Applicants are expected to act professionally in all of their dealings with PTCAS and the physical therapist programs. Applicants are expected to properly follow instructions and meet deadlines. Responsibility, respect, good judgment, and cooperation are qualities valued by the physical therapy profession; applicants are expected to demonstrate these qualities beginning with the application process. Read the Applicant Responsibilities section.
APTA has identified seven core values (.pdf) that define the critical elements of professionalism in physical therapy. These core values are listed below in alphabetical order with no preference or ranking given to these values. The seven values identified were of sufficient breadth and depth to incorporate the many values and attributes that are part of physical therapist professionalism.
For each core value listed, the list that follows explicates these values by providing a core value definition and sample indicators (not exhaustive) that describe what the physical therapist would be doing in practice, education, and/or research if these core values were present.
Accountability is active acceptance of the responsibility for the diverse roles, obligations, and actions of the physical therapist including self-regulation and other behaviors that positively influence patient/client outcomes, the profession and the health needs of society.
Altruism is the primary regard for or devotion to the interest of patients/clients, thus assuming the fiduciary responsibility of placing the needs of the patient/client ahead of the physical therapist's self interest.
Compassion is the desire to identify with or sense something of another's experience; a precursor of caring. Caring is the concern, empathy, and consideration for the needs and values of others.
Excellence is physical therapy practice that consistently uses current knowledge and theory while understanding personal limits, integrates judgment and the patient/client perspective, embraces advancement, challenges mediocrity, and works toward development of new knowledge.
Steadfast adherence to high ethical principles or professional standards; truthfulness, fairness, doing what you say you will do, and "speaking forth" about why you do what you do.
Professional duty is the commitment to meeting one's obligations to provide effective physical therapy services to individual patients/clients, to serve the profession, and to positively influence the health of society.
Social responsibility is the promotion of a mutual trust between the profession and the larger public that necessitates responding to societal needs for health and wellness.