If you want to be a physical therapist, you'll need to earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. But, what exactly do physical therapists do?

What is a Doctor of Physical Therapy?

Physical Therapists are movement experts who work with clients and patients to improve their quality of life through exercise, hands-on care and patient education.  The American Physical Therapy Association describes the role of a physical therapist like this: “They help people rehabilitate from devastating injuries, manage chronic conditions, avoid surgery and prescription drugs, and create healthy habits.” Additionally, physical therapists treat people across the life span from newborn infants to people nearing the end of their life. As previously mentioned, they help people with injuries, disabilities, and other health conditions.

Why Should I Study Physical Therapy at Concordia University?

Program Director Dr. Bob Barnhart states that Concordia University’s physical therapy students get lots of hands-on experience working with patients. Concordia University’s mission statement is that the University is a “Lutheran higher education community committed to helping students develop in mind, body, and spirit for service to Christ in the Church and the world.” This means that you can discuss how faith, health, and healthcare relate to one another. Concordia University’s program emphasizes professionalism as well, making the transition from student to practitioner seamless. While professionalism is important, Dr. Barnhart says that the genuine way Concordia faculty and students care for their patients and for each other is remarkable.

Dr. Barnhart is very proud to report that the Class of 2020 had a 100% first-time pass rate on their licensure exam. This class scored nearly 20 points higher than the national average score for the exam! 

Why do you love being a Physical Therapist?

 Barnhart states, “I like the problem solving/critical thinking aspect of being a physical therapist. Working with a patient, their family, and other health care team members to develop a successful treatment plan. I also like the people I have been able to work with, both fellow health professionals as well as patients and clients.”

Blogger Tim Fraticelli, DPT, wrote about why he loves being a physical therapist. In this post, he talks about how helping a variety of diverse patients keeps the work exciting, and also connects him to his “why,” as in why he’s doing this job in the first place. Fraticelli loves being a physical therapist because every day he gets to help someone. He notes that the work of a physical therapist is active, so adding that aspect to his desire to help people for a living brings him a lot of satisfaction when it comes to his work.

Feeling Inspired?

If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a physical therapist, feel free to check out our website.

If this story has inspired you, why not explore how you can help further Concordia's mission through giving.