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In most jurisdictions, "physical therapist" is a protected title that can be used only by licensed individuals with proven competencies who have satisfied educational requirements. What if an individual meets the criteria to be called a physical therapist (PT) but elects to stop practicing under the title? Consider the following scenario.

Documentation Dodge

Fitness, wellness, and physical activity always have been important to Tina, who played multiple sports as a teenager and even now constantly is training for a road race or marathon. She set her sights on physical therapy as a career after she sustained a knee injury while in high school, avoiding surgery and returning to the playing field quickly thanks to treatment by a PT.

Her first job out of PT school is at a traditional private practice that doesn’t offer wellness services. Tina learns a lot from the experience—including 2 key things about herself: (1) what she most wants to do professionally is help individuals without pathologies live healthy and active lives, and (2) she really dislikes all the paperwork that’s required to be reimbursed for physical therapy services. Accordingly, after she’s spent a few years honing her clinical skills, Tina decides to open a solo, cash-based practice, with a particular emphasis on fitness and wellness services.

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