Explanation of Credential Initials

DPT: Doctorate of Physical Therapy

A clinician who has obtained their Doctorate of Physical Therapy has completed a clinical program from an accredited university and passed their board of certification examination. A DPT is different from a PhD because rather than focusing on research and scholarly work, obtaining a DPT requires specific clinical competencies to practice independently. As of 2020, all physical therapy programs will be required to be doctorate programs.


MPT: Master of Physical Therapy

An MPT is a post-baccalaureate degree awarded upon the completion of an accredited physical therapy education program at the graduate level and passed their board of certification examination. 


OCS: Orthopedic Clinical Specialist

An Orthopedic Clinical Specialist must apply to the board after submitting evidence of a minimum 2,000 hours of direct patient care in an orthopedic specialty clinic, or have completed an APTA-accredited post professional clinical residency. Upon completion of clinical requirements, the practitioner must sit for yet another certification exam to obtain this credential.


SCS: Sports Clinical Specialist

The Sports Certified Specialist is an expert in athletic injury management, including acute care, treatment and rehabilitation, prevention, and education. In addition to CPR and Emergency Care Certification, those with this designation must show evidence of 2,000 hours of direct patient care (25% within the last three years) or successful completion of an APTA-credentialed post professional sports clinical residency.


OMT: Orthopedic Manual Therapist

Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy ​(OMT) is any ​skilled “hands-on” ​evaluation and treatment technique that is performed by a qualified practitioner for the goal of decreasing pain and increasing function. OMT treatment can include moving a joint in a specific direction and at different speeds to regain movement (joint mobilization and manipulation), muscle stretching, passive movements of the affected body part, and selected soft tissue techniques used to improve the mobility and function of tissue and muscles. Orthopedic manual physical therapists treat ​conditions ​in (strike these two words) body regions ​that include the head, neck, back, arms and legs. Advanced examination, communication and decision making skilled that are built on the foundations of professional and scientific education facilitate the provision of effective and efficient care (strike whole sentence). Advanced training and certification are available in OMT to increase the skill and effectiveness of physical therapy treatment.


CSCS: Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
A Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist is a professional who applies scientific knowledge to training athletes with the primary goal of improving athletic performance. This certification is regulated by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and requires practitioners to pass the CSCS examination.


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