Powerful Geography
Physical Therapist

Physical Therapist

Physical Therapist


Main Topic: Human Geography
Secondary Topic: Environment and Society

Overview: Physical Therapists provide care for patients with mobility problems stemming from injuries, surgeries, or chronic issues. They work directly with patients, crafting exercise and strength building plans of care that are personalized for different types of issues, diagnose issues and movements, evaluate their progress throughout their care period, and educating patients and their families about what to expect in their recovery and how they can benefit from a healthy and active lifestyle. They can work in hospitals, independent clinics, nursing homes, or provide care in the patient’s home. Physical Therapists can specialize in different types of care, from sport injury rehabilitation, geriatric care, pediatrics, orthopedics, or even oncology. They typically work within a team alongside nurses, doctors, and surgeons to ensure that patients are receiving the proper care they are needing, and to communicate any issues or changes that might occur throughout their treatment.

Geographic knowledge is a useful tool in the medical profession, even for physical therapists. For example, understanding the demographic make-up of the city in which they are practicing would tell them if the majority of the population is older, thus needing more geriatric specialized care. Or, if there is a dominant job industry such as agriculture, construction, or mining that would lead to chronic pain issues in patients.

Geographers at work: Human geographers, medical geographers, health geographers

Recommended College Courses:  Human geography, World Geography, Location Analysis, Geography of Health, Environmental Geography

Skills: Human geography, cultural geography, health geography and patterns

Occupation Group: Healthcare

Learn more about Physical Therapists from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapists.htm#tab-1

Written by Ally Schlandt


Physical therapists help injured or ill people improve movement and manage pain.
Physical therapists help injured or ill people improve movement and manage pain.