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20 mai

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Masso-physiotherapy training



Physiotherapy is therapy for hindered movement. The manual approach is what defines this profession.
Physiotherapists treat and/or prevent the consequences illnesses or accidents may have on movement. They aim to accelerate a patient's return to an active lifestyle and to help them regain their normal life. For this purpose, physiotherapists use special techniques: massage, stimulus (active or passive), electrotherapy, hydro-balneotherapy, braces and other supporting apparatus, neuromuscular techniques, respiratory and cardiac re-education, medical gymnastic exercises. They may also use different educational, training, prevention, monitoring and screening techniques in joint collaboration with other healthcare professionals, and also work to enhance cosmetic appearance, hygiene and sports performance.

Physiotherapists are much more than a technician providing treatment - they are also responsible for therapeutic decisions based on their physiotherapeutic diagnosis. They perform an analysis that provides a structure for their approach; this is individually tailored to take the patient's full situation into account, and is shared with him or her via a "treatment plan".

From infants (even premature) to the elderly, physiotherapists treat all types of patient. Looking at causal ailments, besides those traditionally addressed using masso-physiotherapy -  rheumatology, orthopaedics-traumatology, neurology, respiratory and cardio-vascular illnesses - physiotherapists are now involved in many other pathologies: uro-gynaeco-proctology, ENT problems, maxillo-facial pathologies, dizziness etc. 

This is a profession that is constantly evolving, due to the development of modern medical and surgical techniques and the aging population. In this specific case treatment needs are being directed towards medico-social solutions.


In the Midi-Pyrenees and across the nation, approximately 80% of physiotherapists are self-employed and 20% are employees. According to the Ministère de la Santé et des Solidarités, there are 77 professionals for every 100,000 inhabitants (Mainland France as at 1/1/2004). In the Midi-Pyrenees, the figure is 90 with 105 in the Haute-Garonne and 69 in the Gers. Moving within your region or to another region may therefore be necessary to find stable, permanent work.

Self-employed professionals generally practise at a practice, alone or as part of a group. Work is usually divided between home visits and in-practice treatment. Patients pay at the appointment. The cost of treatment is stipulated according to the general payscale for auxiliary medical professional services (set by ministerial decree).

In hospital, physiotherapists are usually allotted to a specialist department. Work is then organised according to the discipline in question. Public sector physiotherapists (public hospitals) are subject to the statute of book IX of the Code de la Santé.

In institutions, re-education centres, retirement homes, medical teaching institutes etc. physiotherapists practise according to the establishment's recruitment guidelines. Physiotherapists who are employees in the private sector are governed by collective agreements.



The Institut de formation en masso-kinésithérapie (IFMK - Physiotherapy Training Institute) is accredited by the Ministère de la Santé.  The qualification is issued by the Ministère de la Santé.

      N.B. the course is held at the Toulouse Rangueil and Toulouse Purpan faculties of medicine.

Students who wish to pursue studies in medicine, physiotherapy, odontology and midwifery are grouped in the first year within the Toulouse-Purpan and Toulouse-Rangueil faculties of medicine.

    • Admission can only be granted after an initial, compulsory year in medicine (PCEM 1). Students ranked high enough at the end of the final competitive examination are allowed to register for the 2nd year in medicine, 2nd year in odontology, 1st year in physiotherapy or 1st year in midwifery.
    • The number of places available in each stream is set nationally each year by the Ministère de la Santé (2005 quota for the IFMK:  45 places).
    • Subjects and weightings are the same for all four streams.
    • Applicants ranked in the competitive examination choose their stream based on their ranking.
    • Applicants are only allowed to register twice.
    • Applicants ranked at the end of the 1st year may re-register for a second year in PCEM 1 in an aim to improve their ranking if they have not been ranked high enough for their chosen stream.
    • Applicants who fail for two years in a row may make no further attempts to study medicine, odontology, physiotherapy or midwifery.

Additional information

Toulouse Rangueil Medical Faculty:
Tel. 05 62 88 90 00

Toulouse Purpan Medical Faculty:
Tel. 05 61 14 59 07

First cycle General Secretariat:
Tel. 05 62 88 90 15

Last updated October 19, 2011

Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - 118 route de Narbonne 31062 TOULOUSE CEDEX 9 téléphone +33 (0)5 61 55 66 11