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Physical Therapist

Physical therapists provide services that help restore function, improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities of patients suffering from injuries or disease. They restore, maintain, and promote overall fitness and health. Their patients include accident victims and individuals with disabling conditions such as low back pain, arthritis, heart disease, fractures, head injuries, and cerebral palsy. Therapists examine patients' medical histories, then test and measure their strength, range of motion, balance and coordination, posture, muscle performance, respiration, and motor function. They also determine patients' ability to be independent and reintegrate into the community or workplace after injury or illness. Next, they develop treatment plans describing the treatment strategy, its purpose, and the anticipated outcome.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best major for Physical Therapy?

Physical Therapy schools do not require a particular major. Biology is the most common major for the Physical Therapy program at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. You should major in an area that you enjoy, as long as you take the required prerequisite courses. The required courses for the DPT program at the University of Mississippi Medical Center are 2 courses of physics (with lab); 2 300-400 level science courses; 1 statistics course at a senior college. The statistics course can be taken in a Math, Psychology or Education department.

What is a doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT)?

Effective May 2004, the University of Mississippi Medical Center offers only a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. It is a 36-month program beginning in the summer session each year. Requirements for entry are a Baccalaureate degree, minimum GPA of 2.75, score results from the GRE exam and a total 40 hours of observation time at two physical therapy clinics, 20 hours at each site.

What kind of exam do I have to take for entrance into Physical Therapy School?

You will need to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).

What kind of GPA do I need to get into Physical Therapy School?

The average GPA for the Physical Therapy program at the University of Mississippi Medical Center is 3.4 overall. The admissions committee also looks closely at the science GPA, which is also about 3.4.

What kind of courses will I be taking in Physical Therapy School?

The vast majority of course work is clinical in nature. A list of course work can be found at the University of Mississippi Medical Center Physical Therapy homepage.

How long is the program?

The DPT program is 36 months. University of Mississippi Medical Center's program starts in the summer term.

When is the deadline for application?

This will vary among programs. All application materials and application fees for the University of Mississippi Medical Center need to be submitted by December 1.

Is there a national exam I have to take to become a licensed Physical Therapist?

Yes. After graduation, you will take a National Board Exam in order to be licensed. You can not get a job as a Physical Therapist until you pass this exam.

What will I earn as a Physical Therapist?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay of physical therapists was $79,860 in 2012.

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