As was mentioned in the Monday posting, the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy immediately has barred graduates of Physical Therapy university programs in the Philippines, India, Egypt and Pakistan from taking the U.S. National Physical Therapy Exam. Since our post on Monday more news has come out:
- The ban impacts anyone who has received their first professional degree from a school in the four named countries. For example, an applicant presently in a United States Masters PT program would be barred from taking the NPTE if s/he previously received a degree from a Philippine university.
- The Federation has been involved in a lawsuit in the Philippines for several years. The lawsuit is based upon past incidents of alleged cheating.
- The “cheating” appears to be allegations of tests-takers memorizing questions and then regurgitating the questions to other students.
- There does not appear to be any allegation that any universities in the four countries engaged in any malfeasance. The cheating allegations are limited to certain test takers and certain review centers.
- More countries may be added to the banned list.
While the Federation needs to preserve the integrity of the test, the Federation’s remedy is overbroad and perhaps illegal. US law does not allow discrimination on the basis of national origin. US law also assures all of due process and equal protection.
The Federation will likely argue that their approach – banning graduates of Universities in the Philippines, India, Egypt and Pakistan -- is not a ban on nationals of those countries. This appears to be a distinction without a difference. The vast majority of university graduates are nationals of the country where the university is located.
MU has been working with industry leaders to craft a reply and a response to the Federation. We ask that Therapists and employers of Therapists contact their State Board of Physical Therapy to protest the Federation’s actions. If the State Boards hear from enough people, they may prompt the Federation to change their approach. Please take a minute to contact your State Board.