ALEXANDRIA, VA, September 9, 2008 — The American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has awarded specialist certification to 835 physical therapists this year. Since 1985 more than 8,400 physical therapists have achieved board certification. 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 obtain Board certification, candidates must submit evidence of required clinical practice in a specialty area. In addition, candidates must successfully complete a rigorous written examination, demonstrating specialized knowledge and advanced clinical proficiency in a specialty area of physical therapist practice.
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 to locate a board-certified clinical specialist. Additional consumer information is available at www.moveforwardpt.com.