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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

DC vs. DPT vs. ATC vs. LMT

Brent Brookbush

Brent Brookbush


Panel Discussion: DC vs. DPT vs. ATC vs. LMT

4 different paths to licensure - Which professional credential do you trust most, which credential is the best choice for career advancement.

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 February 25th, 2012

Jemimah Simms Well, I am biased but if I ranked, it would be DPT, ACT, DC then LMT. I've looked at the educational requirements. Not al DC's have a bachelors degree. I might be a snob, but I'd rather go see someone who has has formal education. And I also realize that there are different paths to healing.

February 25 at 12:13pm

Liz MacShields DPT--this is why I am back in school and willing to sacrifice a lot of time and money to get there.

February 25 at 7:21pm

Brent Brookbush I like your logic Jemimah - It scares me to think that some DC's do not need an undergrad that reflects a concentration in basic sciences - where did you find DC schools that do not require a B.S?… Although I have a similar opinion, ranking the credentials that is; does the employment opportunity and lifestyle afforded to DPT's and ATC's justify the additional work that goes into acquiring the degree?

February 25 at 8:16pm

Dino Del Mastro This post would take me a very long time to respond to but it really depends on what you want to do with your career. I am a DC and I must say I investigated DPT and DC schools thoroughly before deciding on Chiro School. I know many DCs that incorporate lots of exercise rehab and therapy in their practice like I do. I also know many DPTs that perform spinal manipulation regularly as well. I think that with the advanced education in both fields there is good opportunity to learn from each other as I refer some of my patients to local Physical Therapists for extended exercise rehab and PTs refer to me for patients looking for more manual therapy. Also I would like to add that it actually is mandatory to have 90 credits including organic chemistry, physics, gen chem, bio, anatomy and physiology etc from undergrad to enter chirporactic school however fulfilling the bachelors degree is not necessary in all states but is necessary in many. Learn as much as you can after you graduate and you really can't go wrong with either degree.

February 25 at 9:43pm

Jemimah Simms I looked at a DC that a few former coworkers went too and looked up his school. There was a requirement for some basic classes but no mention of needing a BS. I don't know how true that is for all programs and I don't mean to be insulting to any DC's. But my own experiences tell me there isn't the same seed of knowledge and the general population doesn't know the educational difference.

February 25 at 11:18pm

Dino Del Mastro ‎@jemimah, no worries it's good to know the requirents of each. Please read my post again I did state that the bachelors degree is not necessary in all states however to enter chiropractic school you do need a minimum of 2 semesters of o chem, gen chem, physics, bio and anatomy and physiology. That being said everyone of my classmates that I graduated with did have the B.S. degree. This is very similar to both Dental and Optometry schools which do not always require a bachelors degree but just a focus in basic undergraduate sciences. Again I'm happy to clear up any questions about the DC degree as I also agree the public often does not know the facts. http://www.palmer.edu/PrerequisitesDC/ at the bottom you can see the required 24 basic science credit requirements along with 90 minimum semester hours.

Admissions Requirements - D.C.


admissions requirements, required courses, entrance requirements, enrollment requirements, enrollment process, admissions process

February 25 at 11:42pm

Jemimah Simms Dino: much appreciated. But I will politely point out that 90 credits is not the same as a full undergraduate degree. For instance, I had a degree in choreography and I had to go back and take my chemistry, biology, a and p, physiology courses and then some. Also, the GPA requirement for most DPT programs is higher (science GPA is usually a minimum of 3.3) that some of the DC schools.

The biggest difference I see is that ALL DPT programs require a bachelors degree with a GPA of at least a 3.0. I think the extra education is essential to what physical therapists do, but it is up to physical therapists as a whole to educate the public that we don't just walk people up and down the hallways in a hospital (OT's pretend that's all we do) and we don't just massage people like the general population thinks. I explain my curriculum to people now and they are even surprised at how much I have currently learned and will be learning.

The bottom line is, most importantly, people practice within their scope of practice and refer out as needed. Also to respect the other practitioners and to make sure everyone works to get their patient better.

February 26 at 12:05am

Dino Del Mastro ‎@Jemimah as health care practitioners our responsibility is to continue to further our education in every way that we can regardless of the discipline. As I mentioned before I work with DPTs regularly and I have had some good and some not so good experiences. The bottom line is that in my years after graduation I have continued to learn and grow from working with the team of DCs, DPTs and ATCs that I have had the opportunity to work with and give our best to the patients that needed it. Do you mind if I ask what state you are a DPT in and does your University work with DCs as part of their sports medicine team? Working together has really opened my eyes to the benefits of multidisciplinary care.

February 26 at 12:43am

Jemimah Simms I'm like Brent, a first year DPT student. But I've been injured A LOT and I've worked with DC's, PT's and LMT's. I didn't say that the ensemble shouldn't work together, I suggested a respect for each other and working together. But as DC, would you ever feel comfortable seeing a practitioner who had less a formal education? As a PT student and someone has had a few injuries, I want someone who is more formally educated.

February 26 at 12:52am

Dino Del Mastro I would respond to that by saying you will have a hard time convincing me that a practitioner is defined by their undergraduate education. I DO have my B.S. degree and suffered 3 ACL reconstructive surgeries in college so I also spent ample time with numerous practitioners before entering Chiropractic school. As I mentioned earlier many Dental, Optometry and even Medical schools do not require a bachelors degree to apply.

February 26 at 1:28am

Jemimah Simms I'm not trying to convince you. I'm stating my opinion. I'm sorry if I made any statements that might have seemed off-putting. That was not my intention. I know that my healthcare providers have all gone through undergraduate and graduate schools. It's what I prefer. And as I am not taking about you directly, I am stating that I don't think it's a good idea to call someone doctor without and undergraduate degree. It takes away from the hard work that Brent, the person who commented at the top and myself are going through. It sends the message anyone can do it when it is so much harder than that.

February 26 at 9:24am

Dino Del Mastro ‎@Jemimah Trust me your DPT will be well earned and it will provide you with a very rewarding career. I would prefer that all allied health care professionals have a Bachelors degree before applying to a doctorate program as well but unfortunately I don't know if that is a change that will be made in the near future. Best of luck in your DPT schooling you seem passionate about your education, never stop learning and I'm sure you will use it to help many patients throughout your career!

February 26 at 10:49am

Brent Brookbush Nice convo kats… We should all work together, in fact, with so much overlapping education and skill I am not sure why chiropractics, physical therapy and athletic trainers do not unite to create some sort of Doctor of Manual Medicine program (maybe even increasing all our scopes to include certain perscriptions, imaging, dry needling, etc.). I went the PT route due to the breadth in education and options post gradution that this degree will afford me. However, I wish I was going to recieve a more intensive education in joint mobilizations. If I am not mistaken I believe there is still a bit of eastern medicine in chiropractics, that in consideration of evidence based practice should probably be eliminated, and there is such a wide variety of information covered in the DPT programs I think specialization would be extremly beneficial. I am sure if we looked through the ATC programs we could find some great stuff to add to our knowledge and a ton of overlap… So in the end my point is… Doctor of Manual Medicine, or a specialized degree - Doctor of Orthopedic Manual Medicine.

February 26 at 12:07pm

Jemimah Simms True story. But there are tons of continuing Ed classes you can go to and I've been told the Australia has some of the manual therapy education. But aside note, I have a classmate who is a certified ACT. Perhaps there is something she feels the DPT gives that the ACT doesn't.

February 26 at 12:24pm

Dino Del Mastro ‎@Brent we actually talk about that quite a bit in some continuing education classes that I have taken. The recent expansion of all of our scopes of practice has crossed over so much that at some point I do think that the professions should and will combine similar to how DO's and MD's now work with little or no difference in their scope. We are all stronger together and will be better able to help our patients from working together and learning from one another. My dream practice will have one of each discipline working together under one roof. A close friend of mine works at ChiroMedical group in SF where this multidisciplinary team works very well together

February 26 at 3:26pm

Brent Brookbush That sounds amazing Dino… I would love to be part of a group like that in the future.

February 28 at 10:56am

barefootcrandall All of these schools of thought/professions are great, but they are just a starting point on the journey. Where you take your personal education POST college is just as if not MORE important. I've known all of the above professions to range from being grossly incompetent to wise beyond their years. In addition, being well rounded doesn't hurt which means an understanding of the arts including eastern philosophy… :P



March 16, 2012, 01:19:21 PM

Yusuf Boyd As an AT I think all 3 have something to offer each. I often refer to a PT for issues that are more on the neurological side because that's where their education exceeds mine. That PT also sends me a lot of clients that are more active than what they normally see because that's where my training is. I think it's truly about what your career goals are and where you eventually want to end up. My 1st option was PT, I got accepted but at the time there was a 2 yr wait to start so I went the AT route which actually served my career path better……and as Crandall stated, post graduate continuing ed is of extreme importance. I knon DC's, PT's, & AT's who have no idea simply because once they completed their formal education the stopped learning. The human body is a dynamic model that continues to amaze everyday, I want to continue to Lear as much as possible so that I can be more benefit to those in need.

March 16, 2012, 02:19:26 PM

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