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What is OCS?

All practicing Physical Therapists are required by law to have completed an accredited physical therapy program and become licensed in their respective states. Some professions may advertise that they practice “physical therapy or physiotherapy” but are not licensed with their respective state. 

Once a PT has completed a bachelors, masters, or Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, they must pass a licensing test to meet the minimum standards to practice PT. 

Beyond the licensing process, though not required, PT’s can become board certified in a specific field. This requires completion of 2000+ hours in the field of choice as well as passing a rigorous test demonstrating competence in that specific field. 

You can think of Board Certification for PT similar to what it means to become a fiduciary in the financial planning realms. It’s a demonstration of expertise in a certain niche of health care with the client/patients best interest in mind. 

At Florida Physio, Dr. Leighton completed requirements for board certification in orthopedics (the OCS). 

Research has shown that board certified physical therapists help patients achieve goals and outcomes faster with less money spent. 

Another study by Childs et al in 2005 concluded that physical therapists who are board certified in orthopedic physical therapy have superior knowledge in managing musculoskeletal dysfunction compared to that of general physical therapists, general physicians, and physician specialists with the exception of orthopedists.You can find a board certified specialists by contacting  The American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) at These specialists are recognized for ensuring clinical excellence, expert clinical reasoning, and a current knowledge of research.

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