Physical and Occupational Therapy
For UC Davis Students
A Physical Therapist (PT) is a health professional concerned with restoration and maintenance of one's ability to function following disease or injury. Stroke victims, injured athletes, children with muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy, amputees, paraplegics and people with minor joint or muscle aches are among the patients with whom a physical therapist may work. Personal qualifications important to a physical therapist include patience, empathy and a caring attitude, emotional stability, strong interpersonal skills, sincerity, the ability to instruct and motivate, and a non-judgmental attitude. A physical therapist must also be comfortable touching and treating the human body.
For more information on PT refer to the Physical Therapy School Preparation at UC Davis handout.
Occupational therapy practitioners are skilled professionals whose education includes the study of human growth and development with specific emphasis on the social, emotional, and physiological effects of illness and injury. The occupational therapist enters the field with bachelors, masters (2-3yrs), or doctoral degree (3+yrs). The occupational therapy assistant generally earns an associate degree. Practitioners must complete supervised clinical internships in a variety of health care settings, and pass a national examination. Most states also regulate occupational therapy practice.
For more information on OT refer to the Occupational Therapy Preparation at UC Davis handout.
Health Sciences Advising has advising staff who are eager to assist you in your quest towards becoming a Physical or Occupational Therapist.