5 Steps You MUST Consider If You Want To Give Yourself A Shot At Becoming A DPT

Prior to starting the application process, identify your fears. We all have similar fears, anxieties, and frustrations. We feel isolated or as if we can’t handle it on our own. We fear the unknown, we lack direction, and we constantly question our ability by asking ourselves “what if I apply and it doesn’t work out or I don’t get in?” or “what if I apply and I have to settle for what my professor, family member or friend said I should do instead?” Prove your fears wrong and give yourself a SHOT.  At the end of the day, that’s better than not trying, right?


Step one: No Surprises

Understand the other side of the equation- the admissions side- so that there are no surprises. Know exactly what the program is looking for and what the program favors (GPA, GRE scores, etc). Look up any information you need on schools website or PTCAS. Use a GPA calculator to make sure you have the what the school is looking for. Do everything you can to make sure you’re a good match for the program. Know the ins and outs. What are the programs looking for? What are the programs going to see? What do they value in an applicant? Ask questions, get answers, and be prepared. No surprises.


Step two: Embrace your Story 

Your story is unique. For example, three different people who have a similar personal experience with physical therapy can have completely different views and takeaways from it. One may share how an injury influenced their decision to become a PT because of how the PT cared for them. Another may describe the importance of helping people get back to sports because of the relationships that are formed with their teammates. And lastly, someone else may be devoted to PT because being able to continue their sport (basketball, football, track) was their outlet. Physical therapy can be the driving motivation for all three people even if their views and takeaways are different. All three could be about the same injury and all three are valid stories.

Do not compare your story to your classmates or anyone else. We often feel like our story isn’t good enough, but now it’s time to believe that your story, your WHY, your lessons and your successes are good enough. You have to believe in your story to allow other people to believe in your story and to believe in you. Tell your story in a way that allows the admissions council to hear it and feel everything that you are feeling.

If you’re re-applying, share those feelings of being rejected. Those emotions have been built up by certain experiences, so make them known. Be vulnerable. In both situations, keep in mind that nobody can take your story or diminish your story unless you allow them to.


Step 3: Learn From Someone Else’s Mistakes

Find someone who has went through the process recently and ask questions. The physical therapy school application game is changing, but there’s a lot to learn from someone who has recently experienced the same fears, anxieties, and frustrations as you are. Listen to their story and be open to sharing your story with them too. They could be the inspiration you need to ignore the family members, professors, or mentors who are telling you it’s time to “pursue other options." If there’s a PT or current student who got in with a low GPA or low GRE score then why can’t you? You can. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help.

Step 4: Tunnel Vision

Everyone has an opinion. A lot of people (family members, friends) want to pour their fears into you because of their own journey. Those fears do not have to be your fears. Get focused. Don’t let others sway your decision, alter your motivation level or change your mindset with their fears and anxieties. Put the blinders up. Find people that are within your tunnel. Find people that are driven. Sometimes those aren’t the people who are in your inner circle, but that’s why we have communities online, that can put people with other winners. That’s why platforms, like The Accepted System, have students that are going through what you are going through. These student have each other to share experience with, support one another and stay locked in together. Protect your opinion by using tunnel vision to fizz out anyone who may be saying things that impact your direction and your vision for yourself. Find someone that has what you want and is where you want to be and ask what they did: get focused.


Step 5: Do Things Differently 

Schools aren’t looking for someone who’s the same as everyone else. It’s great to get ideas from someone else about what they have done, but don’t do what they’ve done verbatim.

For example, the Accepted System interns spend a certain amount of time learning skills that are going to help them build their own online platforms, their own businesses, whether it’s learning how to communicate online via blogs or messages, or learning how to be a podcast director and coordinator. When they go to apply, they turn heads because they are doing things in their community that nobody else is doing. They’re expanding their skill sets and experiences in a way that makes them unique to their community and their future PT schools. They’re standing out—and you can too!

If you understand those 5 things, then you will give yourself a really good shot of getting into PT school. Don’t shoot in the dark. Remember: no surprises, embrace your story, learn from someone else's mistakes, use tunnel vision and do things differently. Start putting these steps into action.


Thank You For Your Attention!

As always, please feel free to Contact Us at contactpreptgrind.com and ask us any questions! We are here to serve YOU!



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