Physical therapy is an essential healthcare service that helps individuals recover from various injuries and illnesses. Physical therapists, also known as DPTs, play a vital role in the healthcare industry. However, there still needs to be some clarification regarding whether we can call a DPT a doctor.

What is DPT?

DPT stands for Doctor of Physical Therapy. It is a doctoral degree that prepares individuals to become licensed physical therapists. A DPT program typically takes three years to complete after earning a bachelor's degree.

Education and Training of a DPT:

To become a DPT, one must complete a rigorous education and training program. The coursework includes anatomy, physiology, neuroscience, pharmacology, and kinesiology. Students also undergo clinical training, which provides them with hands-on experience in diagnosing and treating patients. After completing the DPT program, graduates must pass the National Physical Therapy Examination to become licensed physical therapists.

Role and Responsibilities of a DPT:

The primary role of a DPT is to help individuals recover from injuries and illnesses that affect their movement and mobility. DPTs work with patients of all ages, from infants to the elderly. They evaluate patients' conditions, develop treatment plans, and help them achieve their functional goals. DPTs also educate patients on preventing future injuries and maintaining their physical health.

Difference between MD and DPT:

While both MDs and DPTs are healthcare professionals, there are some critical differences between the two. MDs diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries through medication, surgery, or other medical interventions. DPTs, on the other hand, specialise in physical therapy and focus on improving patients' movement and mobility. While both professions require extensive education and training, the focus of their practice is different.

Can we call DPT a Doctor?

The answer is yes; we can call a DPT a doctor. DPTs have earned doctoral degrees, and they have licensed healthcare professionals who provide a valuable service to their patients. Calling a DPT a doctor is not meant to confuse or mislead patients. Instead, it recognizes these professionals' hard work and dedication to their education and training.


In conclusion, DPTs are licensed healthcare professionals with a doctoral degree in physical therapy. They play a vital role in the healthcare industry by helping patients recover from injuries and illnesses that affect their movement and mobility. While there may be some confusion regarding whether we can call a DPT a doctor, the answer is yes. DPTs have worked hard to earn their degree and licence, and calling them a doctor recognizes their dedication and expertise in their field. As a society, we should respect and appreciate the hard work of all healthcare professionals, including DPTs. Read more here!