There’s more to physical therapy than repairing bodies. Therapists are also educators, trainers, and motivators. A successful physical therapist must be able to:
- educate the patient about the body and the anatomy of a specific problem;
- train the patient to accurately and effectively perform therapeutic exercises;
- encourage the patient’s compliance and cooperation with a full treatment program.
Potential therapists must also be proficient in a number of academic disciplines. Fortunately, a liberal arts education allows students to master the wide range of skills and subjects required for a successful career in physical therapy.
Admission to physical therapy school is extremely competitive. The University of Minnesota, Morris offers students the following advantages as they prepare for a career in this rewarding but demanding field.
- Outstanding teaching: The Morris campus boasts the highest percentage of winners of the Horace T. Morse-Minnesota Alumni Association Awards for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education at the University of Minnesota. Many of these instructors teach subjects required for admission to physical therapy programs.
- An undergraduate research program: Completing undergraduate research gives pre-physical therapy students a competitive edge.
- Assistance with undergraduate research: Morris offers both stipend programs and an annual Undergraduate Research Symposium at which to present findings.
- Shadowing and employment in medical professions: Admissions boards want to know whether or not an applicant really understands what it means to work in a medical field. Thanks to strong relationships between the University of Minnesota, Morris and local medical providers, pre-physical therapy students may shadow medical professionals at the Stevens Community Medical Center. Many local physical therapy patients receive care right on campus at the Regional Fitness Center.
- An on-campus Office of Community Engagement for service learning opportunities: Taking advantage of these opportunities demonstrates the commitment to service sought by professional school admissions boards.
- A nationally recognized study abroad program: Studying abroad helps prepare students for international health service trips common in medical professions.
Opportunities in Physical Therapy
Physical therapists need a well-rounded education that prepares them to choose from a wide range of professional settings and clientele, including:
- clinics treating sports and orthopedic injuries;
- facilities specializing in workplace injuries;
- hospitals assisting patients with recuperation from surgeries, illnesses, strokes or other neurological events that limit function;
- schools working with children who have neurological or orthopedic disabilities;
- rehabilitation facilities helping people return home after illness or injury;
- nursing homes providing intensive therapy to residents who need improved function to achieve a higher quality of life;