Is the Juice Worth the Squeeze? Epilogue... | Modern Manual Therapy Blog

Is the Juice Worth the Squeeze? Epilogue...


Passion doesn’t (always) show up on paper“–Eric Uvegas (@Eric_in_AmERICa)
Based on discussion on Twitter from the previous post, Ashley’s situation is unfortunately, all too common. Several PTs highlighted the interesting fact that they were only accepted to schools that conducted interviews. Although there are numerous studies that fail to show a correlation with high GPA and future success, I also understand that PT schools need to start somewhere. Larger programs may receive as many as 1,000-1,500 applications for 50-60 slots. It certainly cannot be an easy process to whittle down. However, in Ashley’s case, I was surprised and disappointed by the fact that she was not admitted to  one school in particular, based solely on the fact that she had taken a few credits at community college. That she demonstrated passion and strong work ethic through her high number of observation/work hours, cheerleading coaching, and FMS level 1 certification, coupled with the fact that she had a high GPA and above average GRE scores, should have completely overridden the tiny, insignificant issue of community college classes.
“We treat people, not paper. We should be using people as admission requirements”–Ben Fung (@DrBenFung)
As some PTs also mentioned, I have never been asked by a potential employer what my PT school GPA was. I have also never asked a potential hire that same question. That fact was even highlighted to us by professors when I was in PT school! It seems to be a double standard that the same wouldn’t hold true for the application process. Is there a reasonable solution? Mitch Babcock (@Babcock_DPT) suggested an algorithm that accounts for both quantitative and qualitative measures. I think that’s an intriguing concept. Health care delivery is changing. Consumers are starting to demand more from clinicians. Shouldn’t we expect more from the schools?
One commentator on the previous post brought up a provocative point that the goal of schools and the goal of the PT profession may not always align. They argued that schools may be looking to admit individuals that are more likely to be around to pay the full three years of tuition. I never even considered that! Do schools assume that higher GPAs and GREs help forecast doing well academically in PT school? As we know, high passing rates on the board exam is also a priority for schools. But shouldn’t the main priority be to be educating and molding the future of the profession?
Ashley (now on Twitter @ARedden_SPT), recently had another interview, this one at Radford University, (another public institution in Virginia), which has a newer PT program. She reported that they presented a much friendlier and engaging atmosphere and she felt much better about her experience and the program as a result. And partially based on the success with that interview, she found out within two days that they had accepted her into the program. To me, this was a perfect example of a school seeing and valuing the person in front of them, not just using a piece of paper.
What will Ashley do going forward if she also gets in to one of the other schools? The cost difference will be around $30,000– not insignificant especially if you consider that she has already begun looking into residency/fellowship programs. Saving money on PT school now will it considerably easier to pay for advanced training down the road.
“School at the right price, may not be right”–Eric Uvegas
Difficult choices will eventually have to be made, but either way, our profession will be better off  when people like Ashley, and all the active and engaged PTs on Twitter, are working every day towards helping drive things forward.
Never look  back, unless you’re planing to go that way-Henry David Thoreau

As always, thanks for reading.
-Andrew


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