1.Q: Many professionals ask if they have PP-DPT, do they have to go for an MS degree in physical therapy?
Ans:First of all we need to understand the difference in the two degrees;PP-DPT is higher level of education in physical therapy 18 years of schooling ,Mater/M.phi equivalency awarded by HEC but it is a generalized degree which can be helpful for you to be independent practioner while MS in any specialty like OMPT,NMPTand Sports PT etc will give you recognition as specialist physical therapist in that area, so there is no difference in the level of education but the nature of both degrees are different and currently we need both the degrees, the first one give us Dr.title and professional autonomy and the second one give us recognition as specialist physical therapist. I hope this will clear the confusion in minds of the professionals.
Ans:The physical therapist today is the practioner of choice and patients have direct access to physical therapist, in England even they will be getting limited prescription rights, so the DPT curriculum has been design to produce graduates who will be capable to assess the patient, establish diagnosis, plane physical therapy treatment and implement it independently and if problem is out of the scope of PT practice so the person has to be referred to the concerned professional.
3.Q: The difference b/w BSPT and the DPT?
Ans:The simple answer:From dependent practice to independent practice.
4.Q:The dilemma of Pakistani physical therapists!
Do they have to be loyal with the teaching institute or loyal to be with the profession?
The Physical Therapy profession is well developed in the developed world, so the therapists there have fewer issues but in the developing countries it is still in the process to be a complete profession and because of it, Pakistani physical therapists have many problems in terms of job opportunities, service structure and quality education. The new graduates usually complaints against their seniors that they are not helping them. Most of the teaching institutes have no proper service structure in place for physical therapists, they usually offer good package to the in charge PT but the rest of the faculty members get paid on very low sacle,this is the dilemma in the private sector and the public sector the head PT would like a good grad for him/herself but restrict the promotion or new post creation for jouniors.This perception may be right but we need to ask few questions from ourselves and then we will try look for the answer to those questions.
1. Do they have to be loyal with the teaching institute?
2. Do they have to be loyal with the profession?
3. Can they change the profession and is this ethically right?
4. Can they change the institute and is this ethically right?
The answer to the first question could be yes but not in the cost of our profession. Most of the institute only care for business but do not care for the promotion of the profession and also for the professionals, that’s why they offer good package for the in charge PT and pay no attention to the needs of common professional. This lead to another question, should we expect from a business man to promote our profession and respect us as professionals? I believe the answer is that we should expect this from the in charge PT to promote the profession and realize the business man to respect us as professionals. One good change we have now that most of the Physical therapy institutes lead by the physical therapists, so if they want they can do so easly.It is quite ethically right to change the institute for better job opportunity, this create healthy environment both for the profession and the professionals. In the developed world there is no differentiation between the public and private sector PTs.All of them have equal rights and they stand together for any issue of the profession but unfortunately here we love to work for the institute to secure our jobs and have less proreiroty for the profession and professionals issues.
The answer to the second question will be absolutely yes. Here if we loyal to our profession we will be loyal to ourselves because the profession gives us the identity and bring us together as one group having same rights and responsibilities. The promotion and development of the profession affect all of us directly, so we have no choice but to work for the development of the profession and if we want ourselves to be respected in the community so we need to learn how we should respect each other. Every day we posts on the social media criticizing each other is not going to help us anyway but it further damage our image in the society, so regardless of what institute we are belong to, we need to stand together for our rights because we can change the institute any time but it is very hard to change the profession. I am physical therapist today and I will be physical therapist tomorrow. So we should keep our profession on 1st priority rather than the institute. We should see each other as member of the profession not member of a particular organization because the community recognizes us by our profession not by our organizations. It is some time vey hurting that we try to humiliate our colleague on the bases of institution regardless of his/her contribution for the development of the profession.
The answer to the 3rd question could be no because to adopt any profession someone spend almost 5 to 6 years of his life or more than that and also pay high price for it, so it does not seem right for a person to change the profession without any genuine reason because it will be waste of time and waste of money. There may be some exceptional cases but mostly people stay with the first adopted profession for the life span.
The answer to 4th question is definitely yes and it is absolutely ethically right to change the organization.Diffrent organization have different mission and vision. Some could be very supportive for your profession but some others will only care for the bussniss.Some will respect you as professionals and some of them will just consider you as an employee. So you have the right to look for a better organization that can respect you as professional and also fulfill your requirement. So we should not compromise on our standers and our respect as professionals. Most of us worried about jobs, but if we are competent professionals we will have no problems to find jobs. We have many job opportunities and jobs can be created in public as well as in the private sector but we need to stay together and stand up for our rights. These were few questions most of the time physical therapists have discussion on it but have no clear answers, so it may be helpful to clear the confusion so we could work together like the professionals in the develop world .
5.Q: what is the criterion for the research supervisors in the rehabilitation sciences in Pakistan?
Ans: Currently no PhD degree program is available in the country and also no PhD Scholars are available in the rehabilitation Sciences, so the research exports at PTRF recommended that MS/M.phil or Equivalent qualification + 5 years clinical and teaching experience+3-4 research publications in any HEC recognized Journal should be the basic criterion for Research supervisor in the rehabilitation Sciences. This criterion is close to the criterion for supervisors in medicine.
6. Q: what is the normal workload for a physical therapist in the clinical setup or how many patients can be seen by a physical therapist in 8 hour/day job?
Ans: In Pakistan there are no set criteria but internationally a physical therapy session usually take 40 minutes to an hour, so in an eight hour job a physical therapist can treat 8 patients a day and at the maximum could be 10 patients a day.
7.Q: Do we understand our profession?
Answer: Physical therapy a profession deals with movement dysfunctions at the cellular level, at joint level, at the organ level, at the body part level or at the whole body level and physical therapists are the health professionals normalize or enhance movement and movement is life, so you know how important our profession is! In case of hypo mobility physical therapist increase mobility but in case of hyper mobility physical therapist works on stability. To be fully functional, a person needs a balance between mobility and stability. The balance between the two can be achieved to focus on the endurance both at the muscles level and at the system level, strength, coordination, biomechanics and ergonomics. Physical therapist can enhance or normalize mobility at the cellular level through manual therapy techniques and procedures. In manual therapy the physical therapist uses two forces compression and distraction and each force can influence the human body by producing mechanical changes, physiological changes and psychological changes.
8.Q: Is there any difference between MS and M.phil?
Ans: First of all we need to understand the education system of different countries especially USA, UK and Pakistan. In the US a student study in the school for 12 years, then go to community colleges or university for 4 years to complete his/her bachelor and after words they decide to go to professional education and most of the professional degree programs duration of three years(1-year pre requests in some programs) full time and six years part time, so all their professional programs are equivalent in our country up to 18 years of schooling(MS) they do not use the title M.Phil,so after any professional degree of that nature they are eligible for PhD or any other equivalent qualification, like D.Sc etc. In the UK a student study in school for 12 years they go for three years bachelor degree and proceed to one year MSc so their MSc qualification is equal to 16 years of schooling here so for further education they have M.Phil degree for 2 years which is equal to 18 years of schooling here and after words they go for PhD or any other equivalent qualification like D,Physio in UK.In Pakistan we used to follow the UK system but currently HEC is moving to words the American system, so here a student go to school for 12 years then 4 to 5 years for bachelor or professional entry level degree programs then go 2 years MS/M.Phil or equal to 18 years of schooling and then PhD, so actually there is no difference in MS or M.Phil here in Pakistan. Now I would like to share with you the Riphah MS and M.Phil programs for physical therapists. As you know that we are trying to promote our profession and empower physical therapists from Riphah Platform, so in 2007 we presented to the faculty of health and medical sciences and academic council of the university to allow our DPT graduates to be eligible for M.Phil in basic sciences and ALHAMDULLILAH,we succeeded in that but this is very limited in terms of intake 2-3 students from DPT once a year because their utilization will be limited, they will be allowed to teach in the physical therapy institutes not in the medical colleges at the current may be change later on, so we introduced MS programs which is also equal to M.Phil(18 Years of Schooling) and will give specialized title, so with the MS degree you can be a specialized clinician as well as a subject specialist in the academic environment. you will have many job opportunities and you will be eligible to proceed further with PhD, so at the current situation MS in any specialty will be a good option for our DPT graduates but we also would like to keep the other door open too, like after MBBS or any other health professions, more students prefer to go for specialization rather than basic sciences, this is just a suggestion for our students may be helpful to make the right decision for further educations. Thanks
9.Q: Who can be called Physical Therapists and what should be the entry level qualification for Physical therapists?
Ans: Physiotherapist/Physical Therapist
1.In 1963 A person with 3 years graduate degree in physical therapy from any UGC recognized university in Pakistan and eligibility for the entry level degree in physical therapy was FSc(Pre-Med) at least 50% unadjusted marks .
2.In 1999 A person with 4 years graduate degree in physical therapy from any HEC recognized university in Pakistan and eligibility for the entry level degree in physical therapy was FSc(Pre-Med) at least 50% unadjusted marks .
3. In 2011 A person with 5 years graduate degree in physical therapy from any HEC recognized university in Pakistan and eligibility for the entry level degree in physical therapy is FSc(Pre-Med) at least 50% unadjusted marks according to HEC criteria.
Today Physical Therapists in Pakistan are highly qualified professionals with 17 years schooling including 5 years professional education recognized by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan. They are Doctor of Physical Therapy have the ability to diagnose and treat movement dysfunctions due to injuries , diseases or aging process by using varieties of modalities and techniques/procedures including, manual therapy(Mobilization, manipulation and stretching), exercises therapy, electrotherapy(Physical agents),postural training ,biomechanics and ergonomics.
10.Q: Who can be called Physiotherapist assistant and what should be the entry level qualification for physiotherapist assistant?
Ans: Physiotherapist Assistant:
A person with at least 4 years training in a recognized hospital of the medical faculty in one of the province of Pakistan after SSC(Science group) or HSC(pre-Med)
11.Q: Who can be called Physiotherapy technician and what should be the entry level qualification for Physiotherapy Technician?
Ans: Physiotherapy Technician:
A person with at least 2 years training in a recognized hospital of the medical faculty in one of the province of Pakistan after SSC(Science group) or HSC(pre-Med)
12.Q-Do we need higher qualification for more earnings or to be superior?
Ans : We need to understand that higher qualification does not mean that they will have high earnings, but of course the high level of education opens many opportunities for professionals in different set ups and increase acceptance and respect of the professionals in the society. If you look into the university setups less than MS (18 years of schooling) a person cannot be hired as faculty member and according to HEC after 2016 they would like to see all PhDs in the university level. So further education and specialized training should always be encouraged which will lead our profession to maturity. We also need to understand the different environment of the countries; even in UK this will not discourage the higher education in UK. It is not the matter of superiority or inferiority but it is the matter of from dependent to independent practice and today in the west and north America this status of independent practice was only allowed due to change in the curriculum and level of education which is evident from the vision statement of APTA(USA).
13.Q:-What should be the criteria to rank the degree programs in rehab sciences in private sector institutes?
Ans: Every year at the time of admission after the FSc (Pre-Medical) results students as wel as parents ask this question that which university or institute is better?
Here are some guide lines for the students and parents to choose the right institute;
1. The status and ranking of the university with HEC: It is very important to find out if the institute or university is recognized by HEC and what is the ranking of the university with HEC this point should be given 30%
2. Old or new program: It is also in important point to be considered because with the passage of time institutes and programs quality improve. This point should be given 10%.
3. Faculty for the program: The most important factor to be considered is the number of qualified faculty for the program. This should be given 20%
4. Infrastructure for the program: Well equipped Labs and class rooms and overall conducive environment is very good for learning, so this be given 20%
5. Registartion of the program with professional bodies/Association: The association can give recognition to the program internationally and should be given 10%
6. The head of the institute: If the head of the institute is a member of the profession he /she will be more effective for the institute and this should be given 10%
Based on these criteria one can easily find the right institute for the rehab science programs in Pakistan.