Objectives: To identify physiotherapy students’ preferences about their prospective area of practice and the reasons for their choices. Methods: Tel-Aviv University physiotherapy students participated in a cross-sectional survey and three open-ended questions that comprise the qualitative component of the study. At the very beginning of their studies, and at the end of the first to fourth years, participants were asked about their area of preference, the factors that shaped their choice, and the reasons for prospective changes in their preference. Results: In total, 289 students filled out the survey. Response rate was 68%. Interest in some areas of practice such as pediatrics remained stable throughout years of physiotherapy studies. In contrast, interest in other areas such as sports declined and interest in others such as rehabilitation increased. The open-ended questions yielded 1,616 codes sorted into five categories that shaped the students’ preferences: “I/Me /My” the largest category, followed by “the physiotherapy studies program” and then the relational focused “physiotherapy practice.” The number of codes for “working conditions” and “work-life balance” increased steeply with the progression of the studies and the age of the students. Conclusions: The choice for areas of practice of physiotherapy students vary during their professional formation. During their professional development, their preferences are shaped by their personal feelings, interest in and past experience with the specific areas of practice, as well as their practical exposure, experiences in practicums, and theoretical studies. Millennial physiotherapists prefer areas of practice in which personal as well as relational considerations are core.
- Physiotherapy students
- physiotherapy practice area
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation