Physical Therapists Receive Clinical Specialists Recertification

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ALEXANDRIA, VA, August 23, 2010 — The American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) announces that 371 physical therapists were awarded recertification in 2010 as board-certified clinical specialists.

To date, more than 2,300 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 and Pulmonary, Clinical Electrophysiology, Geriatrics, Neurology, Orthopaedics, Pediatrics, and Sports.

"I have found that clinical specialist certification has been a key that unlocked previously closed doors and afforded me an influential part in the development of new treatment protocols and practice policies," said H. Steven Sadowsky, PT, RRT, MS, CCS, in his opening remarks at the Post-Professional Certification Recognition Ceremony at the APTA 2010 Combined Sections Meeting. According to Sadowsky, "To achieve board certification and be recognized as a clinical specialist has an undeniably indelible influence on your future clinical practice, professional growth, and career path decisions."

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.

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