Hey everyone. I'm currently a freshman in college and I'm very interested in becoming a physical therapist in either the Army or Navy. I wanted to know if anyone can give me some feedback on their experiences or any advice they may have. I was also wondering what people could tell me about the Army-Baylor program. Thanks!
If you want to be a PT in the Army, you can do it two ways...enter the Army as a licensed PT already, or get admitted to Baylor.
Today's PTs have a minimum of a MPT so you have to get your Bachelors in Biology or Exercise Physiology, have a 4.0, great test scores, and volunteer or paid work as a tech/ATC, JUST to be in the running to apply to a PT program anywhere in the US. Extremely competitive. Many go this route because they don't know about the Army/Navy option. When they graduate, many choose to enter the service with a direct commission under AMEDD, and there's nothing wrong with that, especially if you get admitted to an excellent PT school, have the chance to work with NCAA athletes, or at great teaching hospitals. It's a way to earn a very good benefit package if you have a family. But you are paying those student loans off--hopefully you qualify for student loan repayment.
Now, if you get your Bachelors, have the high GPA, scores, AND want to pursue the DPT, you go to Baylor...I seem to remember they take around 40 applicants out of 500, so it's up there with the best. You will owe some time (probably an eight-year commitment) but once admitted, it's FREE tuition...c'mon...really!? And you get paid while attending, because you're actually a lieutenant (or ensign) in the service. You will have to go to officer candidate school, but the pay and benefits are awesome and the therapists working/teaching in the program are some of the best in the country. No hippies in this program...lots of triathletes and studs, go-getter types. You will do a ton of research and get published in journals, and you will have opportunities afforded you for continuing education that are usually completely paid for. And despite what you hear about being deployed, as a PT, a deployment is an excellent resume builder because you are running a clinic under less than ideal circumstances, growing as a leader, and broadening your horizons.
I would say, if you are fit to fight, go Baylor. If you're a fat geek, have a disability, a criminal record, or an aversion to the military way of conformity, or being held to an eight-year contract, go civilian...no disrepect intended, but military PTs are often VERY well respected by the medical AND military communities, for good reason, because they are that good.
First things first...get A's your freshman year, and get (or stay) in shape...and keep doing it, so you can make your own future.
Thank you very much! You were very helpful! I love sports and exercising and I've wanted to be in the military basically my whole life. I'm going to work my butt off so I can get there =]. I got a B+ in Bio but Im gonna turn that around and work on that 4.0 !
Sorry to resurrect an old-ish post, but I also have a couple questions regarding the ARMY / Baylor PT program.
I am interested in either medical school or PT school. I'm currently a freshman majoring in microbiology, and a scholarship MS I cadet in Army ROTC.
1) Would acceptance into the Baylor program be be viewed in the same light as a medical school acceptance upon commissioning?
I've been been told that IF I am accepted into medical school, my branch choice of Medical Corps and request for an ed delay is basically a given (though not guaranteed).
2) According to the Army/Baylor website, you must either hold a BS degree, or be in your last semester before appearing before the selection board. How would that work for an ROTC cadet who needs to put in their branch packet/ed delay request prior to their last semester?
If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.
@ Cherise_D - dAwgKat does provide you with some great info. I'd like to add that you do NOT have to go to Baylor. Any PT school would suffice. The requirements for each PT school can be found on the PTCAS website (http://www.ptcas.org/Directory.html). They all have different requirements for the amount of observation hours required (e.g. tech/ATC), courses required, etc. Also you DO NOT need to have a degree in kinesiology or biology. Health programs like diversity, and this extends to undergraduate studies. Contact the PT schools you are interested in, and ask them direct questions. You will be surprised at what you learn. Also, do NOT apply to master's programs. Come 2020 all PTs will need a DPT to be licensed. That said, Baylor is a GREAT school and your application will need to be outstanding for admission to their program. Additionally, references from active military PTs are generally required with your application for employment/commission. At least from what I've heard from military PTs.
@ 14666168 (Q1) You're incidentally addressing a social dilemma regarding the "Dr." word. I'd say no, not "in the same light." Your commission would be similar to someone with a PhD. But that doesn't matter. What you should ask is whether an entry-level DPT will bring the same rank as a new physician upon commission. That I do not know. (Q2) I'm not familiar with ROTC requirements. Perhaps, Baylor, being an Army-friendly school, will help you out with more info. I can say that all materials must be met by each school's deadline. There aren't any exceptions. Also read my comments above @Cherise_D. Baylor isn't the only option.
In case you're curious: I graduate from PT school in 7 months with a DPT. I've done some poking around with the Army and Navy since I'm considering going back into the military. I can do 4-8 weeks of training and get a direct commission in the Navy. Not sure of the rank awarded by the Navy though. I've seen DCs with the Army giving new officers the rank of CPT/O-3 upon commission--bypassing O1 and O2.
Best of luck!
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