ALEXANDRIA, VA, September 9, 2008 — The American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) announces that 258 physical therapists were awarded recertification in 2008 as board-certified clinical specialists.
To date, more than 1,600 board-certified clinical specialists have been recertified. Those who were recognized recently completed the requirements to become Board-certified specialists in one or more of the following specialty areas: Cardiovascular & Pulmonary, Clinical Electrophysiology, Geriatrics, Neurology, Orthopaedics, Pediatrics, and Sports.
APTA President R Scott Ward, PT, PhD, said "I am proud to recognize the dedication and professionalism of these clinical specialists. I commend them on their continued contributions to the physical therapy profession and for helping the profession move toward Vision 2020 and truly autonomous practice."
To be eligible for recertification, candidates must hold a current certification from ABPTS and meet minimum eligibility requirements, including a current physical therapy license and a minimum number of direct patient care hours since the date of the most recent certification.
Candidates must complete a competency assessment to achieve recertification. Candidates are recertified either by completing a written examination or by completing a Professional Development Portfolio (PDP). The written examination for each specialty area consists of approximately 200 questions and is developed and administered through the National Board of Medical Examiners.
The PDP is a documentation of professional development activities related to specialty practice. Candidates may also receive PDP points for patient care experience that is beyond the minimum eligibility requirement for recertification. Portfolio requirements vary depending upon the specialty area.
The APTA House of Delegates established specialist certification as a mechanism to formally recognize physical therapists who have demonstrated advanced clinical knowledge and skills. Since the program's inception in 1985 there has been a steady and substantial increase in the number of physical therapists who pursue specialist certification each year.
ABPTS was established by APTA as the governing body that awards certification to physical therapists who meet approved requirements. ABPTS oversees the physical therapy clinical specialist certification and recertification program and awards certificates to physical therapists meeting approved requirements.
Physical therapists are health care professionals who diagnose and manage individuals of all ages, from newborns to elders, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. Physical therapists examine each individual and develop a plan of care using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. Physical therapists also work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.
APTA (www.apta.org) is a national organization representing physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students nationwide. Its goal is to foster advancements in physical therapist education, practice, and research. Consumers can access the Online Directory of Certified Clinical Specialists in Physical Therapy. Additional consumer information is available at www.moveforwardpt.com.