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What is the APTA?

What is the APTA?

What is the APTA?

APTA is the acronym for the American Physical Therapy Association. This organization is committed to promoting physical therapist practice, research, and education, as well as raising public awareness of the role of physical therapy in the American healthcare system. It consists of national leadership that is made up of the Board of Directors, the House of Delegates, and several board-appointed committees, as well as many state chapters and special-interest groups throughout the country.

The APTA has a long history that dates back to the early 20th century. A group of women physical therapists decided to form the first professional physical therapy association in the United States, and this resulted in the founding of the American Women’s Physical Therapeutic Association in 1921. The association started with a membership of 274 women, and it was governed by President Mary McMillan and an executive committee. It began to admit male members in the late 1930s, and its name was consequently changed to American Physiotherapy Association. By this time, it had close to 1,000 members.
In the next two decades, there was a tremendous increase in demand for physical therapists, because of World War II and a polio epidemic that affected the entire country. As a result of this, the membership of the American Physiotherapy Association increased to 8,000, and more physical therapy education programs were established across the nation. Towards the end of the 1940s, the association was renamed the American Physical Therapy Association, and it opened an office in New York City and started hiring a full-time staff. The House of Delegates was formed to set the association’s policies, and the Board of Directors was given the task of managing the association. Additionally, two sections were established to develop specific areas of the physical therapist profession, and they were the private practice section and school section. The APTA had nearly 15,000 members in the 1960s.

Presently, the APTA has its headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, and it represents over 74,000 physical therapy professionals and students through the United States. It performs a wide range of tasks to facilitate the advancement of physical therapy in the country, including providing the necessary resources to help physical therapists and physical therapist assistants move forward in their careers, helping students excel in school and find the best career opportunities, offering employers advice on how to manage a healthcare facility, funding physical therapy research, and educating the public on physical therapy. The APTA also has a number of publications that provide interesting and valuable information about physical therapy, and these include the Physical Therapy Journal, PT in Motion, Guide to PT Practice, and others.
If you want to be a member of the APTA, there are several different types of membership for you to choose from, including the Physical Therapist and Physical Therapist Assistant Membership, Physical Therapist Post-Professional Student Membership, Student of Physical Therapy Membership, Foreign-Educated Physical Therapist and Physical Therapist Assistant Membership, International Partner Membership, Retired or Life Membership, and Faculty Partner Membership. You can find out about membership plans and obtain application forms at the APTA website.

Top Physical Therapy Associations in the U.S.
What is the APTA?

1. American Physical Therapy Association- U.S. Professional PT Organization offers research, consumer information, physical therapy news, career advice and back issues of their Physical Therapy publications.

2. Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy- develops and administers the licensing exams for physical therapist assistants and physical therapists, known as the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in the 50 states, D.C., Puerto virgin island, and the Rico.

3.PTPN- National Organization of physical, speech, and occupational therapists within the area of independent practice. The website features resources and information for professionals and patients.

4. Journal of the American Physical Therapy Association- The professional journal publication for the APTA, published monthly. Features news and information about physical therapy science, careers, treatments and more.

5.Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation- An online journal publication that provides abstracts and full-print articles from 1996 to the present regarding physical therapy and rehabilitation issues.

6.CCAPTA- California Physical Therapy Association, responsible for providing news, career assistance and advice, consumer information, and research within the state of California.

7.University of Southern California Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy- One of the leading schools for physical therapy programs and degrees. Located in Los Angeles, CA with branches throughout the Southern California area.

8. The University of North Carolina- The Chapel Hill campus is one of the top-rated physical therapy programs in the country. The program is part of the Allied Health Sciences in the School of Medicine at UNC and features top-rate education and training for PT students.

9. Duke University- Duke University is another of the top-rated physical therapy schools in the nation. The program is based in Durham, and North Carolina.

10.  New York University Steinhardt- NYU is well-known for many educational programs, including their Physical and Occupational Therapy program. Located in New York City, the university caters to many professional degrees and programs.

11.  Ohio State University- Located in Columbus, OH, Ohio State University has a top-rated physical therapy program as a part of their course offerings. The PT program has more than 50 years of experience in training professionals at all stages of career education.

12.  Pediatric Physical Therapy Journal- This journal is published by the APTA division of pediatrics and features current information and research regarding neonatal and pediatric physical therapy sciences.

13.  Ohio Physical Therapists Association (OPTA) - The Ohio Physical Therapy Association is a professional association that is non-profit, catered to representing professionals within the physical therapy industry in the state of Ohio.

14.  New York Physical Therapy Association (NYPTA) - The New York chapter of physical therapists, physical therapy assistants, and students pursuing PT or PTA degrees. This is a non-profit professional group.

15.  State Physical Therapy Licensing Boards- Health Guide USA offers a comprehensive listing of state licensing boards for each state in the U.S., as well as professional license, look up and lists of educational programs for physical therapy students.

16.  Doctor of Physical Therapy Visionary Foundation, Inc. - This program was established in 1996 as a non-profit organization sponsoring scholarships to students seeking their Doctor in Physical Therapy degree.

17.  McKenzie Institute International- The McKenzie Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy program offers training through 26 branches worldwide, including one in the U.S. The McKenzie Method is an additional certification that can be obtained by professionals in PT careers.

18.  American Medical Association (AMA) - The national association for medical services professions, research, information, and careers in the medical field. Provides links and resources for physical therapists, assistants, and other students and professionals in medical-related careers.

19.  American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPMR) - The AAPMR is the national organization that represents more than 7,500 specialists within the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation.

20.  American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) - AOSSM is an organization for sports medicine and allied health professionals that provides research, fellowship and networking, and career advice and support.

21.  International Society of Biomechanics- An organization that promotes the study of movement and biomechanics with a special focus on human beings. The group encourages international relationships to foster knowledge and education.  

22.  NCPAD- National Center on Physical Activity and Disability is an informational organization established to provide research and resources about physical activity and physical disabilities.

23.  The National Rehabilitation Association- The NRA is the nation’s most established and respected association for professionals in the rehabilitation field and is a membership program focusing on research, education, and future development.

24.  North American Institute of Orthopaedic Manual Therapy (NAIOMT)- A privately held organization that focuses on the advancement of manual and manipulative physical therapy in the U.S., with a focus on research, education, and fellowship.

25.  Illinois Physical Therapy Association- Professional association for physical therapy assistants, students, and physical therapists in the state of Illinois. The IPTA focuses on research, career advice, and future development.