The Long March: The Pathway of Physiotherapy Towards Independent Practice

Document Type

Short Survey

Publication Date



The Long March is a review of the origins and development of the Physical Therapy profession in the United States since the beginning of the 20th century. It shows the evolution experienced since that time of its professional profile, name and academic training received. It is shown how the relationship between the physical therapist and physician has grown and evolved into a relationship of mutual respect and of improvement in the professional practice.On the other hand, the principal milestones in the long march of the physical therapy profession from the time of its birth as a profession that was totally dependent on the physician to its current status as a profession with professionals having a deep science base and high university level training who are able to practice and freely govern their profession without external control are presented.