When I first started thinking about Physical Therapy as a career, one of the selling points everyone told me was “You will never have to worry about not having a job”. For the history of Physical therapy this has been true. However, in a recent APTA Physical Therapy Workforce Analysis they put out that this may not be the case in the coming years.

How should leadership in the profession combat this issue?

Should we limit or halt the creation of new physical therapy programs?

Should we not allow for existing programs to increase number of accepted applicants?

Should we advocate and insert ourselves in greater roles in Emergency rooms(taking the lead for MSK issues, freeing up ER physicians for stuff they are much better at than us), Wellness, Performance training etc.

Will this make Physical therapy better?

Iron Sharpens Iron

Although I never want to see anyone be unemployed. I think this may create a more competitive job market forcing Physical Therapist to step up their game. Forcing more and more Students coming out and existing Physical Therapist to go do residencies, fellowships, take more continue ed courses and get board certification. Hopefully this increased competition will also increase quality of care for our patients.

What do you think our profession and leadership should do to handle this impending issue?

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