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DC vs. DPT?

Tuesday, June 6, 2023 - 2 Likes

Brent Brookbush

Brent Brookbush


Panel Discussion: DC vs. DPT?

DC (Chiropractic School) or DPT (Physical Therapy School)?

This question was posed by Michael Adam Clark: Based on scope of practice and what is taught in school - which degree do you suggest I pursue after finishing an MS in Exercise Science at Cal U of Penn?

Moderated by Brent Brookbush DPT, PT, MS, PES, CES, CSCS, ACSM H/FS

This Panel Discussion was originally posted on my facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/brent.brookbush - on September 21st, 2011

Jemimah Simms, September 21 at 11:01pm: DPT, but I'm biased.

Julie Allyson, September 21 at 11:07pm: DPT = $$$

Brian Lewis, September 21 at 11:21pm: Chiro

Brent Brookbush, September 21 at 11:34pm: Hey Kats, I love a straight answer as much as anyone, but I think it would be really helpful to post your rationale.

Chrissy Nettekoven, September 22 at 12:40am: I would go with DPT for several reasons, although I may be biased because I work in the field. I do have a M.S. in Rehab/Ex. Phys from CALU, and have been working in a PT clinic for two and a half years. I've deferred DPT school for two years due to some crazy health issues, but will be going back in a year or two when things heal up. But I think that PT offers a better service to patients all-around. With chiro, many patients end up being chronically treated once or twice a month for maintenance adjustments, because all a chiro is doing are manipulations and just mild soft tissue work. But is it a service to patients to make them dependant on you for constant treatment? The thing I love about PT is that it empowers patients with their treatment and recovery. Yes, a course of therapy may last for 8, 12 16 weeks depending on the severity of the injury…but that will encompass exercise based treatment, soft tissue work, and manual work. The combination of these methods allows for permanent change/improvement with the area. If you just keep manipulating a joint but don't strengthen the muscles around it to keep it stabilized, what good is the manipulation?? That's my slight contention with chiro…although there are a few chiro's who do give a few exercises. However, many chiro's haven't had the same training to know what specific exercises and treatments will best help derangements and other injuries. I feel that a PT has the most to offer a patient, because they can offer similar help to a patient that a chiro can, plus more. We give extensive home education to patients when they are finished with therapy, and put together significant home/gym exercise/rehab plans that will allow them to remain injury free and not slip back into their pattern of injury. I say go for the DPT!!!

Michael Consalo, September 22 at 11:47am: depends on your goal and client you work with I would think.

Jeff Young, September 22 at 6:10pm: I agree with chrissy, with the only exception being that in my experience there's still a big gap at pt facilities and with pt patients when transitioning from rehabilitation back to a comprehensive general fitness or performance enhancement program. in my experience patients are being given home exercises related to their specific issue, but not a global program that addresses total fitness/performance. in the defense of pt's, they're so busy seeing one patient after another, so busy with note taking, and have so little time with a patient (by time i mean session length and the total sessions with a patient, usually determined by insurance) that it's hard for them to develop and teach a patient a global fitness/performance post-rehabilitation program. the 'system' needs more kinesiologists/exercise physiologists competent enough to fill that gap.

Brent Brookbush, September 22 at 11:53pm: It is an interesting conversation when we start to talk about the voids between prevention to pathology to rehabilitation to health education. No one degree will satisfy all these areas of allied health. I think DPT's are prepared better to confront all areas, but you would still need to be a very dedicated professional to continue learning enough to be effective in all realms. I am working on my 3rd degree, my second book, I work as an educator for NASM, and am working on T&D solutions for health club chains as the President of B2C Fitness, and I still see gaps in my skill set that I do not have the band width to confront at the moment. Although I hate to think that one would become so specialized they cannot provide adequate service, it is likely impossible to master all these crafts.

Michael Consalo, September 23 at 11:44am: The day you tell me you know everything and don't have gaps, is the day I will stop following you Brent lol. I'm sure we all feel that way but i certainly appreciate your help and thoughts keep it up!

Michael Adam Clark, September 23 at 1:12pm: I think it is good to know what your limitations are and recommend clients/patients to the experts in that field. That gains credibility in customers' eyes. I'm not a shoe expert, but I know enough about foot and ankle impairments to know when to recommend someone to a podiatrist or expert who can fit them into a proper shoe to give them the best support.

Michael Adam Clark, September 23 at 1:14pm: The key is to never stop growing, never become complacent, and never think you know everything.

© 2014 Brent Brookbush

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