Become a Specialist or NOt...That is the Question!
Let's nip this question in the bud immediately. Yes, become a clinical specialist. Over the years, many people have questioned the need and/or benefit of becoming a physical therapy specialist. Common excuses include, "the exam material is outdated," "the exam does not test actual clinical knowledge,' among others. Put those comments to rest! If those are the only reasons to take the examination, then your probably doing it for the wrong reasons.
Reasons to take a specialty examination:
1) Preparing for the examination requires months of studying and delving into a specific subject matter. It requires focus and dedication.
2) The exam material covers the highest quality research in the field (typically minus the last 12 months of research). This may be slightly different from daily clinical practice, but it is the best we have!
3) Become recognized as a regional expert in the field.
4) Studying each topic will allow thorough reflection regarding what is right and wrong with current clinical practice.
Are you interested in becoming an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS)?
Below is information regarding the OCS Examination. The examination is hosted by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists (ABPTS). (Since my background is in Orthopedics, I am writing on the Orthopedic examination. Please note that these steps and links will take readers to all specialty fields.)
Important dates for the 2018 Examination:
Last year the application deadline was July, 31st. Follow this link to learn more about the Orthopedic test. Once the application process begins, this link will have an online application link.
Who is eligible to apply for the examination?
"Eligible clients must:
The above information was taken from the 2017 OCS Exam Candidate Guide.
Want a program that has BOTH the clinical and didactic skills to prepare you for your speciality exam? Check out OPTIM Manual Therapy.
OPTIM offers both a Certification in Orthopedic Manual Therapy (COMT) and Fellowship in Manual Therapy (FAAOMPT)! We emphasize current best evidence into clinical practice including paradigms like utilizing a bio-psycho-social approach, leveraging patient expectations, and purposeful interventions to provide excellent clinical outcomes.
Currently, OPTIM offers courses in Houston TX, Dallas TX, Scottsdale AZ, and St. Louis MO (coming this September!)