19 July 2010
By Kumar Manish
Decision Taken After Test Paper Leak
A major chunk of Indian PT students in the US hails from Gujarat. They feel victimised as they believe that Indian students have been unnecessarily dragged into this controversy for no fault of theirs.
The decision by the US authorities has badly affected the students from Gujarat. Rashesh Patel, 23, a physiotherapy graduate from Ahmedabad, was upbeat after bagging a job in a New York hospital which he was to join this year. Patel said,“I had an offer letter from a US hospital to work as physiotherapist but now it seems a distant dream.”
“National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) clearance is a must for working as physiotherapist in the US but currently Indian students are barred from appearing in the exam,” he said.
Recently, Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) suspended NPTE tests for PT graduates from the India, Philippines, Egypt, and Pakistan until fall of next year.
Another student, Urvi Patel, a graduate from KM Patel Institute of Physiotherapy, Karamsad, had hoped of making it to the US. Patel said,“I had already applied for my H1B visa for the US but after the Indian students were suspended from NPTE, it is no more possible. Earlier, NPTE used to be held after an interval of three months and result would come shortly but now the rules have been changed arbitrarily.”
“One of my friends who is in the US on a student visa had applied to take the NPTE exam but is now fearing that her scores would be invalidated,” Patel said.
Currently, more than nurses, PT practitioners are high in demand in the US. Ritika Bansal, proprietor of medical outsourcing solutions, said,“More than 1,000 students in Gujarat are completing physiotherapy courses annually and hundreds of them apply jobs in the US. They had spent their hard earned money in getting education and wanted to appear in the licensing exam but are now left in lurch.”
According to FSBPT, the reason behind the suspension are security breaches. The official website of FSBPT states: In response to pervasive, ongoing security breaches by significant numbers of graduates of physical therapy schools from certain foreign countries, the FSBPT will suspend NPTE testing for all graduates of schools located in those countries, pending the development of a separate, secure exam for those graduates (to be called the NPTE–YRLY). The affected individuals will include all graduates of physical therapy schools in Egypt, India, Pakistan and the Philippines.