PUTNAM COUNTY, N.Y. -- The face of physical therapy is changing. In accordance with the American Physical Therapy Association's “Vision 2020” initiative, by 2020 physical therapy will be provided by therapists with doctoral degrees, changing a profession that once required only a bachelor’s degree to practice.
Putnam Hospital Center's Rehabilitation Department is already working to reach that vision, as several therapists have received a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in recent years. While physical therapists coming out of school are required to receive their doctoral degrees, those who earned their bachelor’s or master’s degrees in the past are exempt from the requirement.
Still, many therapists at Putnam Hospital Center are motivated by a desire to better serve their patients, and return to school to learn more.
“While delivering physical therapy care is the same, we are now better qualified to recognize other medical issues and guide patients to the most appropriate healthcare provider when necessary," said James Mangano, a physical therapist who received his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in August. He has worked at Putnam Hospital Center for 17 years, primarily at the Pawling location for the past six years.
A doctoral degree takes about three years to complete, and includes courses in foundational sciences such as pharmacology, radiology, differential diagnosis and evidence-based practice. “We are skilled in guiding our patients in making the most informed decisions about their own healthcare,” said Vicki Seppell, a physical therapist who specializes in vestibular therapy.
Seppell has worked at Putnam Hospital Center for 15 years and received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in June 2015. She is among the seven physical therapists at the hospital and its satellite offices with that degree. At the Putnam Hospital Center are Donna DiFabio, Praveen Issac and Kirsi Vera. At the Katonah location are Jeanne Morgante and Hannah Clark Polhill.
To learn more about rehabilitation therapies, call 845-279-1785 or click here.