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ABPTS: Ceremonies & Other Events

  • ABPTS celebrated 30 years of specialist certification (1985 to 2015). Below are some highlights, as well as ABPTS events held in Indianapolis, Indiana at CSM 2015.

    Photos from CSM, including the ABPTS recognition ceremony, are now available. Learn more.

    ABPTS 30 Years

    CSM 2015 Highlights

    Video Dispatch: ABPTS 30th Anniversary of Specialist Certification
    ABPTS Board at CSM 2015
      ABPTS Board of Directors at CSM 2015
    ABPTS Specialty Council at CSM 2015
    ABPTS Specialty Council at CSM 2015 
    SACE Item Writer Award 2014
      2014 Item Writer of the Year, William Scott Doerhoff, PT, MS, GCS   

    ABPTS CSM 2015 Events

    Recognition Ceremony for Clinical Specialists

    Date: February 4, 2015
    Time: 8:00 pm-9:30 pm
    Location: Convention Center, Sagamore Ballroom 1-4


    The Recognition Ceremony for Clinical Specialists is the opening event at APTA's Combined Sections Meeting (CSM). The Ceremony recognizes newly certified and recertified clinical specialists in the 8 approved areas of board certification. The ceremony consists of an opening remarks speaker, a presentation by the ABPTS Chair and APTA President, along with a formal acknowledgement and recognition of all newly certified and recertified specialists in attendance. Family and guests of honorees are also welcome to attend. The ninety minute ceremony is followed by a reception.

    New specialists and their guest(s) are not required to register for the conference in order to attend the ceremony.

    The attire for the ceremony is "black tie optional." The members of the ABPTS and specialty councils will be wearing tuxedos or dark suits, and semi-formal dresses. This is optional for those of you who will be recognized that evening as a board certified specialist.

    If you have any questions about the ceremony or the rehearsal, contact spec-cert@apta.org or call 800/999-APTA (2782), ext. 8520.

    Promote your achievement as a certified specialist with this personalized gift collection and custom frames from Church Hill Classics. Learn more.

    Rehearsal for Recognition Ceremony

    Rehearsal Overview

    Date: February 4, 2015
    Time: 4:00 pm-6:30 pm
    Location: Convention Center, Sagamore Ballroom 1-4

    All newly certified specialists are asked to attend in order to review seating assignments, familiarize themselves with the ceremony logistics, and have their photo taken with their designated council chair. Photos will only be taken during the rehearsal. If you are unable to attend the rehearsal, we will do our best to include you in the ceremony.

    Seating Assignment:
    You will be given an assigned seat for the ceremony, which will be in alphabetical order by last name within your designated specialty area. Please refer to your ceremony program book for the order of specialty recognition. Please remember your seat assignment following the rehearsal.

    Certified Specialist Pins and Certificates:
    Specialty specific certification pins will be distributed during the ceremony. Certificates have already been mailed to newly certified specialists.

    Will ONLY be taken during rehearsal. Don’t forget to smile! Each specialist will be photographed with the Specialty Council Chair of his/her specialty area. You will be provided a coupon to retrieve your complimentary photo after CSM during the rehearsal.

    Please contact the Specialist Certification Program at 800/999-2782, ext. 8520 or at spec_cert@apta.org with any questions or concerns.

    Item Writing Workshop

    Date: February 4, 2015
    Time: 8:30 am-4:00 pm
    Location: J.W. Marriott, Grand Ballroom 9 (SACE I); J.W. Marriott, Grand Ballroom 7&8 (SACE II)


    Writing good multiple-choice questions (MCQs) can be difficult. MCQs often contain technical flaws that provide an advantage to "test-wise" examinees, and they sometimes focus on content that is relatively unimportant from a clinical perspective. This item-writing workshop focuses on preparing and reviewing MCQs that assess application of clinical knowledge in patient care situations, rather than just recall of isolated facts.


    At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to:

    • Learn to effectively utilize established eRoom system for item submission
    • Recognize, correct and avoid commonly occurring technical flaws in MCQ phrasing
    • Select topics for MCQs that are suitable for the physical therapy specialty examinations
    • Write (and rewrite) MCQs assessing application of clinical knowledge in patient care situations
    • Learning out to effectively incorporate images and multi-media in MCQs
    • Participate effectively in group review of MCQs

    The workshop will be run in an interactive, seminar-style format that also includes small-group activities.

    Recertification Recognition Reception

    Date: February 6, 2015
    Time: 8:00 pm-9:00 pm
    Location: J.W. Marriott, Grand Ballroom 7, 8


    To further promote the specialist certification and residency/fellowship programs and to formally recognize our newly recertified specialists, we welcome all board certified specialist to attend the Recertification Recognition Reception taking place at the Combined Sections Meeting. The reception is exclusively for board certified specialists, new residency/fellowship graduates and credentialed program directors, and ABPTS/ABPTRFE leadership. Please join us for this recognition and networking opportunity!

    ABPTS Forum: Enhancing Professional Development Through Certification

    Date: February 6, 2015
    Time: 11:00 am-1:00 pm
    Location: Convention Center, Room 240


    The APTA specialist certification program can open up new doors for you as a professional. By becoming a board-certified clinical specialist, you can gain the formal recognition you deserve for your knowledge, experience, and skills. This forum is open to all individuals who wish to learn more about becoming initially certified in any of the 8 approved specialty areas, and about maintaining their certification through the new Maintenance of Specialist Certification (MOSC) program. This will include eligibility requirements and the professional and personal benefits of becoming a board-certified clinical specialist.

    Following a brief overview of the initial certification and MOSC processes, attendees will have an opportunity to speak with members of ABPTS, the specialty councils, and program staff to get answers to questions about the specialist certification program and process.


    Upon completion of this course, you'll be able to:

    • Understand the specialist certification and maintenance programs and processes.
    • Describe the minimum eligibility requirements for specialist certification and recertification.
    • Describe the role of clinical residencies in the certification process.
    • Identify top motivations to pursue specialist certification.

    ABPTS Recertification Workshop

    Date: February 5, 2015
    Time: 6:30 pm-8:00 pm
    Location: Convention Center, Room 211


    ABPTS is sponsoring a recertification workshop at the upcoming Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) for all specialists eligible to recertify in the coming year. This workshop is specifically geared only to eligible recertification candidates. If you are interested in having your recertification questions answered, and are looking for general assistance with better understanding of the recertification process, we encourage you to attend.

    The workshop format includes:

    • An overview of the current requirements and administrative logistics for the current recertification process.
    • A overview of ABPTS plans to transition from a recertification program to the new Maintenance of Specialist Certification program
    • Break-out table discussions (organized by specialty area) between eligible recertification candidates, specialty council representatives, and staff to answer specific questions and address any concerns from candidates.
  • American Physical Therapy Association | 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-1488 703/684-APTA (2782) | 800/999-2782 | 703/683-6748 (TDD) | 703/684-7343 (fax)