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About the Profession

Physical therapists are experts in movement able to treat patients of all ages.  Through examination and evaluation, the physical therapist is able to diagnose and treat patients of all abilities independently and as part of healthcare teams.  Physical therapists do not need a physician prescription or referral to see or treat patients. Physical therapy can help patients gain, maintain, or restore function for optimal quality of life.

Physical therapists provide care in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes among others. Physical therapists can also focus on health promotion and provide opportunities to enhance performance of all individuals, including high-level athletes, in community facilities and during sports, recreation and general activities of daily living.

Physical therapists enter the profession with a clinical doctoral degree following graduation from an accredited Doctor of Physical Therapy program. A national licensure exam and state license are required before assuming the duties of patient care. 

Learn more about Physical Therapy by visiting the American Physical Therapy Association.

Click here to learn about the occupational outlook for PTs, from the U.S. Department of Labor.