Let's first start by defining what physical therapists (PT) are and do.
Physical therapists are experts in human movement, and help injured or ill people improve or maintain mobility and manage pain. Physical therapists evaluate, diagnose, and treat individuals across the lifespan. They are an important part of preventive care, rehabilitation, and treatment for patients with injuries and chronic conditions or illnesses. PTs evaluate each person and then develop a treatment plan with goals of improving movement, reducing and/or managing pain, restoring function, and delaying or preventing disability. PTs also help folks who simply want to become healthier--move better--and prevent future problems.
The work of physical therapists varies by type of patient, and thus you'll find PTs in
hospitals, nursing homes, workplaces, outpatient clinics, people’s homes, schools, and sports and fitness facilities. You've found this blog, which is affiliated with an orthopedic outpatient physical therapy clinic.
A DOCTOR OF PHYSICAL THERAPY (DPT) earns a doctoral degree, which includes training in all areas of human anatomy and physiology and musculoskeletal evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment, as well as doctoral-level research. A doctoral degree is a clinical degree focused on treating people. It differs from a PhD, where the focus is on research and generating original scholarly work. The DPT program is typically three years, following a bachelor's degree. All PTs must be licensed in the state in which they practice.
DPTs weren't always Doctors, but, because they are now a “doctoring” profession, DPTs have the ability to evaluate and treat patients via direct access, meaning without a physician referral.