According to the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), 2,073 PTs earned board certification, and 650 PTs earned re-certification, in 2016.

“Certified clinical specialists play a critical role in the provision of high quality physical therapy services in a dynamic health care environment. Board-certification helps us pursue the highest level of skill with which to best serve our patients,” explains Don Straube, PT, NCS, immediate past chair of the ABPTS and a board-certified specialist in neurology physical therapy, in opening remarks at the post-professional certification recognition ceremony that took place at APTA’s 2016 Combined Sections Meeting, in a media release from APTA.

According to the release, APTA’s House of Delegates established specialist certification in 1985 as a way to recognize PTs who have demonstrated advanced clinical knowledge and skills in a particular area of practice.

These areas include: Cardiovascular and Pulmonary, Clinical Electrophysiology, Geriatrics, Neurology, Oncology (a brand new specialty area), Orthopaedics, Pediatrics, Sports, and Women’s Health Physical Therapy.

Board certification is valid for a 10-year period. To date, more than 20,000 PTs have achieved board certification.

To re-certify, PTs must show their continuing competence by following the “Maintenance of Specialist Certification” model, which includes the following elements, per the release: professional standing and direct patient care hours, commitment to lifelong learning through professional development, practice performance through examples of patient care and clinical reasoning, and cognitive expertise through a test of knowledge in the profession, per the release.

For more information, visit APTA.

[Source: APTA]