Physical therapists have been saving lives silently for quite a long time now. It might not seem like they are doing much, but they help a lot of people.

From helping patients recovering from strokes, deadly accidents to helping old people get their physical strength back, physical therapists do a lot for us.

But still, the question remains, are physical therapists doctors? To answer this question in one line, yes, they are. But while physical therapists are considered doctors, they are not physicians.

There is a lot more to being a physical therapist. If you would like to know more, you can give this article a read. We’re sure you’ll be shocked by all that these heroes do for us without making much noise.

What Physical Therapists Do

Mainly physical therapists diagnose movement dysfunction. Then they come up with a treatment plan that includes medicines and a series of exercises fit for your situation.

Where Physical Therapists Work

The workplace for a physical therapist can vary a lot. Some work in clinics, some have their private office, some work at the patient’s home, and some work at regular hospitals.

How Much Physical Therapists Earn

This factor depends on the years of experience the physical therapist has, the amount and levels of degrees that he/she has, and also the country. But a recent study found that an average physical therapist earns about $42.47 per hour.

Professional Degree (Entry-Level)

To become a physical therapist, you must first get your degree. The degree that is required is called a DPT degree. This is an entry-level degree that is mandatory for you to become a physical therapist.

People with any kind of major can apply to get a DPT degree. Usually, people who have the intention of becoming a physical therapist take majors such as chemistry, biology or healthcare, or phycology. This is because it helps them understand the course better.

After your DPT degree, you can refer to yourself as Dr.

Career Options For Those With A Doctorate In Physical Therapy

There are many career options for people who have a doctorate in physical therapy. This is a job that is always in demand.

Some of the main kinds of jobs that you could apply for are listed below.

Athlete Trainers

If you are skilled enough, you can become trainers to many athletes. Depending on your degree and level of experience, you might even become a celebrity athlete trainer.

Your job will be to guide them physically and help them remain strong at all times. Improving their motor skills and improving their flexibility becomes one of your top priorities. Depending on what kind of athlete you become a trainer to, you can make a lot of money per year in this job sector.


Chiropractors mainly focus on the spine region of a patient. They also help you with all kinds of musculoskeletal issues. As this is a pseudoscientific complementary medicine, there are a lot of benefits that you can provide to your patients.

People visit the chiropractor quite often nowadays to get their backs straightened out. It’s a job that is well in demand and will surely keep your wallet full at all times.

Physician Assistant

As a physician assistant, you can act as a principal healthcare provider to any patient. Your job will consist of diagnosing diseases, coming up with the proper treatment plan that is best suited for your patient, and making sure that they get good care.

You can prescribe medicine to your patients as well in accordance with their illness.


Improving your ears and hearing also falls under your physical; health. So you, as a physical therapist, can help people with their hearing. You get to analyze and identify the auditory function, balance, rehabilitation of hearing in people of all ages.

Helping people with communication competency, hearing, and their overall quality of life can be a part f our daily job as physical therapists.

4 Things A Physical Therapist Can Do That Your Doctor Can’t

Physical therapists are also doctors, but they have some special powers that your doctor does not have. These include:

  • Giving you an individualized workout routine
  • Help push the speed of your recovery
  • Understand you on a deep level to assign you treatments and exercise routines that will work for sure
  • Determine your risk of experiencing any fatal injuries

Frequently Asked Questions

What is physical therapy?

Physical therapy is a process that helps people recover from strokes, accidents and to keep their physical health in check.

What do you do in a typical physical therapy session?

Usually, your doctor will assist you in doing some exercises and movements that will help you improve in these sessions. A physical therapist will also monitor your improvements and any changes that might occur in the process.

Does physical therapy help you improve movement dysfunction?

If you follow your doctor’s instructions properly, you will surely see improvements in your dysfunction. You must keep in mind that the process is quite slow but effective.

Who can go to physical therapy?

People of any age and gender can go to physical therapy. There is no limit.

Usually, older people who have arthritis or some kind of movement dysfunction are their typical patients, but people who have suffered a stroke or any sort of accident that has left them unable to move like before can also go to a physical therapist.

What to expect in my first physical therapy session?

In your first visit, your physical therapist will try and determine what exactly your problem is. The process of finding this out will include some small exercises, asking you a lot of questions, and also going through your medical history.


Now that you know more in detail about what these people do for us, we’re sure you have the answer to the question, are physical therapists doctors.

A lot of the time, physical therapists have to deal with a lot of difficult patients, and their job is in no way easy. We should always be grateful for their selfless contribution to society.

They are in no way any less than a typical doctor you see at a hospital!