Can a Medical Doctor Also Be a Physical Therapist?
Can a medical doctor also be a therapist? Yes, it’s possible, and there are several reasons to do so. Physiatrists are medical doctors who have also completed postgraduate training in physical medicine and rehabilitation. They diagnose patients, devise treatment protocols, and prescribe medications. Physical therapists, on the other hand, institute and supervise exercise programs and treatment protocols prescribed by physiatrists.
A medical doctor must complete a residency program, pass the Medical Licensing Examination, and have special certification. There are also requirements for doctors to keep their certifications and have ongoing education. Physicians are allowed to practice as medical doctors only if they are board certified in their field. Physical therapists are not considered physicians, but the two professions are very similar. Physical therapists must also have a license to practice medicine.
Physical therapists can specialize in several areas. They can complete a clinical residency program, which usually lasts one year. They can also pursue a fellowship in an advanced clinical area. Physical therapists can become board-certified specialists in their field by completing an additional 2,000 hours of clinical work and a fellowship in a specific area. For further training, a physical therapist can complete a doctoral program or become board-certified in their chosen area.
There are many reasons why a doctor can be a physical therapist. The profession is vital to the well-being of patients and their families. A doctor of physical therapy specializes in treating people with movement issues and functional limitations. A DPT degree gives a therapist more knowledge and skills to help others regain their mobility. If a medical doctor is not qualified to practice physical therapy, he can be trained as a physician assistant to treat patients.