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More needs to be done to care for the physical therapy workforce.

Physical therapy is recognized as an essential health care service, yet PTs and PTAs are often excluded from state and federal programs that would incentivize individuals from pursuing careers in the field through student loan debt relief or assistance in defraying the cost of education.

Why It Matters

The need for care from PTs and PTAs is rising, but education costs are high. In order to expand the physical therapy workforce to meet this need, more needs to be done to relieve the financial pressures faced by the profession.

Our Position

APTA supports legislation, such as the Physical Therapist Workforce and Patient Access Act, that allows PTs and PTAs to access federal student loan debt forgiveness program and other incentives to pursue a career in physical therapy.

Updates

Two important pieces of legislation have been introduced that could have significant impact on the physical therapy workforce.

The Physical Therapist Workforce and Patient Access Act (H.R. 3759/S. 2676) would allow physical therapists to participate in the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program, helping to ensure that individuals in rural and underserved areas have access to needed care.

The Allied Health Workforce Diversity Act (H.R. 3320/S. 1679) would provide scholarships and stipends to accredited higher education programs to recruit qualified individuals from underrepresented backgrounds, to pursue education in physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, respiratory therapy, and audiology.

Provide your support very easily via APTA's Patient Action Center

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Recommended Content

Position Paper: Physical Therapist Workforce and Patient Access

Aug 12, 2021 / Position Paper

Position Paper: The Allied Health Work Diversity Act

Jul 15, 2021 / Position Paper


Additional Education and Workforce Legislation Advocacy Content

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The 2022 APTA Flash Action Strategy is a two-day effort to support the inclusion of PTs in the National Health Services Corps.

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District offices, town halls, maybe a visit to your clinic? Here are some topics worth mentioning.

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In an advocacy win, APTA-supported recommendations aimed at increasing veterans' access to PTs and PTAs are now part of a spending bill.

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Mar 18, 2022 / News

The APTA-backed federal legislation would provide scholarships and stipends to increase diversity in physical therapy education programs.

Toward a More Diverse Profession: 'Flash Action' Advocacy Coming Oct. 20-21

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The 2021 APTA Flash Action Strategy begins with a virtual event, followed by a two-day effort to support a proposed federal grants program.

Overhaul of Federal Loan Forgiveness Program Could Make It More Accessible

Oct 12, 2021 / News

Retooling the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program opens up the possibility of greater participation — including for some PTs and PTAs.

Workforce Diversity Bills in Congress Would Aid PT Education Programs

May 21, 2021 / News

APTA-supported bipartisan legislation would help 5 health care professions, including physical therapy, increase student diversity.

OSHA Doesn't Play: Four Tips on Workplace Compliance During the Pandemic

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OSHA has stepped up its enforcement efforts.

'Academic Capitalism,' Lack of Diverse Faculty Challenges DPT Programs

Jul 8, 2020 / Review

Researchers compared the percentage of program graduates of color with several institution characteristics — and found challenges.