#DPTstudent chat for Wednesday, October 29: How Physical Therapists Can Help Change the World

On this week’s #DPTstudent chat, we will be talking LIVE with Dr. Heather Hettrick. Dr. Hettrick is a professor at Nova Southeastern University, Past President of the American Board of Wound Management and currently on the Executive Committee of the Association for the Advancement of Wound Care. She has numerous certifications in wound care and lymphedema management. and is Program Director at Hospital St. Croix in Leogane Haiti where she is assisting in re-establishing a lymphatic filariasis clinic. Dr. Hettrick is on the Executive Board of Bring Hope to Haiti, a not-for-profit organization that runs a clinic in Haiti with the following mission:

–to train global volunteers as specialists in wound care, edema and lymphedema management
–to support locally operated clinics in under-served areas
–to alleviate global suffering caused by wounds, edema and lymphedema in resource poor nations; particularly those facing Neglected Tropical Diseases

Their focus is on Haiti where many citizens suffer needlessly from a condition called Lymphatic Filariasis (LF). This occurs when filarial parasites are transmitted to humans through mosquitoes. Globally, an estimated 40 million people are afflicted with LF and the resulting lymphedema. In the Western hemisphere, LF is endemic in 7 locations- the hardest hit being Haiti. Associated pain and profound disfigurement lead to permanent disability, and mental, social and financial losses contribute to stigma and poverty.

Bring Hope to Haiti is a wonderful example of what we, as #DPTstudent(s) and physical therapists, can do to help shape a better world. Join us LIVE on Wednesday, October 22nd at 9:00 PM EST to speak with Dr. Hettrick about her work in Haiti and her astounding career.

Follow the #DPTstudent hashtag on Wednesday to get the link to watch live and use the #DPTstudent hashtag to ask questions & contribute to the discussion.


For many DPT students, the National Student Conclave (NSC) may be their first physical therapy conference. With travel arrangements, school being in session and getting ready for the event, the process of choosing what to actually do when you get there can be an afterthought, or just completely overwhelming. But, what presentations a #DPTstudent chooses to attend can have a big impact on the experience. So how do you choose?

Some suggest researching the presenters, looking up other papers and presentations on the topic to gauge your interest and asking other students who may have seen presentations on the topic. Others just pick what sounds nice or go to what other classmates or upper classmen choose. What side of the coin are you on? Is there anything else a #DPTstudent should consider?

Join us on Wednesday, September 10th at 9PM EST to discuss! If you are attending #NSC2014 and know where you’ll be, chime in and let us know!

More about NSC 2014:

NSC Website: http://www.apta.org/nsc/
NSC2013 Highlights: http://www.apta.org/NSC/News/2013/
Also check on the NSC app from @APTAtweets on the App Store.

See you there!
#DPTstudent Chat Moderator


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

The Great Doctor Debate: Wed, Aug 27

Hello and welcome to a new school year, boys and girls. It’s that time of year again when pools close their gates, pencils are sharpened, and new classes of future Doctors of Physical Therapy begin their studies.

The APTA’s most recent vision statement stands in stark contrast to the previous Vision 2020, which proclaimed with great fanfare that its practitioners would soon all be Doctors of Physical Therapy. This title has become the norm in our profession, with 96% of accredited physical therapy programs now offering the DPT and the remaining planning to convert.

Norms aside, the usage of this title remains highly controversial for current practitioners and even #DPTstudents. This week, we’ll debate the usage of the title “Doctor” by Doctors of Physical Therapy. We highly encourage both students and practitioners to join in the discussion on Twitter this Wednesday, August 27th from 8-9pm CST. Participants may find the links below helpful in preparation for the #DPTstudent chat.

Recommended reading:
NYT, “When the Nurse Wants to Be Called Doctor”

APTA Responds to The New York Times on Physical Therapists Using the Term ‘Doctor’

See you there!
#DPTstudent chat moderator

#DPTstudent chat August 20, 2014: Why should I be an APTA member?

It’s about that time where DPT programs across the country are beginning. Many programs require APTA membership but, if yours doesn’t, is there any value of being an APTA member as a first year #DPTstudent? Won’t everything be way over your head? Will you even be able to go to a conference and take advantage of the savings with all the work coming your way? What else can APTA membership as a first year do for you?

Join us on Wednesday, August 20 at 9PM EST to discuss! If you are a second or third year or practicing physical therapist, please join us to share what value APTA membership has brought to you!

-Jocelyn, Laura, & Tyler

Lessons from a #DPTStudent Chat with Catherine Worthingham Fellows: Advocate!

Last week, the #DPTStudent chat had the privilege of talking to three Catherine Worthingham Fellows of the APTA, Dr. Nancy Kirsch (@KirschNancy), Rob Landel (@RLandelDPT) and Pam Duffy (@PamDuffyPT). As fellows, they have received the highest honor given by the APTA for exemplifying four core values throughout their career: advocacy, education, practice and research. It was an amazing honor to spend an hour with them discussing what they did to get where they are and how students can aspire to a similar level of excellence.

While the #DPTstudent chat approached this conversation with an open mind, a central theme quickly emerged: advocacy. Our profession is undergoing enormous change and it is on the shoulders of today’s students to lead it in the right direction. Dr. Duffy commented that “this generation of PT students brings such energy… students of today are there because they have a passion for what they want to do for patients and society and I really admire that.” This is the attitude we should advocate for and exemplify. We all decided to join this profession for a reason and it is up to us to work for it. So how can a student participate in advocacy?

Join the APTA (@APTAtweets). When asked how she benefited from the APTA as a new professional, Dr. Duffy noted how much information she gained from being a member. While you may not want to be on the front lines of advocacy, just staying informed is a step. Dr. Duffy also appreciated her early membership for the networking opportunities and stated that nearly every opportunity she had in those days was somehow related to her involvement.

Encourage others to join. This is more than just preaching. Dr. Nancy Kirsch made it a point to teach us that we should be finding out why people are not members. Instead of telling people why you are an APTA member, find out what’s important to them and help them figure out how membership can meet those needs. You can bring this attitude to all of your advocacy efforts.

Know your strengths, attack your weaknesses. You can’t do everything! As you move through your time as a #DPTstudent, be mindful of what you’re good at, what you’re interested in and what you’d like to improve at. Good at writing? Look for blogging opportunities. Terrible public speaker? Run for a class office and get better at it. By seeking out professional development opportunities via advocacy, you will graduate a well-rounded, and impressive, PT!

Seek out opportunities. This was a common theme amongst all of the fellows. At the end of the chat, Dr. Landel extended an invitation for any #DPTstudent watching to introduce themselves at upcoming conferences and the other fellows extended the same invitation. Accept the invite! You never know what may come out of interacting with leaders in your field. Bring this same philosophy with you to school and other local activities. There are opportunities to advocate everywhere, you just have to ask for them.

You can watch the chat in full here.

Again, we would like to extend our appreciate to Drs. Landel, Duffy and Kirsch for giving us their time and their lessons and we encourage every #DPTstudent to get out there and get involved!

#DPTstudent Chat Admin

#DPTstudent chat for Wednesday, August 6: Chatting with Catherine Worthingham Fellows of the APTA

“The purpose of the Catherine Worthingham Fellow designation (FAPTA) is to honor Dr. Catherine Worthingham and inspire all physical therapists to attain the high level of professional excellence and impact in terms of advancing the profession she exemplified.” The four “excellence domains” of FAPTA designees and nominees are advocacy, education, practice and research.

On August 6, 2014 at 9:00 PM EST we will be LIVE with 3 Catherine Worthingham Fellows:

Pamela Duffy, PT, PhD, RP, OCS, FAPTA (@PamDuffyPT)
Nancy R. Kirsch, PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA (@KirschNancy)
Rob F. Landel, PT, DPT, OCS, FCFMT, FAPTA (@RLandelDPT)

We will discuss what the designation is, their contributions to the physical therapy professions and how a #DPTstudent can aspire to achieve these four excellence domains. This is the highest honor in the PT profession and we can’t wait to share their valuable experiences with you!

As always, follow the #DPTstudent hashtag on Twitter before the chat to get the link to watch and chime in using the hashtag with questions or comments.

Learn more about the FAPTA designation here: www.apta.org/HonorsAwards/Honors/WorthinghamFellows/

#DPTstudent chat for Wednesday, July 23: PT and the aging population

Currently, 11% of the U.S. population is 65 or older. It is projected that by the year 2050, this age group will comprise 20% of our population. Advances in medicine are continuing this trend as we increasingly survive threats to our health.
Source: CDC & US Census Bureau

The relative burden of older adults on the health care system will be substantial. It’s clear we will see a major shift in health care, with a significant percentage increase in medical visits for adults age 65 and older. Common comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease and arthritis, combined with balance deficits and falls will create many opportunities for physical therapists to intervene and improve quality of life for these individuals. Chances are, you are going to work with older adults at some point during your career as a physical therapist. And if you’re interested in geriatric PT, you’ll quite likely have a job.

This week, we’re discussing the impact of our aging population on the physical therapy profession. What issues do you anticipate? How should we address these? What can we do to meet an increasing demand for older adult physical therapy?

We’ll discuss these and related questions next Wednesday, July 23rd at 8pm CST for the next #DPTstudent chat. See you there!

Laura Webb, SPT

#DPTstudent Chat for Wednesday, July 9: How to Sell Yourself as a #DPTstudent & Physical Therapist – LIVE Interview with Jerry Durham, PT

As a #DPTstudent, you are grinding through school with the goal of finding gainful employment. Of course, networking is an important part of getting a job, but it goes much further. Networking is important for finding mentors who will help shape your career, for meeting other professionals and potential patients and for helping to “sell” yourself and the profession as a direct, first step in healthcare. What can you do to start networking productively now?

On July 9, 2014 at 9 PM EST we will go LIVE with Jerry Durham, PT (@Jerry_DurhamPT). Jerry is Principal and Chief Sales Officer at San Francisco Sport and Spine Physical Therapy, with three locations in the Bay Area. Jerry is a regular, and vocal, participant in the #DPTstudent chat. Join us as we get his perspective on “How to Sell Yourself as a #DPTstudent & Physical Therapist.”

Hop on Twitter a few minutes before start to get the link to watch live. Give your input and ask questions by using the hashtag #DPTstudent. As always, if you have any questions or input about the chat, you can reach us at DPTchat@gmail.com.


We think physical therapy is great. You probably do too.

You want to attract new patients to your clinic, promote wellness, produce favorable outcomes, and establish strong, lifelong relationships with your patients. How do you convey your message to the world?

What is your brand? How do we, as physical therapy clinicians and students, best market our profession and services to the public?

Let’s talk. You won’t want to miss it.

See you Wednesday, July 2 at 8pm CST.

#DPTstudent admin