March 6, 2009
As president of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), I read with great interest your March 4, 2009, article (We're Hiring. Really, We Are.) about "recession-proof" jobs in the Washington area, including those for physical therapists.
This fact reflects a continued demand for physical therapists nationwide. Physical therapists are currently experiencing a national unemployment rate of less than 1 percent. The US Department of Labor expects that physical therapist and physical therapist assistant employment will grow much faster than the national average as baby boomers continue to age.
Physical therapists reduce pain and improve or restore mobility - in many cases without expensive surgery or the side effects of prescription medications. This is especially important in today's economy in which patients are making serious decisions about their health care based on treatment costs.
A physical therapist can create an individualized treatment program that ultimately brings motion and quality of life back to the patient. A key component of physical therapist treatment is also teaching patients how to prevent and manage their condition to achieve long-term health benefits.
R Scott Ward, PT, PhD
American Physical Therapy Association