1. What is the purpose of the case reflection in the application process?
The purpose of the clinical case reflection is to document competency in patient/client management in women's health. Patient/client management in a clinical case reveals clinical reasoning skills that are essential to demonstrating competency in the women's health physical therapy specialty area.
Women's Health, Cardiovascular-Pulmonary and Clinical Electrophysiology all require case reflections as a component of the application.
Specific requirements and instruction for the case report is provided in the application packet:
2. What is the Description of Specialty Practice?
The Description of Specialty Practice (DSP) is a document is based on a practice analysis, which is a systematic study of professional practice behaviors and content knowledge of specialty practice. The purpose of the practice analysis is to collect data that will describe what specialist practitioners do and what skills and knowledge bases enable them to perform specialty practice. The data is used to describe specialty practice.
3. How is the Description of Specialty Practice used in examination development?
The DSP is used as a blueprint for the development of the examination. This means the proportion of questions on the examination, in each area of practice, match the proportions of practice as defined in the DSP.
Each applicant receives a free copy of the DSP with acceptance of their application to use for examination preparation.
4. How often is the Description of Specialty Practice updated?
ABPTS requires that the DSP be updated every 10 years in each area of specialty practice. This ensures that the board specialization matches the practice environment of clinicians. The women's health DSP was published in 2006. Therefore, the updated DSP will be published in 2016.
The DSP is developed after an extensive practice analysis of clinicians practicing women's health physical therapists. The Section of Women's Health is responsible to completing the practice analysis. This ensures that the DSP represents the practice of women's health physical therapy.
5. What is the examination format?
The examination is approximately 200 multiple choice questions. The questions are in clinical vignette format. Multi-media images and video are used on the examination. The testing session is 7 hours.
More details about sitting for the examination can be found in the information booklet at:
6. How do I prepare for the examination?
Utilize study preparation materials provided by ABPTS to all examinees:
7. How can I access the suggested preparation materials provided by the Section of Women's Health?
It is important to remember that the list provided by the Section of Women's Health is a compilation of suggested materials. The examinee should not consider this a complete list of study materials. The Section of Women's Health is not involved with examination development.
8. How can I access research articles?
- Utilize information provided by the APTA: http://www.apta.org/EvidenceResearch/Literature/
- Search for articles on the internet. Some are available for free or for purchase on the web.
- Contact the learning center or library at your workplace. Librarians are very helpful in locating difficult to find articles.
- Utilize reliable websites for additional information. For example, the American Cancer Society website gives detailed information related to breast cancer.
- Contact your state licensing board; some states will allow you to apply for library privileges similar to P.T. program faculty members or allied health/medical students.
- Join a study group. Others in the group may be able to obtain articles that you cannot obtain, and vice versa.
9. How do I join a study group?
The ABPTS compiles a list of candidates who are interested in participating in study groups within each area of specialty. To be included in study group listings, check box 23 on the Application Form (page 3).
Study group lists will be generated and e-mailed to candidates who have indicated their interest in participating in study groups. Study group lists are sent by request only so be sure to include state your preference in your application packet.
Many past examinees have found benefit from study groups. Often these study groups are held long distance. Several ideas that have been stared for long distance studying include using conference calls or online video conferencing such as Skype or other web cam programs.
10. Who do I contact with questions about the application/examination process?
ABPTS has resources available to assist you through the entire application process via email at email@example.com and via phone at (800) 999-2782, ext 8520.
11. After taking the examination, how long does it take to receive my score?
You will receive an email in mid-June following the examination with notification announcing that score reports are available online, including instructions on how to access and download your score report. The score report specifies your examination score, the passing score on the examination, and feedback on your performance in the major competency areas tested.
Although there is a time lapse between the close of the examination window in March and the availability of examination results in June, much is happening during this period of time. Key validation takes place after the exam window closes in March. Key validation is a process of preliminary scoring and item analysis of the exam data, followed by careful evaluation of the item-level data, to identify potentially flawed or incorrect items prior to final scoring. During April and May, standard setting committees are convened to participate in content-based standard setting studies. The outcome of each committee's standard setting meeting is a recommendation of a passing score that is then approved by ABPTS in May. Finally, the exams are scored and candidates are notified of their results as soon as this information is received by the Specialist Certification Program.