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What is a physical therapist?

Improve people’s movement, function and quality of life by working with injuries, disabilities or health-related issues as a physical therapist (PT).

As a physical therapist you’ll become a specialist in diagnosing and treating people of all ages who have injuries, disabilities or health-related issues that need treatment.  These treatments could relate to the musculoskeletal, neurologic, cardiopulmonary and integumentary (skin) systems with the goal of improving people’s movement, function and quality of life. Visit the APTA for more information about a career in physical therapy.

female physical therapist works with man on strength training

Within the field of physical therapy, you will need good communication and problem-solving skills along with the ability to perform rigorous physical activity. Physical therapists enjoy working with people and outside a traditional office environment. PTs have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings, from hospitals and athletic facilities to nursing homes, schools and clinics.

The degree required to become a practicing physical therapist in the U.S. today is the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT). All states and territories in the United States also require a license to practice physical therapy. Each state requires the National Board Examination (NPTE) but each state may have additional criteria for obtaining licensure.

As the first program established west of the Mississippi, the University of Kansas has long been a pioneer in Physical Therapy education. From consistently high rankings by national publications to recognition as a leader in research in rehabilitation science, KU has a record of demonstrated excellence in this exciting, dynamic health care field.

Physical Therapy is a career growing in demand

Learn about the profession and employment opportunities in the Occupational Outlook Handbook (U.S. Dept of Labor)

See Also:

KU School of Health Professions

Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation Science, and Athletic Training
University of Kansas Medical Center
Mail Stop 2002
3901 Rainbow Blvd.
Kansas City, KS 66160