On Tuesday, January 17th Columbia University Doctor of Physical Therapy Program held its first Private Practice Elective event. Michael Mattia, New York Physical Therapy Association (NYPTA) President helped kick off the course by speaking about the future of the Physical Therapy field, how it is changing and why being an active American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) member is vital to the progression of our profession. Three key discussion points of this event were; how politics affects clinical practice and private practice, the difficulties of marketing the physical therapy profession and the importance of being an active APTA Member after graduating from Physical Therapy School.

Overall this conversation was a good wake up call, Dr. Mahlon Stewart, the course faculty advisor, commented, “This talk was important for the students. It turned the conversation from treatment and technique to the larger conversation about the challenges we face: safeguarding our scope of practice, the critical importance of legislative involvement at the local level, and the need to educate our clients about the value of physical therapy practice and its essential role in maintaining the health and wellness of communities.” It goes to show that if we want our profession of physical therapy to continue to progress forward we have to actively take part in doing so.

For the first event we had a spectacular turnout of about 50 students out of 160 Doctoral students, out of which over 50% of attendees were female. To put this in perspective, in the private practice world of Physical Therapy, the overwhelming majority of business owners are males with only about 10-12% of females being private practice owners. Hopefully this class can help even out the field.

“Be the change you wish to see in this world”

–Mahatma Gandhi

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