This is the fifth article of a five-part series, “The Doctor of Physical Therapy Interview”
Part 1: What to Expect
Part 3: Preparing for the Questions
Part 4: Make the Most of the Campus Tour
By: Mathew Hilton, MS, SPT, ACLS, PALS
University of Delaware Physical Therapy Class of 2017
We’ve made it to the final part of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Interview series and a part that I find to be very important in this process. While the interview process is very much about you demonstrating your value to the program, you should also very carefully examine if the specific DPT program is a good fit for you.
The best way to find this out is to ask questions to faculty and students. Most interview days will feature opportunities for you to speak with professors and students, therefore you should prepare some solid questions for each group of people as you are researching the specific DPT program.
Do not take this opportunity lightly. As you research questions for faculty and students, you should be actively reflecting on your preferences and the type of program that you would like to learn and grow in. Here are some examples of characteristics of programs and differences that you should ask about:
- Faculty Availability - Are the faculty easily available outside of the classroom? Or are the faculty swamped with tons of other responsibilities such as clinical care, research, administrative work, travel, etc? If faculty do seem to have a lot of responsibilities, do they make time for students?
- Professionalism - Does the program feel like a close-knit family in which students are able to text/call professors and speak on a first name basis? Or does the program observe strictly professional boundaries that will help model your future professional experiences?
- Rigor - Does the program focus their attention on simply helping you pass the NPTE (the licensing exam) or are they committed to going above and beyond to make you the best clinician possible through exposure to the latest research, the most rigorous clinical experiences and the most comprehensive coursework?
When you have an opportunity to speak with faculty specifically, here are some examples of questions that you can ask:
What are the commitments of the typical faculty member (research, clinical practice/instruction, lecturing, administration, advocacy, community engagement)?
What is the faculty to student ratio for learning clinical skills?
Does the program typically invite adjunct lecturers & clinicians?
Do your faculty include certified board specialists in all of the disciplines (orthopedics, sports, neurologic, geriatric, cardiovascular & pulmonary, wound care, pediatrics, acute care)?
When you speak with students, here are some key questions to ask them:
Are your professors available for help outside of the classroom?
Does the program provide you extracurricular opportunities (research, service, shadowing, mentorship)?
What has been your biggest challenge in adjusting to PT school?
How has your view of PT changed since you’ve started PT school?
How do you manage stress during school?
Overall, you want to be sure that physical therapy is the right profession for you and that this specific program will be the right place for you to acquire your education. This concludes the “Doctor of Physical Therapy Interview” series and I hope you have found these posts to be helpful in building your best application to physical therapy school. Best of luck to everyone preparing for their interviews!
- Apr 24, 2018 How to Easily Find Inpatient Physical Therapy Experience Apr 24, 2018
- Feb 19, 2018 How to Improve Your GPA as a Pre-Physical Therapy Student Feb 19, 2018
- Jan 28, 2018 How Important are my GPA and GRE for Physical Therapy Admissions? Jan 28, 2018
- Jan 15, 2018 Do You Want to Become a Physical Therapist? Jan 15, 2018
- Nov 20, 2017 Pre-Physical Therapy: 3 Ways to Build a Strong Application Over Winter Break Nov 20, 2017
- May 26, 2017 DPT Program Financial Analysis For Pre-DPTs May 26, 2017
- Mar 27, 2017 4 Things to Remember to Stay Sane When Applying Mar 27, 2017
- Jan 30, 2017 5 New Ideas for Better Pre-Physical Therapy Meetings Jan 30, 2017
- Nov 17, 2016 4 Tips to Leverage Mentorship During Your First Clinical Affiliation Nov 17, 2016
- Nov 1, 2016 The Doctor of Physical Therapy Interview: Essential Questions for Faculty and Students Nov 1, 2016
- Oct 25, 2016 The Doctor of Physical Therapy Interview: Make the Most of the Campus Tour Oct 25, 2016
- Oct 19, 2016 The Doctor of Physical Therapy Interview: Preparing for the Questions Oct 19, 2016
- Oct 12, 2016 The Doctor of Physical Therapy Interview: Preparing for Different Interview Types Oct 12, 2016
- Oct 6, 2016 The Doctor of Physical Therapy Interview: What to Expect Oct 6, 2016
- Sep 20, 2016 Essential Experience: Succeed in the Physical Therapy Aide Interview Sep 20, 2016
- Sep 12, 2016 Back to School: What Should I Do as a Pre-PT Student? Sep 12, 2016
- Aug 31, 2016 Essential Experience: How to Find a Physical Therapy Aide Position Aug 31, 2016
- Aug 13, 2016 Essential Experience: Become a Physical Therapy Aide Aug 13, 2016
- Jun 20, 2016 Where Should I Apply for Physical Therapy School? Jun 20, 2016
- Jun 5, 2016 Fresh Perspectives: A Conversation on Social Media & The Job Market (UpDoc Media guest post) Jun 5, 2016
- May 15, 2016 Leverage Your Volunteer Experience When Applying to Physical Therapy School (NGPT Guest Post) May 15, 2016
- May 9, 2016 Don’t Submit Your 2016-2017 PTCAS Personal Statement Without Answering This May 9, 2016
- Apr 20, 2016 The 2017-2018 PTCAS Personal Statement Guide Apr 20, 2016