Boy, I could go on for hours on end discussing my path towards becoming a physical therapist (PT), but I won’t do that to you. The path to becoming a PT has changed over the course of the last couple decades. Previously, the most common degree a PT would have been a Bachelor’s, but in present day the requirement is a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Which is what every therapist at Empire has!
The length of a program just depends on the specific school, but I’ll use my school: Sacred Heart University, as an example. 4 years of undergraduate work is the norm, but there are ways to shorten the amount of time down to 3 years with extra classes in the winter and summer time. Now that certainly was not for me, because I enjoyed having some money in my bank account during those seasons, but that’s besides the point. My class had a diverse pool of undergrad majors that ranged from biology to exercise science, mainly because those and all the others in between share classes that are prerequisites
for a graduate PT program.
At Sacred Heart, the PT program spans 3 years. Which is shared by many programs in the northeast. 2 full years in the classroom learning about an infinite number of evolving facts about the human body as well as the profession, which are followed by 1 full year of clinical experience out in the field. I am currently in the later part, so I am eager to take the next step towards helping others improve their quality of life and health. As a student I have gotten a look at the full spectrum of the PT profession, working in a hospital during the height of COVID, and seeing a wide variety of cases that challenged me to become a better therapist. With all that said, you’re in good hands with a physical therapist. And most will continue to learn more as the world changes, as will I.
By: Matt Aquilino
Dr. Tony Tanzi: Physical Therapist, Triathlete, Runner, Performance Coach