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Masters in exercise science

Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:34 pm
by Daley Dee
Hi, does anyone out there know of someone who actually works in cardiac rehab?...with a masters in ex sci and ACSM certification? My undergrad is in ex sci and I'm about to begin a masters program in ex sci. Of course my undergrad and grad prof have claimed i could work in a clinical setting with ACSM cert and of course the ACSM makes this claim...they are all part of the same industry. I am researching outside and or first hand knowledge of real world potential and demand for such professionals as clinical exercise physiologists and ATC's. I realize the acual demand will vary geographically, but I'm trying to gather as diverse input as possible.

Thanks for the info and advice

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 2:43 am
by Otama
I will premise this by saying I am based in Australia. I completed my undergrad in ex.physiology and when looking for a post grad I looked at and eventually ignored M.Ex.Science or similar. Not sure where you are from but ex.physiologists in this country have an uphill battle when it comes to recognition in the health system. The main reason is the animosity held by physiotherapy. We have and will continue to take a lot of private work off them particuarly in ex. prescription and injury rehab, simply because our quals are more in line with that type of work whereas physios do little ex.prescription as part of undergrad or even honours. However, getting into a rehab role in a health system will see you confronted by the clinical leaders who are inevitably physios. Regardless of quals or experience they shun E.P's. Sour grapes? Perhaps but is my experience and many others that I know. Personally I completed a M.Clinical Rehab and am well into my doctorate. My advice is look for a post grad that distances itself, at least in name, from, especially if you are in Aus, which I doubt you are as you didnt mention AAESS. My 2 cents anyway.

Posted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 11:09 pm
by Daley Dee
Thanks otama! I am in New Orleans. The situation in the U.S. is similar the situation you've described. I originally planned, as an undergrad, to pursue physical therapy (here physical therapy...pretty much everywhere else physiotherapy..same thing right?) however, my undergrad GPA is crap. Therefore I figure to use a Masters in Ex sci for GPA inflation. At the same time, I'd like to know my pursuits will potentially have some pay case I have to work as an athletic trainer...or exercise physiologist.

You mentioned studies in Clinical Rehab...that's a curriculum that would fill the gap but is lacking in U.S. schools. The only school I found offering a program in cardiac rehab is in Canada but it's a bachelors program and isn't recognized by the States. However, I read some info in a thread on SDN forum about Bond University. Apparently they offer a two year physiotherapy program and I could take some tests and practice in the U.S. What's your take on Bond? All I know is they take a class of ~20 once/year. Do they require the GRE?


Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:39 pm
by RugbyExiSci

Interesting threads and ambitions. Perhaps I need some clarification...would you like to work in a hospital setting in cardiac rehab, or more of a physio-rehab setting such as a physical therapist or athletic trainer? The fields are miles apart.

If indeed you'd like to go into cardiac rehab, any Master's program with a clinical exercise physiology focus can fulfill your needs. Coursework should include EKG interpretation, advanced exercise prescription, advanced exercise prescription, and topical course like Exercise and Aging or Exercise and Chronic Disease states. Cardiac rehab professionals have an exercise science background, can read and interpret EKGs (ECG, same thing), and gain practical experience through practicums and internships with actual hospital programs.

Regarding finding programs, there are dozens out there, so with all due respect your search methods might not have been the best. Many Master's programs with "Exercise Physiology" or "Clinical Exercise Physiology" wil adequately prepare you, and internships will open doors. My alma mater, Ball State University (Muncie, IN) has a phenomical Clinical ExPhys program with required hours in the hospital and prepares students to work in a clinical settings.

Finally, regarding ACSM certs, you'll be looking for the Exercise Specialist or Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist certs.

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 5:56 pm
by Daley Dee
Thanks Rugby exisci!
Basically, the masters program I'm taking is structured such that the degree earned will be Health/kinesiology and the student decides on a concentration in either ex sci or athletic training-biomechanics. Regardless of concentration, I think my career options will depend on certs earned. I just want to get a feel for various job markets if in fact I choose to develop a career with just this masters.

The main reason I want to get a masters is GPA order to get into DPT school. However, since i'll be devoting two years to this masters, it would be nice to know there is potential payoff.

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 7:08 am
by Otama
Not too sure about Bond. I believe they are a purely fee paying university (here in Aus the government pays for your degrees as the norm via a payback scheme). I don't know what the Cardiac Rehab scene is like over there but here Ex.Phys with a Cardiac Rehab post grad can get work but only in the more open minded institutions and usually supervised by a physio. The Clinical Rehab post grad I did was a lot more wide ranging. Covered areas such as ABI's, pulmonary rehab, amputation, neurological disease, stroke, clin psych, CBT and others. This doesn't limit you to one clinical area but allows you to become a true rehabilitation all rounder....which means more options. For example over the years I have worked in back injury, pain mangement and for a MS society. I'm surprised the US doesn't offer any real options other than cardiac rehab.