DPT or Doctor of Physical Therapy is a post-baccalaureate terminal degree in Physical Therapy. All physical therapy professional schools in the United States accredited by the Commission of Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) confer this credential to the graduate upon successful completion of this professional doctorate program. In the state of Oregon, a physical therapist with this credential is addressed as "Dr" or "Doctor of Physical Therapy".
OCS or Orthopedic Certifiedl Specialist (or commonly known as Orthopedic Clinical Specialist) is a credential conferred to a licensed physical therapist by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) after passing a national board examination. A physical therapist with this credential designates him or her as a specialist in the field of orthopedics. Typically, a newly graduated DPT has the option of continuing post graduate residency in the field of orthopedics, or other specialties (ie, sports, neurological, geriatrics, pediatrics, electrophysiology, hand therapy, or women's health, etc). After completing the APTA credentialed orthopedic residency program, the resident graduate has met the requirements to take the national board examination to attain the "OCS" credential upon passing the examination.
CHT or Certified Hand Therapist is a credential conferred to a licensed physical therapist or occupational therapist by the Hand Therapy Certification Commission (HTCC) after passing a national board examination. In the physical therapy profession, a newly graduated DPT who is interested in pursuing this specialty would first complete an orthopedic residency, and then complete a fellowship in hand therapy. This would ultimately prepare the hand fellow to sit for the national board examination in hand therapy. A physical therapist with this credential designates him or her as a specialist in the field of hand therapy or rehabilitation of the upper extremity, specifically the hand.
CSCS or Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist is a credential conferred to professionals by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) who have passed a national board examination after taking additional courses in training and improving athletic performance. A physical therapist with this credential designates him or her as a specialist in the field of strength and conditioning to improve athletic performance of healthy individuals.
FAAOMPT or Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapist is a credential conferred to physical therapists who have successfully completed an APTA / AAOMPT credentialed post graduate orthopedic manual therapy fellowship program. A physical therapist who has completed a post graduate fellowship program in orthopedic manual therapy has the option of applying for this credential.
For the best clinical outcome, you should see a board certified orthopedic physical therapist with the "OCS" credential. This has been documented in research. There are only a few board certified orthopedic physical therapists in Southern Oregon. You can find an orthopedic clinical specialist nearest you at: www.apta.org. Just like in medicine, if you have a heart problem, you would see a cardiologist. If you have a foot problem, you would see a podiatrist. If you have cancer, you would see an oncologist.
You should asked to be referred to a board certified hand therapist with the "CHT" credential for the best clinical outcome. A board certified hand therapist specializes in upper extremity dysfunctions, especially the hand. Most board certified orthopedic hand surgeons will ONLY refer their hand patients to board certified hand therapists to receive the highest quality and outcome of care, NO EXCEPTIONS! You can find a board certified hand therapist nearest you at: www.htcc.org.
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