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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.

Recommended Content

Position Paper: Physical Therapist Workforce and Patient Access

Mar 1, 2020 / Position Paper

Position Paper: The Allied Health Work Diversity Act

Jan 8, 2020 / Position Paper

Additional Education and Workforce Legislation Advocacy Content

APTA Report on PT, PTA Student Debt Delivers Stark Assessment

Jun 4, 2020 / News

The new report says that education debt limits life choices of PTs and PTAs, and describes potential costs as a "deterrent to promising students." But there may be ways to ease the burdens.

Small-Scale Study Finds Large-Scale Debt Among Recent DPT Grads

Dec 31, 2019 / Review

A limited study finds high debt-to-income ratios among PTs -- higher than newly minted family medicine physicians and veterinarians.

APTA-Backed Bill to Provide Diversity-Based Scholarships, Stipends Introduc...

Jul 10, 2019 / News

A bill seeks to provide $5 million per year in scholarships and stipends aimed at increasing diversity.

Student Loan Debt: APTA Member Sandra Norby Testifies Before House Committee

Jun 19, 2019 / Article

There is no easy fix or silver bullet to the complex problem of student debt.

Legislation to Include PTs in Student Loan Relief Program Now in House and ...

May 17, 2019 / News

Legislation that could open up student loan repayment opportunities for PTs has been introduced in the House.

Student Loan Repayment Program to Include PTs? Health Services Corps Bill R...

Apr 5, 2019 / News

Legislation that would list PTs among the professions included in a federal program to provide greater patient access to health care in rural and underserved areas.

Model Position Description for the ACCE/DCE: PTA Program

Jun 10, 2020 / Article

View model descriptions of faculty in PTA programs.