An Overview of Physical Therapy Designations

Howie Bartz graduated third in his class at Daemen College, in Amherst, New York, where he earned a degree in physical therapy. For more than five years, Howie Bartz served as the sole owner and operator of two outpatient physical therapy centers. In 2007, he founded the medical services company Meditech.

As with most fields of medicine, physical therapy encompasses a wide range of designations that cover academic achievements as well as professional roles. PT is the basic title reserved for all physical therapists who have earned their license and completed an accredited program in physical therapy; a PTA is an assistant who is qualified to perform therapeutic services in the presence of a fully licensed PT.

Advanced PTs are eligible for the designation FAPTA, which stands for Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association and recognizes significant contributions to the profession. While many PTs who have earned the FAPTA designation also have advanced academic degrees, it is not a requirement.

Eight additional titles distinguish PTs with highly specialized areas of practice, ranging from CCS (cardiovascular and pulmonary certified specialist) to WCS (women’s health certified specialist). Additional fields of specialty include clinical electrophysiology (ECS designation), geriatrics (GCS), and sports therapy (SCS).

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