The oncologic specialty area within the physical therapy profession includes the management of musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, integumentary, and cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitative needs of patients living with and beyond cancer and other chronic illnesses, including HIV. This encompasses acute secondary sequelae of treatments such as surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy as well as long-term secondary sequelae of treatments and palliative care.
In 2016 the APTA House of Delegates approved board certification in the area of oncologic physical therapy. The first oncology specialist certification examination was administered in 2019. As of June 2023, ABPTS has certified 183 oncology specialists.
The Role of the Oncologic Specialty Council
ABPTS Specialty Councils develop minimum eligibility requirements for certification and recertification in a specialty area based on ABPTS guidelines, and when required screen applicants for eligibility to sit for exams and for recertification. Specialty Council members are responsible for developing the examination instruments in consultation with the ABPTS testing agency and approved consultants.