You are the most important member of you own health care team, and you are entitled to choose the most appropriate health care professional to meet you goals.


You have the freedom to choose your own physical therapist. Most states allow you to go directly to a physical therapist without getting a physician’s referral first. Currently, 46 states allow people to go directly to a physical therapist without a physician’s referral (all but Alabama, Indiana, Michigan, and Oklahoma). Virginia has Direct Access.

Keep in mind that your insurance policy may require a visit to the primary care physician first or may limit your access to preferred providers only.

Your physician may refer you for physical therapy that is to be provided in the physician’s office, or to a facility in which the physician has a financial interest. If this is your situation, be aware that you have the RIGHT TO CHOOSE your own physical therapist and that you are NOT OBLIGATED to receive physical therapy in any specific facility. Always insist that your physical therapy be provided by a licensed physical therapist.

Physical therapists who are members of the APTA are bound by the Associations’ Code of Ethics and are especially committed to providing competent and compassionate care.