For Physical Therapists

So you want to be a military physical therapist? There are a few ways to get there.

If you are already a practicing physical therapist

If you are already a civilian physical therapist, you can likely commission in any of the three services without much trouble, and get some nice loan repayment out of it.

For example, the Navy offers loan repayment for physical therapists, referred to as the Health Professions Loan Repayment Program. You can find more information here.

If you haven’t started DPT school yet

What if you aren’t a physical therapist yet?

Baylor-Army DPT Program

The Army has a DPT program through Baylor, which is conducted in San Antonio.
You apply to the program and, if accepted, you also join the military (or remain in if you are already on active duty) and are on active duty while you complete your training. This means that you receive active duty pay and benefits while in school. It is described on the website as a tri-service program, but I don’t have any additional information on the distribution of Army, Navy, and Air Force students.

You can find more information that program here.

Before applying to this program, you must have completed the prerequisites (described on the Baylor program’s site) within the past 10 years, and you must not have started DPT coursework in any other program. It is a 30-month program and incurs a 54-month active duty commitment. Current active duty members can apply, as can people with no previous military experience.

Contact information for the program can be found at the bottom of their site.

HPSP

I periodically get asked questions about HPSP, the Health Professions Scholarship Program, and DPT training. HPSP is a scholarship that pays tuition and fees plus a stipend while you attend school at a civilian program. This program is targeted at physicians (MD/DO), Physician Assistants, and optometrists. Based on my quick review, there does not appear to be a DPT track in the Army, Navy, or Air Force for HPSP.

 

Certainly this is just a quick summary, from someone who is not a DPT, but I hope this brief overview will give you a starting point. If anyone is aware of other tracks or options, please let me know!

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