Are you a DPT student who is looking to get more involved but just doesn’t know how? Do you want to find out what’s going on in the PT world beyond the classroom? Do you want to play a role in determining the future of your profession?

Advocacy is the answer.

Join us on Wednesday, March 5 for the #DPTstudent chat as we talk #PTAdvocacy with TJ, Brooke, Eric, Eric, Trent, and Ryan. Discussion topics will center on involvement opportunities for students, access to advocacy materials, and the upcoming APTA Federal Advocacy Forum in Washington, DC on April 6-8.

Merriam Webster defines advocacy as follows:

ad·vo·ca·cy: noun : the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal : the act or process of advocating something

Notice the definition above says NOTHING about politics or legislation; Advocacy involves much more than just Capitol Hill!

The student-lead Professional Advocacy Project Committee has taken on the challenge of informing students and professionals alike about opportunities to be advocates for the profession. The expansive topic of advocacy has been divided into three goals by the committee:

1 – Create an informative handout with involvement resources that will be distributed annually to first year students

2 – Promote current opportunities for advocacy to students

3 – Develop educational materials to reach other healthcare professionals and the public

Join us on Wed March 5th at 9pm EST to talk about it!

Post written by Ryan Buus and Eric Uveges


During this week’s #DPTstudent chat we will be joined by Chris Mulvey who is one of the co-founders of a company called PT 4 PT. Currently, they are selling packs of electrodes for $1.97 per pack and of that money, 50 cents is donated in your name to the cause of your choice. They are calling this effort the “Our pack for your PAC”. During my conversation with Chris, who I had the pleasure of meeting at CSM, he was telling me all about the how, the why, the what and the future of PT 4 PT. Check out their website for more information and certainly tune in this Wednesday at 9PM EST as we chat with Chris, via Google Hangout about his company.  You can also follow PT 4 PT on twitter @PT4PTorg.

Next week’s chat will also focus on advocacy. Stay tuned!


The  #bizPT  conversation has taken an interesting turn thanks to Lauren Kealy and Eric Robertson’s thought proving 3 part blog series; “Resolving The Bane of the New Professional”. The term “new professional” seems to carry some heavy baggage. Pack on the increasing student loan debt and the average  #DPTstudent ‘s ignorance to modern day business practice and you have a recipe for disaster. Join this Wednesday at 9pm EST as we talk  #bizPT  and implications for the “new professional” with me, Lauren, Eric, John Childs, and David Browder. This will be a live Google hangout chat and the link will be posted a few minutes before the chat starts!
You can find the 3 part series: here
post written by TJ Janicky (@TJ_Janicky)

Treating our Future – Part 2: New Grads: An Asset for Clinics

In Part 2 of 3 in our series, Treating Our Future, Lauren Kealy delves into her perspective of the benefits of new professionals. This continues the conversation started in Part 1, “The Bane of the New Professional.”

 Links to Treating our Future Series
Part 1: The Bane of the New Professional 
Part 2: New Grads, An Asset for Clinics
Part 3: Resolving the Bane of the New Professional

New Grads: An Asset for Clinics

The job market for any new graduate is rough. The job market for new DPT grads in the state of Colorado takes it to a whole new level. All too often I have heard stories from friends looking for jobs being told, “Sorry, we don’t hire new grads,” without a pause for consideration or even conversation. Part of the rational for the profession’s transition to a doctorate degree was to better prepare new graduates. And, we are more knowledgeable (and more in debt!), yet we are still not seen as ideal hiring material. In fact, in many instances we are seen as a liability. I disagree, and I’m here to tell you why a new grad can be your clinic’s greatest asset.

We are full of passion and energy. Being fresh out of school means that we are very excited to put our knowledge to use. We recognize that we still have a lot to learn (which is a great trait in and of itself!), but we are competent enough to treat patients and get results.

We are innovative. In the business world, as Jimmy John Shark always used to suggest that new grads are scooped up quickly because they give a fresh energy to the company. We are full of ideas, so give us a shot to present them to you. Sometimes a new set of eyes can find ways to improve profit/outcomes/experience to change the status quo that has become the norm. Some of us even have backgrounds that include other skillsets your clinic might benefit from. Accounting, law, health management, and finance are just a few of my classmates former lives.

We are up to date with current evidence. Ask us! We know the clinical prediction rules based on the latest evidence. If you give us a shot, we may even be able to teach you a thing or two if you are willing to learn from us. Of course, we’re not expert clinicians, but current evidence and clinical expertise seems like a good marriage to me.

We seek outside mentorship. We all recognize that graduating from a great DPT program does NOT make us an expert. We also recognize that most clinics do not have the time to baby us and walk us through constant mentoring. The whole point of the DPT is so that a new grad could hit the ground running (if someone would hire us and give us the chance). Therefore, we see the importance of seeking independent mentorship outside of clinical hours.

We want to continue to learn and grow. With additional certifications, fellowships and residencies available, most of us want to continue to learn and earn specialty certifications. This in turn can help your clinic as we become more advanced. Engage us, and give us a pathway and you might be surprised where we end up.

We are moldable. You want to hire the perfect PT for your clinic. Hire a new grad and mold us into that perfect PT you desire! Where we lack in experience, we make up for in passion and excitement. We are open to criticism and suggestions of how we can be the best possible physical therapist.   

We are the future of this profession. The PT field is growing rapidly and more and more students are applying to PT schools. That means the young PTs that are graduating were picked among tons and tons of applicants. We are a smart and utterly passionate group. WE deserve a fair shake in the applicant pool. If you find a new grad who is well spoken, involved, motivated, and a great fit for your clinic other than the lack of experience, I urge you to give them a shot. In a short while, they may become your best physical therapist.

If new grads are never given the opportunity to shine and grow, how are we as a profession going to move forward? I speak both personally and as the voice of many DPT students and new graduates- treat me like an asset and I will pour every ounce of passion and knowledge I have into becoming the best physical therapist for your clinic.

 Links to Treating our Future Series
Part 1: The Bane of the New Professional 
Part 2: New Grads, An Asset for Clinics
Part 3: Resolving the Bane of the New Professional

Treating Our Future – Part 1: The Bane of the New Professional

As a professor in a few entry-level DPT programs over the past several years, I’ve had the privilege of getting to know many students. By and large, the graduates from these programs are some of the smartest, most motivated people I’ve met.  However, they’re not always greeted with the same sentiment by employers. It’s concerning. It’s a situation worthy of not one, but several blog posts and so what follows is the first of a three-part series. I’ll start us off with this post to start a conversation about how the profession treats the people who are it’s future.  In “New Grads: An Asset for Clinics,” Lauren Kealy, a DPT student at Regis University, gives a student perspective on why new grads are excellent assets in the clinic.  In part three, we’ll look at some solutions, and incorporate feedback from the community as the conversation progresses.

Treating Our Future – Part 1: The Bane of the New Professional

My motivation for this blog post, and this series of posts, is not a good one. That said, I hope it sparks a constructive conversation that proves beneficial. Simply put, I’ve seen too many new professionals in physical therapy treated like dung by potential employers.

Here’s a story about how it goes for new grads here up in Colorado:

The new Grad looks for jobs. They don’t find many options, as the positions posted primarily request those with 3-5 years of experience. The newly minted doctor of physical therapy waits patiently for the ad accepting new grads. It never comes. They network, they reach out, they apply to jobs which request 3-5 years of experience anyway. Eventually, they get an interview, only to be told they don’t have enough experience. That’s even if they get a reply at all, as most often they get a polite thank you and never hear from the employer again.

After a while, they find a clinic who’s pressed to hire. Or they have a particularly strong networking connection. They then, to my personal dismay as an instructor, must perform a practical exam as part of the job interview to “test their hands.” I thought we already did that as part of their physical therapy education process? Was it not good enough? Didn’t the new graduate pass the NPTE? Is that not enough? Shouldn’t clinical reasoning be the thing you test instead of “hands,” especially if your clinic’s therapists use ultrasound regularly for patients with back pain? I don’t get it. But, let’s continue the saga of the job-seeking new graduate.

Provided they “pass” their practical exam, they are then sent on their way. If not hired, they still don’t often get a call back to let them know they weren’t hired. Silence is the most common answer. If hired, well, good for them. They’re on their way to greatness, albeit usually without benefits, or with minimal benefits and a salary that soon leads to sticker shock, as they contemplate the grizzly reality of paying off their 7 years of student loan debt and trying to afford a place to live.

At a recent #PTPubNight, I listened to a conversation between two clinicians. When one, the older, found out the person he was conversing with had less than 6 months of experience, he responded with a sneer, a statement, “Oh, you’re fresh!,” and a turn away from the previously strong conversation. Is this how we should be treating our profession’s future?

Dehumanizing our Future

It’s tragic to watch this process. From graduation and all of its ecstatic highs to the low of never even hearing “No,” new professionals in physical therapy can be in for a rough ride. It’s not that each new graduate deserves every job they apply for. However, they deserve the respect of a professional, qualified and ready to work. To not even return their application with a negative response, to question their skill set, to demean them for their lack of work experience is wrong, and unproductive. As the profession works to inspire leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs to carry us into the future, a first stop characterized by disrespectful professional behavior is not a good strategy.

I know it’s not like this everywhere. In Texas, graduates from Texas State University were gobbled up like delicious pieces of bacon by clinics around the state. Texas is a positive job market, and so employers are happy to see the new graduates arrive. The point is, this happens somewhere. Colorado is not alone. I’ve conversed with many students from around the country and I hear similar themes: “They never even called me back, even after I did a hands-on practical.” “All the jobs want 5 years of experience, how am I supposed to get experience if no one will hire me?” “I had to sit and listen to what a liability I’d be for the clinic since I was a new grad.” “They made me do a practical exam, but the stuff they asked me seemed way out of date compared to what we learned in school.” I’ve spoken with many PT’s who declare, “I’ll never hire a new grad!” without remorse or pause. Many of these are the most respected and seemingly savvy PT’s around, even one’s with a large social media footprint.

It’s time for a conversation.

There are reason’s employers don’t want to hire a new graduate. Some of those are valid, while others are not. Some of the valid reasons, like lack of business skills or billing proficiency, should spark reform in education. Some of the invalid reasons, like assuming new grads can’t possibly manage patients with low back pain, should spark education and discussion. At no times, should the new professional be treated like dog meat as they rush excitedly into their first professional experiences. This issue is closely tied to the often discussed disconnect between education and clinical practice, but it’s more than that. It’s about respect, and a forward thinking strategy for how and where our new professionals go.

I’m very interested in feedback on this post. If you’re a clinic owner who doesn’t hire new grads, tell us why. If you’re a new professional, tell us about some of the hardships. If you just have an opinion, join in!

In part two of this series, Lauren will discuss the benefits of new professionals. Part three will look to solutions, and feature conversations that spawn from our posts, as well as highlighting some very successful practices who have embraced new graduates heavily. I look forward to this conversation.

 Links to Treating our Future Series
Part 1: The Bane of the New Professional 
Part 2: New Grads, An Asset for Clinics
Part 3: Resolving the Bane of the New Professional


CSM was a week filled with exciting programming, buzzing nightlife, engaging conversation and invaluable new friendships. Probably the most exciting part for me was finally putting a face to a large portion of my twitter followers, professionals and the #DPTstudent’s we interact with on a daily basis!

While we hope to attend these conferences and experience all it has to offer, the reality is, unless you can be in three places at once you are probably missing out on something interesting. Each and every one of us has had a different experience at #CSM2014, so lets talk about it! The time is now to reflect upon what we have learned and how we will use this experience to promote our growth as a soon-to-be professionals.  As we all settle back into normal everyday lives as #DPTstudent’s lets keep the CSM buzz going and reminisce  on all the memorable experiences!

Join us this Wednesday at 9pm EST and tell us what you learned at CSM, what were some of your conference highlights and tell us why your experience at #CSM2014 was one to remember!

Blog post written by TJ Janicky (@TJ_Janicky)



#CSM2014 is right around the corner and if not prepared, CSM can be quite an overwhelming experience for the novice conference goer. CSM has been compared to a marathon- an event that requires both mental and physical preparations but one that leaves the participant with an unforgettable adrenaline rush and a life altering sense of accomplishment. Consider this weeks #DPTstudent chat your last “long run” before the big race as we talk all about “Thriving and Surviving” at #CSM2014!

CSM is the LARGEST gathering of physical therapy professional and students and so it would only be fitting that this weeks #DPTstudent chat is the BIGGEST one yet. This week we will be bringing you, the #DPTstudent(s), a LIVE Google hangout and dual twitter tweetchat to capture what we hope will be the largest audience to date! Joining us for the LIVE Google hangout will be APTA Director and @APTASA BoD liaison Kathy Mairella (@KathyMairella), as well as Twitter guru and conference veteran Jerry Durham (@Jerry_DurhamPT). The chat will be full of helpful hints for program selection, time management, networking advice and tips for making the most of your time at #CSM2014!!

Be sure to keep an eye out for the link to the LIVE feed via twitter and the “Doctor of Physical Therapy Students” Facebook page, minutes before the chat at 9pm EST on Wednesday January 29th! Looking forward to what WILL be an amazing #CSM2014!!


Blog Post by TJ Janicky @TJ_Janicky). Chat hosted by TJ and Lauren (@laurenrSPT)


The APTA Section Spotlight continues! This week we will be chatting with Richard Severin (@ptreviewer) who is a current resident at University of Wisconsin and a soon-to-be a Cardiopulmonary Certified Specialist…and the youngest one, at that! We will be talking to Richard about what cariopulm PT consists of, how he got involved in that specialty, and what opportunities being a section member brings. Talk to you on Wednesday at 9pm EST!


The APTA Section Spotlight continues this week featuring the Neurology section! We will be joined by some section members and neuro PTs that help treat everything from traumatic brain injuries to patients recovering from stroke. Please join us this Wednesday at 9pm EST to learn about benefits of being a student member in the neuro section, mentorship opportunities, and to connect with some of the best neuro PTs on Twitter!

Follow the APTA Neurology section on Twitter at @APTA_NeuroPT and check out their website here!




Happy New Year #DPTstudent(s) and welcome back! We are excited to kick off the new year of the #DPTstudent chat by continuing our “Section Spotlight” with the APTA Acute Care Section (@acutecarept)!

Acute care physical therapy encompasses a wide range of clinical settings including hospitals, skilled nursing units, sub-acute rehabilitation centers, home care, and acute rehabilitation centers. Acute care physical therapy is unique in that the patient population is “acutely ill” with an active disease process or trauma, while also working through a decrease in physical function. Among many other skills, acute care physical therapists must be equipped with a solid understanding of post op movement contraindications, lab values and modern monitoring devices including the various intravenous lines and monitors. The acute care setting is often fast paced and requires the therapist be able to think quickly in the case of an emergency.

We are extremely excited to have the APTA Acute Care Section joining us this Wednesday, January 8th at 9pm EST, to discuss all things acute care as well as student benefits of being an acute care section member! For more information on APTA’s Acute Care section please visit www.acutpt.org and check out some of the student opportunities under the “students” tab!


Blog post written by TJ Janicky (@TJ_Janicky).