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Blog #11 - Less than 10% of Physiotherapy Students Experience a Private Practice Placement Before th

There seems to be a struggle on both sides of the street, the University Street would like us private practitioners to take on students for clinical placements in private practice to give them the opportunity to experience a private practice prior to graduation.

The Private Practice Street would love to take graduates but are fearful and time poor with the following concerns;

- Who will look after the graduate while they are on placement?

- Will I have to take a staff member off a caseload to mentor the student?

- Can a student treat patients?

- Can I charge patients for treatment with student?

- Who covers their insurance or professional indemnity if something goes wrong?

- Do we get any remuneration for taking on a student in clinical placement?

Here is the overall concern for the profession and graduating students, you see many students lack experience in a private practice placement and yet the model has changed. Gone are the days where it was highly recommended you go into the hospital system first for 12 months then progress to private practice, many graduates are stepping straight into our private practices with not a great deal of past experience in a privatised model of care. It is no one's fault, but the trend is changing fast and of course private practice owners don't feel graduates are ready for private practice and graduates feel they are not entirely ready for private practice but have no desire to start a career in the public system.

So what is the solution??

There needs to be a bridging of the gap between undergraduate and private practice for graduates.

We have toiled over this topic for a while now, it is time for action and here it is.


1. Engaging stakeholders in physiotherapy student placement in primary care practice. Submitted by:Monash University. In partnership with:Peninsula Health. December, 2013.

2. Clinical education in private practice: an interdisciplinary project.

Doubt L, et al. J Allied Health. 2004.

3. How do we care for our students? A three-year follow-up of medical, nursing, physiotherapy and occupational therapy students in Sweden. Klang B, et al. J Interprof Care. 2005.

4. Reflections from the SPA Conference workshop: Speech Pathology placements in private practice settings

Published on July 29th, 2015

Written by: Andrew Glancey

5. A review of non-traditional occupational therapy practice placement education: a focus on role-emerging and project placements Amber Overton,1 Michele Clark1,2 and Yvonne Thomas1

6. Graduate Readiness for Private Practice, Dr Cherie Wells

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