By: Laura Wenger, PT, DPT
If you have ever had any experience working with physical therapists, you may have noticed that we come from different practice, education and training backgrounds. Our clinic in particular is made up of a very diverse group, which is helpful in terms of collaborating on our various areas of therapy focus and continuing education. To add to this diversity of training and specializations, I will be sitting for my Orthopaedics Specialist (also known as Orthopedics Specialist) certification examination on March 14th, 2015 in Santa Fe. In the field of physical therapy, specialization was created to formally recognize advanced clinical knowledge, skills, and experience.
To be eligible to sit for this specialist examination, one is usually required to have three years of experience, with at least 2,000 hours spent in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy. I have fast-tracked this process, however, by completing an American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)-accredited post-professional clinical residency with a focus on Orthopaedics. This residency program, which I completed at the University of Utah, was a year-long program in which I worked with patients for 30 hours a week, and spent another 10-30 hours per week involved in didactics, weekly mentorship, specialty observations in niches of Orthopaedic care, clinic observations with Orthopaedic and physical medicine and rehab (PM&R) MDs, and assistant teaching in the Doctoral Physical Therapy program. Needless to say, I was very busy! However, the amount of opportunities that I had to learn and practice more in the world of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy were bountiful, and I walked away from that program with improved clinical reasoning skills and a much larger knowledge base than when I started.
Sitting for the Orthopaedics Specialist certification examination is the culmination of my year of blood, sweat, and tears (okay, maybe not so much blood) in the residency program. I am excited to have this test under my belt and, with a passing score, earn my specialist certification and add three more letters of accreditation to my name (OCS). Upon receiving notification of my passing in June, I will be joining Ellen as the second specialized PT currently in our clinic.
If you see me in the clinic before March 14th, wish me luck! If you want to be evaluated by one of our specialized and diverse physical therapists, please call us to schedule your appointment today.