Arizona physical therapist Kristi Goyne specializes in post-surgical rehabilitation and has experience treating patients of all ages and athletic abilities. She received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from A.T. Still University in Mesa, and is here today to share helpful tips for future PT students.
Physical therapy is a booming profession, and there are tens of thousands of people that apply to physical therapy school each year with hopes of getting in. However, there are a limited number of schools available and a limited number of students accepted by these schools, so getting into a graduate program can prove difficult. Meeting the minimum requirements on an application or being unprepared for an interview are not ideal ways to set yourself up for success during this process. Creating a standout application and making a good impression during your interview will significantly improve your chances of being selected by your program of choice.
The first step to creating a great first impression on PT schools is building an impressive application. Set yourself apart from the competition by considering the following:
- Reflect on volunteer activities that you participate in on a regular basis. Schools appreciate students who give up their time to be active in the community. If you do not have a lot of volunteer experience already, seek out opportunities to boost this area of your resume.
- Go above and beyond on your observation hours. Try to be well rounded in the different settings that physical therapy has to offer by obtaining observation hours in a hospital, a skilled nursing facility, and an outpatient orthopedic clinic. This will add versatility to your application and help you personally by giving you a better idea of what setting you would like to practice in once you graduate.
- Submit your application as early as possible to improve your chances of being selected for an interview. You could also check to see if your school of choice participates in the early decision process. If it does, you will be able to submit your application early, giving you an additional advantage.
The interview is your first chance to show a PT school who you really are, and why you would be a great addition to their program. When preparing for your interview, keep these tips in mind:
- On the day of your interview, it is essential that you arrive early and dress professionally – this will make a positive impression and give your interviewer a feel for who you are before you even begin to answer questions.
- Express your interest by doing your homework on the school and their physical therapy program.
- When answering questions, make sure you have strong examples from your life experience to demonstrate how you’ve exhibited leadership or handled adversity.
- Be engaged and enthusiastic, not only during your interview but with the other applicants as well. Interacting well with others is a sign that you are a team player, which is a vital part of practicing therapy successfully.
- Above all, be yourself. Show the interviewer that you are confident, well prepared, and ready to begin your professional career.
Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy is proud to have a staff of excellent physical therapists who make our clinics some of the best in the state of Arizona. For more information and advice about the physical therapy field, check out our blog!