October 23

In Motion Physical Therapy of Chicago Answers: Are Physical Therapists Doctors?

Practicing physiotherapy in the United States means that each physical therapist must earn a doctorate of physical therapy (DPT) before taking the accredited license exam.



Chicago, IL -- Physical therapists are experts who specialize in prescribed exercise, hands-on care, and patient education. Their main goal is to improve movement and quality of life in each patient. 

Practicing physiotherapy in the United States means that each physical therapist must earn a doctorate of physical therapy (DPT) before taking the accredited license exam. 

This information means that physical therapists are doctors; they are just not physicians. 

Physical therapy students are typically in their DPT programs for three years following undergraduate school. They learn subjects like biology, anatomy, cellular history, physiology, exercise physiology, biomechanics, kinesiology, neuroscience, pharmacology, pathology, behavioral science, communication, endocrine, and metabolic studies. 

The PT students also learn about musculoskeletal, management sciences, ethics and values, evidence-based practice, cardiovascular and pulmonary treatments, clinical reasoning, sociologic, finance, and more depending on the DPT program. 

The Commission must accredit all programs on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. 

Students spend 20% of their education dedicated to clinical environments and 80% of the time in a classroom setting or lab study. There are typically three to four clinical experiences, which can last from four to twelve weeks. 

While this was not always the case, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) was hard-pressed to ensure that all physical therapists are licensed and accredited doctors by the year 2020. 

This mandate went into effect in 2015, which now means that any graduating physical therapist in the United States will come out of physical therapy school with a doctorate degree.

Physical Therapy Services
Physical Therapy Services

The APTA wished to ensure a higher level of top-of-the-line care and created this idea to improve care for all patients. Physical therapists can now also apply to get a post-graduate education, taking up residencies like physicians, to train in specific fields of physical therapy. 

These specialties include pediatrics, neurology, orthopedics, women’s health, cardiac rehabilitation, geriatrics, and sports. Physical therapist in the United States goes through a three or four-year preparation process before they are considered eligible for the physical therapy license exam. 

This means that physical therapists go to school for a minimum of seven years before they come out into the world and help patients manage and treat their pain. 

Physical therapists diagnose and treat patients of all ages and levels of ability. Many patients have disabilities, health conditions, or injuries. However, physical therapists also help clients who want to become healthier and prevent future problems. 


Dr. Lauren Schnidman of In Motion Physical Therapy, 2731 N Lincoln Ave in Chicago, IL, helps patients return to the activities they love so they can engage in them without limitations. She treats different populations, including recreational athletes and those who are focused on weight loss. 

Dr. Schnidman’s expertise is unique and personal, as she knows what it is like to struggle with sports injuries and weight management. These struggles have come and gone throughout her career. 

She is a holistic physical therapist and includes whole-person assessments rather than just addressing lone symptoms or pain. 

She provides individualized, comprehensive care without “cookie-cutter” treatment. She understands that the body is an interconnected system that works better when all body parts are working right. 

Dr. Schnidman’s educational background includes a BA in psychology and biology from Washington University in St. Louis, and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy is from Wheeling Jesuit University. 

She is also a certified personal trainer, a corrective exercise specialist, a senior fitness specialist, a fitness nutrition specialist, and a certified tennis performance specialist. 

Physical Therapy Chicago
Physical Therapy Chicago

About In Motion Physical Therapy

The mission of In Motion Physical Therapy Chicago is to provide quality physical therapy services that propel patients to advocate for their health and set them in motion to return to the activities they love. We specialize in working with runners, tennis players, and individuals focused on weight loss.

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Source: 38 Digital Market News
Release ID: 14767