Top 5 reasons why my APTA Membership Matters

by Dr. Phil on April 21, 2014

After recognizing the American Physical Therapy Association‘s “Membership Matters” last week, I wanted to give you my top 5 reasons that I’ve been a member of the APTA since I was a PT student at LSU…over 20 years ago (Geaux Tigers!)

I am a member of several professional organizations, and try to participate as much as possible beyond paying dues and reading the journals. I know that time is a main limiting factor for most of us, but for something that you believe in, you’ll make the time.

It starts with what you believe in.

But before my top 5 reasons for being an APTA member, I want to tell you 5 things that I believe in when it comes to being a member of any organization:

  • Structure: There has to be structure and clearly defined roles. Someone has to be responsible for specific things without overlapping roles in the organization. Most importantly, it should be streamlined & efficient.
  • Leadership: You need to have someone or a few people who are actual ‘leaders’…those who are respected and can actually do things as well as ask people to do things for the organization.
  • Cooperation: There will be differing opinions both within and outside the organization, but there has to be a ‘middle ground’ or win-win situation.
  • Communication: Again, both within the organization and outside of the organization, communication is essential! Today’s world of social media and email have vastly improved that opportunity, but the content remains key.
  • Purpose Beyond: Most importantly, an organization should serve beyond their members, ‘giving back’ and benefiting others.

Why APTA Membership Matters

So, with that as my “belief system” for membership in an organization, here are my Top 5 Reasons that I’m an APTA member:

1. Organizing a membership of PT professionals in a variety of settings, offering annual meetings, continuing education opportunities, and supporting sections and chapters.

2. Involvement and advocacy from the national to local level in governmental affairs, regulations, reimbursement, and practice acts.

3. Interaction and collaboration with other organizations & other professions to protect our profession, but also learn to work together as healthcare providers

4. Regular communication with members thru email, as well as communication within the community, providing a ‘voice’ for physical therapy as a profession.

5. Promoting PT month activities in the community and  supporting PT research through the Foundation for Physical Therapy

So, as you can see, the APTA fits my 5 criteria for being a member.

Think about the criteria you believe are needed to join an organization.

But before thinking about your criteria, you should notice that I didn’t mention all the other tangible benefits that come with membership, like the monthly journal, discounts on meetings and education products, access to research, and much more!

Still not convinced?

Even with all that, you may still ask, “What has the APTA done for me?” Well, there is a lot going on behind the scenes that the typical APTA member (and non-member for that matter) doesn’t see. But if you don’t get involved, you’ll never see the benefits!

So if you’re not a member, I encourage you to try it out. If you are a member, I encourage you to get more involved.

I believe our physical therapy profession needs the APTA. Without the APTA, we would not have a united voice for regulatory or reimbursement issues; we would not have protection of our profession; we would not be collaborating or “at the table” with other professions. If you don’t join for yourself, join for your professionjoin for your career, and for your passion.



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