Do You Call A Physical Therapist A Doctor | HealthTipsrox

Do you call a physical therapist or a doctor? People often say that you shouldn’t call a physical therapist a doctor or take advice from them, but are they really doctors? Physical therapists don’t practice medical or surgical treatment of injuries, they work to prevent, assess and rehabilitate injuries. They require an undergraduate degree and a master’s degree.

Check out this article for more information on the differences between a medical doctor and a physical therapist!

Do You Call A Physical Therapist A Doctor: The Forgotten Doctors!

Physical therapists aren’t doctors, but the patients and the general public often address a physical therapist or are called “doctors” or “Dr.”. They have advanced degrees in their field of study a doctor of physical therapy abbreviation of DPT and are licensed to practice in all 50 states, but that doesn’t mean they’re physicians.

It depends on what the jurisdiction is. Some states, like California, require licensure for individuals to call themselves therapists or doctors. Many PTs across the US are licensed by either state licensure boards or other special boards (like the military). Check with your local school to find out if they’re accredited through any of them.

What Is The Difference Between A Doctor And A Physical Therapist?

In the medical community, both a doctor and a physical therapist have some similarities. And this leads to the concept of physical therapists calling themselves doctors. The main distinguishing between medical doctors vs physical therapists are here for you:


A physiatrist has spent years studying how the body works and since they have completed an internship, and residency, and are board-certified in medicine while physical therapists only study for 3 years after college.

Physiatrists know what makes up the human body on a deeper level as well which is why their training makes them better equipped to treat injuries or illnesses that affect your musculoskeletal system such as back pain from herniated discs”


In cases like this, the physiatrist takes a leading role in diagnosing and managing musculoskeletal issues. The patient’s doctor designs a comprehensive treatment plan based on their findings and oversees its execution with the help of physical therapists who check back in every now and again to make sure it works effectively.

A physical therapist is someone you can trust to carry out orders from your MD about how best to manage certain health problems at hand; they do not have nearly as much say as an actual physician would when it comes down to making decisions that could affect one’s life for years after recovery but are still very important nonetheless!

Initial Visit:

When a patient visits for physical medicine and rehabilitation diagnosis at any health center, the physiatrist conducts an initial examination to formulate their treatment plan. The next step is when patients visit with the PT who assembles a team of specialists whom they will consult so as to determine all facets of their body before formulating their individualized care plans.

After diagnosing patients through consultation with various doctors, therapists are able to share information from different perspectives which allows them to create specialized rehab programs for specific populations like athletes or children. The physical therapist also collaborates closely in order to make sure continuity between medical treatments and specialist follow-up after discharge home.


Physical therapists and psychiatrists work closely together to design the most effective treatment plan. They each bring their own expertise into play, with physical therapists focusing on helping patients regain movement and strength while physiologists focus on underlying medical issues that require rehabilitation.

The information from the diagnosis is used by both parties in order to create a well-rounded individualized treatment protocol for every patient; this may include pain management techniques such as ice or electrical stimulation therapy if desired.


A physiatrist will not be the one who works with a patient day to day until they reach their rehabilitation goals. Instead, it would be the physical therapist that does this important work. A physiatrist visit during evaluation or in emergencies where needing medical assistance is necessary at regular intervals of time instead of every single day like when working with a physical therapist.

It’s important to note that there are two types of physical therapists: a physiatrist and a regular therapist.

A regularly sized therapy team will include the patient, their family members or friends, other caregivers like nurses and occupational therapists, and assistants who work with them on specific treatments such as exercises for stretching out certain muscles in order to prevent contractures from setting in due to prolonged bed rest after surgery or injury; but they would not visit daily unlike those working under an institution at which patients are sent when hospitalized because it’s usually required by law.

Why You Shouldn’t Call A Physical Therapist A Doctor?

The New York Times published an article on the confusion of whether or not people with various medical licenses should be called “doctors.” The author and interviewee were concerned that if everyone began calling themselves doctors, it would no longer have any meaning for those who are trained in medicine.

They believe this is due to many fields such as physical therapy requiring extensive schooling but still allowing individuals to claim they’re a doctor because there’s nothing stopping them from doing so. Does this help to make the answer of Is a physical therapist a Medical Doctor?

Do Physical Therapists Deserve To Be Called “Doctors?”

A. Physical therapists are highly trained medical professionals who diagnose injuries and treat them through movement-based therapies like massage, exercise therapy, heat/ice packs, and electrical stimulation. They work closely with your physician to provide an integrated approach that helps get you back on track as quickly as possible. So next time someone asks are physical therapists doctors? – say yes! They deserve it!

B. After all, they have the same level of education and training as doctors but without the years of residency or board certification requirements (which means fewer student loans). Plus, doctors of physical therapy salary on average is $20k less than physicians per year which makes us even better value for money in this economy!

So don’t be shy – let’s stand together against these misconceptions that only serve to keep patients from getting the best care available today…and at a lower cost too!! Let’s make sure everyone knows what we really do!!! Call yourself a Doctor if you think it fits!!! If you’re a Physical Therapist, you can use these tips too.


Physical therapists are not considered doctors, but do you call a medical doctor a physical therapist? Doctors practice medical or surgical treatment of injuries or illnesses while physical therapists work to prevent, assess and rehabilitate injuries. Medical doctors require an undergraduate degree and master’s degree in the field whereas physical therapy requires an undergraduate degree plus a 4-year graduate program.

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