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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

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

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

Oct 15, 2021 / News

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

Nov 25, 2020 / Perspective

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.

Lessons From COVID-19: We're Working for Change That Outlasts the Pandemic

Jun 15, 2020 / Roundup

An emergency regulatory relief order is an opportunity to share our ideas on making lasting change at several federal agencies.

2020 APTA House of Delegates Recap

Jun 10, 2020 / News

The 2020 APTA House of Delegates made important decisions — and demonstrated its adaptability.

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.