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Why Your Physical Therapist Should Be Your Doctor

Why Your Physical Therapist Should Be Your Doctor

by Athletico2 Comments

The medical field is constantly changing and along with it, so is the role of physical therapists in the health system. Physical therapists are continuing to grow in their importance in being the first point of contact for patients seeking a medical provider. Below are six reasons why your physical therapist may be the person that you see first for your medical needs.

Doctoring Profession

Physical therapists currently receive a doctorate in physical therapy (DPT). This level of education prepares our physical therapists with the knowledge necessary to support quality clinical care across the lifespan of the patient. Some clinicians even have special certifications designated by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) within specific areas of clinical practice.

Shortage of Primary Care Physicians

We are in the midst of a shortage in the supply of physicians in our country.1 Access to a primary care physician in many areas of the country may be difficult for people. Physical Therapists are prepared to provide primary assessment to patients with musculoskeletal or neuromuscular issues.

Convenient Access

Medical conditions may need more immediate attention. At Athletico, we strive to schedule patients within 24-48 hours upon contacting our clinic for an evaluation to determine what type of treatment is needed for the patient.

Direct Access

Depending on the state, a patient is able to come directly into one of our clinics to be seen for an evaluation. This reduces delays in care so patients can get back to doing the things they love.

Referral to Specialists

Physical therapists have the knowledge and experience to identify any atypical symptoms or conditions that are not able to be treated in our clinic directly. If required, the physical therapist can determine when a referral to another medical specialist is appropriate and have many connections to specialists.

Preventative Medicine

The best way to treat medical issues is to treat them before they even become a problem! Annual or regular check-ins with a physical therapist can help prevent musculoskeletal issues, decrease risk for falls, improve cardiovascular condition, and decrease likelihood of preventable diseases such as diabetes. Preventing these problems before they happen will help promote a healthy and long life.

At Athletico, our physical therapists are movement experts with a high-level of education and dedication in helping you get back to the things you love to do. To meet with one of our clinicians, schedule a free assessment at an Athletico near you. Assessments are available in-clinic or virtually through our telehealth services.

Request a Free Assessment

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

1. New Findings Confirm Predictions on Physician Shortage. AAMC. Published April 23, 2019. Accessed July 27, 2020.

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  1. Patricia Deeke

    My daughter, age 20, is a former Athletico patient. She has knee problems. She comes home from college Nov.30. Can we set up now the free assessment? Can it be done three-way, with her, myself, and you?

  2. Jonathan Go

    Hi Patricia,

    That would be a great idea to call to set up a free assessment with the closest Athletico clinic to you or, even better, the physical therapist that worked with her previously if possible. If she would like to do it virtually, that is also an option, by signing up through the website.

    Hopefully this helps!


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