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Choosing the APTA and IPTA as a student

Monday, December 4, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Matthew Nicholas
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Choosing the APTA and IPTA as a student

By: Jason Magafas, SPTA IPTA SSIG SPTA DirectorMany times in our lives we will be asked to spend money.  Sometimes it’s on things that are necessary and other times for optional things.  Joining the APTA and IPTA is technically, an optional thing in our lives.  However, the benefit of joining are immense.  There are many things I hear about why my fellow students do not become members of the IPTA:  Membership is too expensive, the APTA and IPTA don’t do anything for me as a student, and that it’s just not worth it.  

Well my friends, allow me to dispel these myths for you.

So, you think that membership is too expensive?  Well let’s look at the cost.  For any student the APTA charges $80 and the IPTA charges $15 for a total of $95.   That is a lot for a student with no income to pay in one sitting, but there is an easy payment option.   Over 6 months you can pay this in small increments bringing the total cost down to $16 a month for 6 months, making it cheaper than a year of Netflix or Spotify.  Becoming a member is also an investment.  The more the APTA and IPTA do for us as professionals, the easier it will be to market ourselves when we graduate, and that means more money in our pockets in the long run!  Also that $16 a month also gives us huge discounts for 5 years on our future dues, 50% off professional membership dues in the first year!

What is the APTA and IPTA doing for us as students?   Well, let me tell you about some amazing financial aid options available to us.   The APTA works with Enrich Financial to offer debt repayment to members of the APTA, making it easier for us to continue on our education.   The IPTA has a yearly student support funding opportunities to send members to the national APTA conference such as Combined Sections Meeting (CSM), NEXT Conference & Expo, and National Student Conclave (NSC).  Going to these events is an amazing resume builder, networking opportunity, and learning experience!  There are also #ThirdThursdays, a free CE opportunity for IPTA members.  While we may not be able to apply the CE hours for ourselves, attending can boost our resume’s and show employers that we are committed to bettering ourselves, giving us a step above non-members.

So, is it still not worth it to you?  Just from the above, we see that being a member and using the benefits builds our resumes and offers us networking opportunities.  With all that, there is an IPTA benefit that all of us students should join for; mentors.  You can find a mentor who currently works in the field and specializes in certain topics, such as ortho, neuro, aquatics, etc…  By contacting them you can ask to shadow them and see real life patients and apply what you see to skill checks, tests, quizzes, and assignments.   Many of us are visual or tactile learners, and not being able to see how a patient who has had a TKA or PD moves leaves us struggling.  Now there won’t be any questions of “well, where should I go observe to see these sorts of things?”   You can find a mentor, ask to shadow, and observe in real time!

The last thing I want to talk to you about, is the professional research articles available to APTA members.  The APTA has multiple databases that members are allowed to access.   Not only that but at the click of the button you can search for an article across all databases at the click of a button.   Think of it like Expedia…for research.  So if your school doesn’t have access to databases, or the database you do have doesn’t have a research article that you want, then you’ll be in luck joining the APTA.   With this kind of easy access, what is the actual cost of joining the APTA?   In this author’s personal opinion...I’m gaining money by joining the APTA and IPTA.  I’m not spending, I’m investing.  Investing in my future, investing in my career.   So the only question is, why aren’t you investing too?

These are just some of the surface things that are provided to members.  If you want to learn more feel free to contact me, Jason Magafas, SPTA (SSIG SPTA Director) at, ask a current APTA/IPTA member, or join yourself and explore the vast number of options that are available to us!

Share your thoughts! Comment below!

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Study Resources for Current Students

  • PTNow ArticleSearch
    APTA's portal to evidence-based practice provides access to several databases and health care literature from ProQuest, Joanna Briggs Institute, the Cochrane Library, and more.
  • Physical Therapy (PTJ)
    The profession's premier scientific journal covering the full scope of physical therapist practice.
  • APTA Policies & Bylaws
    This page contains APTA bylaws, positions, standards, guidelines, policies, and procedures, as passed by APTA's House of Delegates and Board of Directors.
  • APTA Core Documents
    Includes the 'Code of Ethics for the Physical Therapist' and the 'Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant.'


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