The Loop represents a movement of students who are finding their interests, getting involved, and getting informed about the challenges and opportunities facing physical therapy.
Find Your Interest!
Involved physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) do much more than patient care to promote our profession and improve the patient experience. The simplest way to get in The Loop is to find an area of the profession that piques your interest.
Representing the Student Assembly, comprised of all student members of APTA, helps prepare students for a lifetime of leadership. National student leadership is an excellent way to hone your leadership skills, meet students from across the country with a similar passion for our profession, and build an incredible network of mentors.
Learn more about:
Many students develop strong leadership skills in university and statewide positions.
If you are interested in leading communication, creating initiatives, and working to engage students in your state, consider:
Involved PTs and PTAs advocate to improve our profession and patient care on community, state, and national levels. APTA members and staff frequently visit state capitols and Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, to promote legislation benefiting our profession and patients.
If you are interested in advocacy, consider:
- PTeam, a grassroots program that provides quarterly newsletters on legislative activity on Capitol Hill, in addition to timely legislative action alerts on federal issues affecting physical therapy.
- Federal Advocacy Forum, APTA's annual opportunity to be briefed on effective national advocacy and to take part in coordinated visits to Capitol Hill to meet with your representatives.
- Community and state initiatives organized by your state chapter.
APAT's House of Delegates (House) is a policy-making body composed of voting chapters delegates, non-voting delegates (which include the Student Assembly), and consultants. The House meets annually for 3 successive days each spring, prior to APTA's June conference (NEXT). Students can see how policy is shaped by attending the House in the gallery or serving as an usher.
Clinical Practice Areas
If clinical practice is your jam, be sure to explore the many ways to accelerate your growth. Being involved in these areas will provide you with the latest cutting edge research and give you unparalleled access to experts in the field. The best way to explore clinical practice is through specialty sections. Be sure to look for their Student Specialty Interest Groups and other student specific opportunities.
Marketing and Promotion
APTA is always striving to promote the brand of physical therapy to the public. The consumer website, MoveFowardPT.com provides excellent resources for the public that students can share at university or community events. You can also help extend the brand by following MoveForwardPT on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, and sharing those posts with your followers. Learn more about the Move Forward branding campaign and consider becoming a Brand Champion.
Looking for a glimpse into the profession with a one-time commitment? Volunteering is a great way to get firsthand experience! It also helps that student volunteers are often provided with free registration to national conferences!
For volunteer opportunities, consider ushering at a national conference (CSM, NEXT, or the House of Delegates). Information is available a few months prior to each conference, so be sure to check our website and APTA e-mails as the conferences approach.
Can't Find Your Interest? Attend a National Conference!
One of the best ways to find areas you are interested in is to attend a national conference. APTA has 3 main conferences: CSM, NEXT, and — just for students — National Student Conclave (NSC). Attending a conference will provide you with access to all areas of our profession and practice. You can also attend conferences at your state and local level. Look for more information from your state chapter.
Contact Student Assembly Executive Director, Lisa McLaughlin, at firstname.lastname@example.org.