Every physiotherapist  has this question, Should I do generalised practice or specialised physiotherapy practice?

In academics we have clear demarcation of physiotherapy speciality based on our masters program and teaching speciality. Whereas in private practice 90 % physiotherapist tend to choose generalised physiotherapy practice. Where they will provide all types of services depending on the need of patients. They will provide combined physiotherapy services of musculoskeletal, neuro, cardio-respi, community and sports physiotherapy services. You can be more focused in the same field as well. for example

  1. In musculeskeletal physiotherapy, there few therapist made their name specialised Physiotherapy, such as manual therapist, spine specialist, knee specialist, shoulder specialist, joint replacement rehab specialist.
  2. In neuro rehab there therapist are known for their specialised work in Peads physiotherapy, Adult physiotherapy, geriatrics etc.
  3. In Cardio respi, ICU therapist, Cardiac rehab therapist, respiratory therapist, Fitness instructor / therapist
  4. In Community health  physiotherapy, Industrial therapist, Community therapist, environmental assessment therapist, women’s health therapist etc.
  5. Sports physiotherapists based on different sport, athletic therapist, cricket physio, football physio, badminton physio, kabbadi physio… etc.
  6. Aquatic therapy this is also emerging field in India. It helps to make you unique.
  7. Pet therapy/ animal therapy.

It depends on phase of your Currier, Initial phase of your Currier generalised physiotherapy practice is good. This will give you exposure to all types of therapy practices. Based on this you can select your field of physiotherapy practice. But if you have selected your field of interest start doing specilised physiotherapist. Specilist are more appreciated in the industry than generalised. Later phase  of currier you should always focus on specialised physiotherapy practice. You can select musculoskeletal rehab, neuro rehab, sports rehab, cardio- respi rehab or community rehab.




Generalised physiotherapy Specialised physiotherapy
Time of Currier Initial stage Late stage
Cost effectiveness Get paid early Get paid late
Get paid less because everyone is giving generalised PT so more competition. Get highly paid because of specialised work in their field
Competition Extensive competition

Red ocean strategy

Need to outwork than others

Less competition

Blue ocean strategy

Only few people to compete

Only competition is with yourself

Training requirement Does not need extensive training. Average knowledge and training is good enough to start. but may require continuous training to outlast others and stay in the lead It requires extensive training in the field of specialised therapy. Ones you are more skilful in the speciality is becomes very easy to survive and develop faster.
Scope of growth Start is easy but growth is very difficult due extensive competition Start is slow but ones you get more skilful growth is more easy
Advertising and marketing Requires extensive marketing and advertising to be noticed in the crowd of generalised physiotherapist Requires les marketing and advertising to be noticed in the crowd of generalised physiotherapist. Being specialised itself give you advantage.
Recognition by community Community recognises their work but still doesn’t get highly appreciated specialist are well recognised and appreciated well by community
Customer size


large customer size. You will get more patients but the payment structure has to be in accordance with other therapist in your community Small customer size. Here there are less number of patients but you get paid well because of your expertise in the special field.
Brand equity It is very difficult to develop a brand equity It is very easy to develop a brand equity


Fortunately i had decided to go in neuro physiotherapy in BPTh first year. Because  i used to understand neuro anatomy very well. so it created interest in neuro physiotherapy. After completion of my graduation i decided to work in specialised field of neuro physiotherapy. Although initially i was not very good in neuro physio, but because of my work in neuro physiotherapy, people started to recognise me with neuro physiotherapy. This helped me to grow faster in neuro physiotherapy. Initially in neuro also i used practice adult and paeds neuro both. But my Mentor who is specialised in paediatric neuro physiotherapy guided me to start focusing any one thing. She suggested me to work in adult neuro, as there are very few people who are specialsed in adult neuro. This was a great advised for me. Up to 2007 i used to practice Adult and peads neuro . But after 2007 i focused mainly on adult neuro. That created my fortune in adult neuro rehab. In adult neuro also i focused my work in stroke rehab, spinal cord injury rehab and head injury rehab. All these choices helped to grow in the field of neuro physiotherapy.

I must admit  ” I am not great in neuro rehab, i am associated with neuro rehab !” .

It is my choice of getting associated only with one specialised field help me to be best in neuro rheab. This made easy for us to create our brand.

In the end i conclude that, specialised practice is always better than generalised physiotherapy practice. People who are in specialised practice get paid more than others are. My personal recommendation is,  to be specialised physiotherapist than giving general physiotherapy. But i also suggest you to make your own choice based on your need, interest, interest and area of practice.


References videos. 

  1. Multiple Streams of Income: Do They Work?

In this video Patrick BeT David explains very well importance specialization vs Generalised business. Although he is explaining this with example of multiple sources of income. but it also apply to our present question of debate. link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svGz-0GXXcM


  1. Best of Dr Vivek Bindra | Monopoly | Blue Ocean Strategy | Entry Barrier | Case Study in Hindi. 


  1. Brand Equity  | Dr. Vivek Bindra

Are You Unique Or The Best ?/ Vivek Bindra


Monopolistic Success Formula Motivational Video For Students In Hindi By Vivek Bindra

Published by GajananBhalerao

DR. GAJANAN BHALERAO (PT) MPTh Neuro, NDT Adult (USA), Motor relearning (Australia), Aquatic therapist (Switzerland). Associate professor at Sancheti Institute College of physiotherapy, Shivajinagar, Pune. Founder Director of "School of neuro rehab and aquatic therapy" , speciality centre for neuro rehabilitation of stroke, brain and spinal cord injury. Mobile : 9822623701 Email:Gajanan_bhalerao@yahoo.com, gajanan.neurophysio@gmail.com

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