I want to invite you to read about a recent controversial decision that has affected an entire country and would like to hear your feedback. Plus, if you agree with me on this post and you live in the United States, please write to your congressman.
I have outlined my points below.
- WHO. A non-profit organization, called Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) certifies most physical therapy / physical therapy applicants in the United States.
- Presumably, most of the income that they earn every year originate from the state governments' referrals for their exams and services and any taxpayer funded support from those respective state health boards.
- This non-profit, pseudo-government organization holds a virtual monopoly on physical therapy exams.
- As part of their service to the government and the American public, FSBPT investigates whether test exam questions are being recalled from previous test takers and are being shared.
- Their security checks attempt to ensure the protection of the American public by making sure all physical therapy exam passers have the knowledge to practice this health profession.
- WHAT. In the past, FSBPT has found cheaters in the United States and other countries.
- This time they found alleged cheaters in Manila, Philippines, specifically in one island. In particular, a review center called St. Louis Review Center (SLRC) stood out as the biggest issue "...and its alleged owners/operators, Gerard L. Martin, Roger P. Tong-An and Carlito Balita...".
- Instead of banning graduates from that review center or from that area, they banned graduates of the entire country from taking the normal NPTE exam.
- To sum it up: potential issue in one island, FSBPT bans 7,100 islands.
- When asked, if there were Philippine PT graduates that already live in the U.S. and never stepped foot in the alleged review center, would they also be banned from taking the normal exam? Answer: They are still banned. Here is their full e-mail:
- SANCTIONS AGAINST THE PHILIPPINES: Fair Action? Or Discrimination? I have officially sent a request to FSBPT today to see meeting minutes, voting records, and investigation notes to help me understand whether their decision to ban an entire country from the normal NPTE exam was fair.
- Unequal treatment? Graduates in America were also found cheating in the past and in a more recent case even provided false credentials to get into an exam. With such blatant fraud, how come U.S.-based graduates aren't also in question and aren't banned from normal NPTE exams? (Obviously, a rhetorical question. My point is, I disagree with discriminating against an entire population. Punish the criminals, not the innocents!)
- POINT #1 - Federation's Decision Hurts America's Health: America's schools has not been able to sufficiently meet the demands of an aging population. As more people retire, the needs for nurses and physical therapists have been increasing.
- In fact, the demand is so high that Wall Street Journal's Career Journal considers the PT profession to be one of the eight best and most in demand professions in America.
- As a case study, a recent article in Puget Sound Business Journal, shows that Washington has over 320,000+ unemployed individuals in public record yet they could not fill any of the physical therapy openings at Symmetry Physical Therapy's clinic. There's simply no supply.
- In my opinion, the Federation's decision to cut the supply will negatively affect patient care.
- POINT #2 - Federation's Decision Is Inhumane: The plane ticket to America, meals, hotels, the visa clearance, and the difficulty of going through U.S. immigration rules by itself, could easily cost a college graduate's family well over $5000. This is coming from a country that has a yearly per capita income of $3,300 (source: CIA World Book). In layman's terms, an average Filipino family would have to give up almost two years worth of income just to take this exam.
- POINT #3 - Federation's Decision Is Hurting Innocent People, Including Those In Poverty: The Federation has an impressive list of health professionals in their board of directors. A group of health professionals that know the in's and out's of the health industry. But the relative ease of this decision and re-affirmation of it days later is very concerning and shows a lack of depth or understanding on what they have done to thousands of families. They have punished innocent PT graduates by directly banning an entire country's graduates.
- There were innocent PT graduates that spent their family's life savings that's in the U.S. already to take the exam and now they have been told to wait one year.
- But the truth is: these applicants have to re-take all of the visa work, the immigration work, language tests, and other processes all over again!
- They have to once again find the same amount of money (nearly 2 years worth of an average family's income) because the PT graduates' visas and certificates have expiration dates. They can't stay in the U.S. indefinitely.
- As we speak, there are now people suffering from this decision -- innocent people, a significant number of which are in poverty. What happened to due process? Innocent before proven guilty?
On Sat, Jul 17, 2010 at 1:31 AM,Shana Dawkins
Testing is being halted for new PT and PTA NPTE registrations for graduates of Egyptian, Indian, Pakistani and Philippine programs. This applies even to candidates residing in the U.S. You will be required to take the NPTE-YRLY if you wish to test when it becomes available and will not be eligible until then. Separate PT and PTA examinations, called the NPTE-YRLY, will be developed for Egyptian, Indian, Pakistani and Philippine programs. The Federation estimates that the new examinations will be available in fall 2011. The plan is to continue to offer the NPTE-YRLY once a year for graduates of those programs going forward. The locations at which this test will be given have not yet been determined. This decision is final and there are no exceptions. Please contact our office by phone if you have additional questions rather than responding to this email. Thanks. Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy 124 West Street South Third Floor Alexandria, VA 22314 703-739-9420 www.fsbpt.org From: Don Sausa Sent: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 1:12 PM To: Administrator@fsbpt.org Subject: NPTE for Philippines graduate living in US? I understand there's security concerns in test/exam centers in the Philippines. How about for graduates already in the United States and are U.S. citizens living here but graduated from a Philippines school? Are those individuals banned too from taking the test? Even though they've never been to a Philippines review center?
- A CALL TO ACT!
1. You can fax FSBPT at (703) 299-3110, and call them at (703) 299-3100 and write to them at 509 Wythe Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314. You should also e-mail them at: Administrator@fsbpt.org. It is important that you send and communicate your dissatisfaction across all lines of communication, to make sure they receive the message.
2. Even if you are not a candidate, if you disagree with the discriminatory actions taken by the FSBPT that affects the life savings of thousands of candidates and applicants, you should communicate your dissatisfaction to FSBPT. Please be cordial as possible, along the lines of: "While I agree that an investigation needs to be conducted, I disagree with discriminating against an entire country."
3. If you are a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident, write to your congressman and senator. Join the petition and instantly write to your congressman.
4. Write to your attorney general's office (U.S. citizen or legal resident) and ask for an investigation on the legality of such discriminatory practices.
5. Write to your physical therapy state board body.
6. Contact all Asian and Filipino associations and ask them if they should tolerate FSBPT's discriminatory actions.
7. If you are a lawyer or know of a lawyer in your state, ask them if they know of any state statutes that FSBPT may have broken since their ban is across all states against any PT graduate from the Philippines...even if that applicant never set foot in a Philippines review center.
8. Contact physical therapy associations in your state and lobby for support.