative interests at the federal level!

The PT-PAC is the direct voice for physical therapists and their patients to the governing bodies on capitol hill and they work hard to ensure that the rights and needs of both our profession, and more importantly, our patients are upheld and continuously brought to attention.

The PT-PAC is funded by contributions of APTA members that understand the importance of a strong voice and presence among our law makers. Those who donate annually make an investment into the future of their profession! When we look at the current political climate and the struggles faced by physical therapists today (Medicare Therapy Cap, SGR, Loan Repayment etc.), we can’t help but wonder how would the story be different if EVERYONE played a role in contributing to the PAC and advocating for the profession.

This weeks #DPTstudent LIVE chat we will be joined by @PTPAC representatives Michael Matlack and Lindsay Still, who will give us a better understanding of how the PAC operates and why member initiative is crucial to the future of physical therapy!

To learn more about the PT-PAC Click Here!

Post written by TJ Janicky (@TJ_Janicky)



Are you a DPT student looking to enhance the future of your profession? Are you interested in research? Do you want to advance the art and science of physical therapy in a meaningful way?

The Foundation for Physical Therapy is the only national nonprofit organization dedicated to funding physical therapy research supporting evidence-based practice.  Over the last 35 years, the Foundation has supported the physical therapy profession’s research needs in scientific research, clinical research, and health services research.

The Foundation has provided more than $13 million in funding to help launch the careers of over 500 physical therapist researchers. New data has shown that Foundation alumni have gone on to receive an estimated $595 million in additional funding from a variety of sources including the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, Veterans Administration, and the National Science Foundation.

Many of today’s leading and emerging physical therapist researchers, clinicians, and academicians began their careers with seed funding from the Foundation.  Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded 346 scholarships, 18 fellowships, and 448 grants.

The Foundation’s Student Project Committee is improving ways that PT and PTA students can help contribute to the Foundation’s philanthropic mission. The Miami-Marquette Challenge and the
Log ‘N Blog are both student-led fundraising efforts which help fund the Foundation’s critical work.

Join us on Wednesday, March 12th at 9pm EST to talk about how you can get involved!

Post written by Erica Sadiq