Physical therapists assess patients and create plans to help them improve their movement, relieve pain and increase strength. They evaluate the effects of treatment and adjust to maximize the benefits. Physical therapists also test the patient’s strength, motor skills and functions, sensory perceptions, respiratory or circulatory efficiency and show patients how to perform the prescribed exercises and review progress. Physical therapists help decrease or prevent problems due to disease or injury.
Most physical therapist education programs require applicants to earn a bachelor’s degree prior to admission into a Doctor of Physical Therapy program. To practice as a physical therapist in the US, you must earn a Doctor of Physical therapy degree from an accredited physical therapist education program and pass a state licensure exam. Doctoral programs often require a minimum undergraduate GPA for entrance, such as at least a 3.0. Many physical therapy programs also require applicants to have completed prerequisites in anatomy, physiology, chemistry, physics and psychology.