OCS Prep Program

This self-guided OCS Prep Program is designed to give you the tools you need to pass the test, gain expertise, and elevate the profession — all while earning CEUs.

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93%

of subscribers that studied with the MedBridge Certification Prep Programs successfully passed their board specialization test!

Prepare to take the next step in your career.

Our OCS Prep Program provides all of the tools you'll need to pass the board specialization test, develop your clinical skill set, and elevate your career - all while earning CEUs. With advanced certification, you'll set yourself apart as a distinguished professional equipped to provide an advanced level of care.

We can help you get there faster.

In this program you will study advanced topics taught by the best instructors in orthopedic therapy. With over 500 practice questions, this 20-week program will have you well-prepared for success on test day.

Learn from the Best

Study advanced topics taught by the top instructors in orthopedic therapy.

Identify Strengths

Analyze your strengths & weaknesses with scores for practice areas.

Personalize Your Plan

Customize the program to meet your needs. Study in groups or on your own.

Advance Your Career

Prepare for the test and earn CEUs—all included in the annual subscription.

Explore OCS Prep Courses

Evidence-Informed Assessment and Evaluation of Pain

Presented by David Walton, PT, PhD, FCAMPT and James Elliott, PT, PhD

Evidence-Informed Assessment and Evaluation of Pain

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
This course is part of our OCS Prep-Program. Learn more about the full prep-program here: MedBridge OCS Prep-Program.

Pain is a multidimensional and intensely personal experience. This course will help you understand how to select the right application and interpretation of key tools for fully exploring a patient’s pain experience, and how those results can inform clinical decisions. The perils, pitfalls, and advances of measuring an invisible experience make this a difficult topic to understand. This course will cover the methods through which comprehensive pain assessment leads to informed management and optimized outcomes.

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Evidence-Based Assessment of Acute Whiplash for Prognosis and Treatment Planning

Presented by James Elliott, PT, PhD and David Walton, PT, PhD, FCAMPT

Evidence-Based Assessment of Acute Whiplash for Prognosis and Treatment Planning

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
This course is part of our OCS Prep-Program. Learn more about the full prep-program here: MedBridge OCS Prep-Program.

This course will break down the challenge of whiplash, including topics such as its incidence, cost, trajectory, and presentation. You will review the mechanisms that influence clinical presentation and recovery as well as the clinical assessment and evaluation procedures. Dr. Walton and Dr. Elliot will review screening for red flags, key interview questions, clinical tests, appropriate use of diagnostic imaging, recommended self-report questionnaires and outcomes. You will also cover what is known about the factors that influence recovery from acute WAD, and how clinicians can use this information for prognosis-based treatment programs.

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An Introduction to Evidence-Based Treatment of Whiplash

Presented by James Elliott, PT, PhD and David Walton, PT, PhD, FCAMPT

An Introduction to Evidence-Based Treatment of Whiplash

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
This course is part of our OCS Prep-Program. Learn more about the full prep-program here: MedBridge OCS Prep-Program.

This course will review the current state of evidence for managing acute WAD to facilitate recovery and prevent chronicity. You will learn about the current state of evidence for managing chronic WAD to minimize disability and optimize function. The course will also cover interdisciplinary care considerations in acute and chronic WAD such as when to refer, to whom, and why.

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Indications for Musculoskeletal Imaging

Presented by Robert Boyles, PT, DSc, OCS, FAAOMPT

Indications for Musculoskeletal Imaging

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
This course is part of our OCS Prep-Program. Learn more about the full prep-program here: MedBridge OCS Prep-Program.

When patients present to you with an orthopaedic or sports related injury, do you need to order imaging immediately? Is there criteria to help you decide if imaging is, or isn’t, necessary, and if so, which imaging modality is most appropriate? Many imaging modalities are available for the evaluation of acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions. However, although patients are asking for high tech imaging, it does not mean better care and, in fact, can lead to harm. Using the many evidence-based imaging rules and published appropriateness criteria will help you decide if imaging is appropriate for your patient, and if so, which imaging modality should be requested. This course will briefly describe the imaging modalities and their uses available to you as a clinician, as well as the appropriateness criteria and published guidelines for each body region of interest.

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Utilizing ICF Guidelines and Treatment-Based Classifications

Presented by Eric Robertson, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT

Utilizing ICF Guidelines and Treatment-Based Classifications

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
This course is part of our OCS Prep-Program. Learn more about the full prep-program here: MedBridge OCS Prep-Program.

In this course, participants will learn to utilize the International Classification of Functioning and Disability (ICF) guidelines in clinical practice and in preparation for the OCS examination. Dr. Eric Robertson describes the ICF model from an evidence-based practice lens. Participants will explore the Orthopaedic Section’s ICF Guideline project, including history and development, review of topics covered, guideline organization, and impact on orthopaedic specialist practice. This course also reviews the epidemiology of low back pain and its relation to classification systems. Low back pain is a commonly encountered problem and the most common condition seen in musculoskeletal physical therapy settings. Research supports the use of classification systems for low back pain, and the treatment-based classification system is one such system that has gained wide support, both in the literature and clinically. This course will provide an overview of treatment-based classification (TBC) and serve as an introduction to utilizing this approach for patients with low back pain.

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A Classification Approach to Managing Shoulder Pain and Dysfunction

Presented by Derek Clewley, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS, FAAOMPT

A Classification Approach to Managing Shoulder Pain and Dysfunction

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
This course is part of our OCS Prep-Program. Learn more about the full prep-program here: MedBridge OCS Prep-Program.

Shoulder pain is a common condition seen in physical therapy practice; however, are you confident that you are managing shoulder cases with the most up to date, best evidence? This course will examine shoulder outlining, the major classifications that contribute to shoulder pain and dysfunction. Take your confidence to the next level as you develop the expertise to effectively manage patients with shoulder pain.

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ICF Clinical Practice Guidelines Update: Lateral Ankle Sprains

Presented by Todd Davenport, PT, DPT, MPH, OCS

ICF Clinical Practice Guidelines Update: Lateral Ankle Sprains

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
This course is part of our OCS Prep-Program. Learn more about the full prep-program here: MedBridge OCS Prep-Program.

Lateral ankle sprains are a common injury that frequently results in prolonged pain and disability. The research evidence for physical therapy management of lateral ankle sprains is increasingly voluminous, making it difficult for the busy physical therapist to keep up their reading of the latest research evidence in order to engage in evidence based practice. This course provides an overview of the clinical practice guideline for lateral (inversion-mechanism) ankle sprains. This first course of the two course series on lateral ankle sprain, will discuss the differential diagnosis, risk factors, prognosis, and clinical measures for patient reported outcomes.

Be sure to watch the second part of this two part series: ICF Best Practice Recommendations: Lateral Ankle Sprain Interventions

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Evidence and Interview of the Patient with Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Presented by Gail Deyle, PT, DSc, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT

Evidence and Interview of the Patient with Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
Why the focus on treating osteoarthritis of the knee? Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most rapidly growing conditions worldwide with knee osteoarthritis (knee OA) being one of the most prevalent forms. Patients with knee OA have a wide variety of presentations making it a disorder that is best addressed with strong clinical reasoning and high differential diagnosis skills. Despite a compelling body of literature for physical therapy directed exercise programs and growing evidence that manual therapy combined with exercise increases the level of symptom relief and functional benefit, most patients do not receive physical therapy treatment prior to total joint replacement. There is also a concerning lack of consistency in physical therapy treatment approaches with many physical therapists still reaching for their favorite modalities.

This course will help the learner make accurate judgments on the patient with knee OA's likely tolerance for examination and treatment while identifying key impairments to strength, range of motion, flexibility, gait, and balance that can be addressed with manual therapy and exercise. This clinical reasoning-based process facilitates highly focused treatment strategies that are typically well tolerated by the patient.

Although patients with knee OA can be challenging to treat, focusing on the concepts presented in this course will enhance your ability to provide well-tolerated treatment strategies that are consistent with the best research evidence, and that consistently produce highly satisfying outcomes for both the patient and the treating physical therapist.

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Track Your Strength

The OCS Prep Program is based on both practice areas and body regions in alignment with the Orthopedic Description of Specialty Practice. Over 500 test questions are mapped to these two matrices so participants can track their strengths and weaknesses to prepare for the exam.

See your strength in over 20 categories! Begin the OCS program today.

Practice Exam

Case Excerpt:

A patient is presenting with neck and arm pain with insidious onset three weeks prior to referral to physical therapy. The patient states that the pain started in the anterior shoulder and radiated proximally to the neck and distally to the mid-forearm. The patient had a diminished C6 reflex upon evaluation, and also showed significant weakness in the elbow flexion manual muscle testing.

Question:

Which of the following diagnoses is least likely to be implicated in this patient’s symptoms?
Correct! Incorrect! Subscribe to access over 300 more questions like this one.

The correct answer is "Arterial compression from thoracic outlet syndrome."

There is no information provided that would lead one to believe that this patient has any arterial compression due to thoracic outlet syndrome. If an individual had thoracic outlet syndrome, they may have shoulder and neck pain but the likelihood of diminished reflexes and weakness in elbow flexion manual muscle testing is low.

Meet Our Instructors

Eric Robertson, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT

Eric Robertson, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT, is the director of Kaiser Permanente Northern California Graduate Physical Therapy Education, and associate professor of clinical physical therapy at the University of Southern California in the Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy. Previously he served as assistant professor of physical therapy at Regis University in Denver, Colorado, and the University of Texas at El Paso. He received his bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from Quinnipiac University and his doctor of physical therapy (DPT) degree from Boston University. He is board certified in orthopedics and a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (FAAOMPT), where he currently serves as Secretary on the executive board. Dr. Robertson has taught musculoskeletal physical therapy, pharmacology differential diagnosis, and radiology courses in several physical therapy education programs from entry level through the postgraduate level. He has authored several web-based continuing education courses for entry-level and postprofessional physical therapy residency and fellowship programs. Dr. Robertson leads a quality and health outcomes assessment team for Rehab Services at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California. Dr. Robertson’s research interests lie in health service utilization, evidence-based practice, clinical reasoning, and exploring the impact of technology on health care. He is a frequent national presenter. He specializes in information management and the use of social media in health care. He is the founder of TalusMedia.org and PTThinkTank.com. A prolific writer, Dr. Robertson’s work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals, on popular health websites, and in large television and print media outlets, such as the Wall Street Journal, Oprah.com, Good Morning America, and TIME magazine.

David Walton, PT, PhD, FCAMPT

David Walton (@uwo_dwalton) completed his BScPT in Physical Therapy from the University of Western Ontario in 1999, MSc in Neuroscience in 2001, and PhD in Health and Rehabilitation Science from Western in 2010. Following a combined 10 years of clinical practice, he is now Associate Professor in the School of Physical Therapy at Western University (London, Canada), an Associate Scientist with the Lawson Health Research Institute, and a member of the teaching faculty with Western's Bone and Joint Institute. He is Director and Principal Investigator of the Pain and Quality of Life Integrative Research Lab where he supervises five PhD and one MSc student in addition to several professional and undergraduate students. Dave is active in the University community, having formed two interdisciplinary research groups: the Collaboration for the Integration of Rehabilitation and Consumer Electronics (CIRCLE) and the Solving Traumatic pain and disability through Advanced Research Translation (START) groups. Innovative research and knowledge translation initiatives are underway through these groups that focus on improving measurement, prognosis, and treatment for neuromusculoskeletal pain problems of primarily the neck and low back. He has published over 50 scientific publications, four book chapters, presented at several national and international conferences, and has secured nearly $1 million in research funding. Outside of the University, Dave is currently an Associate Editor with the scientific Manual Therapy and an International Editor for The Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy, he is Secretary of the Education Special Interest Group of the International Association for the Study of Pain, a member of the Allied Health subsection of the North American Spine Society, and co-founder / past-Chair of the Pain Science Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. Dave has been recognized for this teaching and mentorship through two Faculty Teaching Awards of Excellence and the 2014 National Mentorship Award from the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. He is an active member of Western's Teaching Support Centre through which he facilitates workshops for faculty development, and is increasingly sought as a provider of Continuing Professional Development in the area of neck pain management, soft skills development, pain assessment, and adult education for clinicians. Finally, and most importantly, Dave is immensely proud of his role as father to two incredible daughters and husband of an outstanding wife. The phrase 'punching above his weight' most certainly applies.

Gail Deyle, PT, DSc, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT

Gail Deyle is a Professor with Baylor University Graduate School and the founder and senior faculty member of the Army-Baylor University Doctoral Fellowship in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy, located at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. He is an internationally recognized expert, frequent national guideline panel member, and experienced researcher on physical therapy treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee. His earned professional degrees include a BSc from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, a Master of Physical Therapy from Baylor University, a Doctor of Physical Therapy from Creighton University, and a Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy from Andrews University. He is board certified in Orthopaedics and he is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists. Dr. Deyle has received outstanding researcher awards from the Texas Physical Therapy Association, The American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists, and the Geriatric Specialty Section. He has twice received the Rose Research Award from the Orthopaedic Specialty Section. He is the recipient of the Hartgraves Award for Teaching Excellence from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, and the Freddy Kaltenborn “Teach I must” and the Distinguished Lecturer Awards from the American Academy of Orthopadic Manual Physical Therapists. He has also received the Outstanding Alumni Award from the Army-Baylor Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Alumni Association. He continues to be actively involved with clinical practice and research, and teaching in numerous academic and clinical settings.

James Elliott, PT, PhD

James (Jim) Elliott (@elliottjim) completed his PhD at the University of Queensland, Australia (UQ) in 2007 and a post-doctoral fellowship (2010) at UQ’s Centre for Research Excellence in Spinal Pain, Injury and Health and the Centre for Advanced Imaging. He is currently a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Feinberg School of Medicine and the principal investigator of The Neuromuscular Imaging Research Lab (@NIRL_NU) where he supervises five PhD students. Jim is also an Honorary Senior Fellow at UQ and an Affiliate Professor at the Zürich University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland. He has been successful as an early career investigator as in evidence of $3.3 million in research funding, over 60 peer-reviewed publications, and numerous speaking invitations at interdisciplinary conferences on a national and international level. The primary focus of Jim’s laboratory is to characterize the underlying neurophysiological and biological mechanisms for poor functional recovery following spinal trauma, in particular, traumatic injuries following a motor vehicle collision (MVC). Broad applications of his work include preventing, diagnosing, and treating neuromuscular related pain and its sequelae. To do this, he utilizes structural and advanced imaging applications to quantify the temporal development of altered spinal cord anatomy and whole-body skeletal muscle degeneration as potential markers of poor functional outcomes. Jim currently serves as an Advisory Board Member for the journal Spine and is a Board of Director for the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. Jim played professional baseball for the San Diego Padres (1990-1992), worked in major league baseball operations for the Colorado Rockies (1993-1996), and was recently inducted into the University of Denver Athletic Hall of Fame (2014). In full transparency, Jim admits to needing medication for his life-long love of the Chicago Cubs.

Joe Farrell, PT, M App Sc, DPT GDMT, FFAAOMPT, FAPTA

Is the co-owner and co-founder (1988) of Redwood Orthopaedic Physical Therapy, Inc. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Education from Illinois State University (1974), Certificate in Physical Therapy from Northwestern University (1976), a Post-Graduate Diploma in Manipulative Therapy (1979) and a Master of Applied Science in Health Sciences from Curtin University of Technology (1981), and a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions (2007). Dr. Farrell recently retired as a Senior Clinical Fellowship Faculty member of the Kaiser Northern California Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship Program, where he has taught and mentored within the Fellowship program since 1984. For nearly two decades he taught and directed a Year Long Manual Therapy Program at Redwood Orthopaedic Physical Therapy, Inc. Dr. Farrell was a founding fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT) and the AAOMPT’s first President. He helped establish the first description of specialty practice and standards for manual therapy education in the USA, and was instrumental in establishing the AAOMPT as the representative body for the USA as a full member country in the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapists. His expertise and experience in communication, mentorship, clinical reasoning, orthopaedic manual physical therapy and political advocacy is significant, and was highlighted in 2015, when he earned the Catherine Worthingham Fellow status, the highest member honor bestowed by the APTA, and delivered the 2015 AAOMPT Distinguished Lecture. In 2018, his career accomplishments were also recognized by Northwestern Department of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Science as the Distinguished Alumnus of the year. Dr. Farrell has authored seventeen publications in peer reviewed journals and books pertaining to the treatment of the spine. For over three decades, Joe has been active locally, nationally and internationally in presenting hundreds of lectures/seminars on topics that include evaluation and treatment of spinal and extremity problems. Joe's past work experiences include acute Orthopaedics, neurological care and sports rehabilitation. He has specialized in spinal rehabilitation for the past 35 years. His current research interests relate to clinical reasoning and employer perception of residency and fellowship graduates.

Todd Davenport, PT, DPT, MPH, OCS

Todd serves as a tenured associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy in the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, where he teaches in the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program. Todd is a graduate of the University of Southern California’s DPT and Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency programs. He is a past clinical research fellow at the Warren G. Magnusson Clinical Center at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Todd is a graduate of the Master of Public Health program at the Berkeley campus of the University of California. He has been continuously recognized as a Board-Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties since 2005. Todd has worked to translate evidence from scientific research into best practices for physical therapy. He is a member of the Evidence-Based Documents Task Force of the Orthopedic Section of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), through which he has been involved with authoring two CPGs to date with emphasis on foot and ankle health conditions. He also has served on the multidisciplinary Primer Writing Committee of the International Association for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (IACFS/ME) and as a content reviewer for clinical practice guidelines created by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Todd is an associate editor of the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, as well as a reviewer for several journals in the fields of rehabilitation and rheumatology. In addition to his teaching, scholarship, and service work, Todd practices clinically at the Kaiser Permanente offices in Stockton, California.

What's Included in the Program

Advanced Courses

Choose from over 45 online, video-based courses taught by the experts

Practice Questions

Study with over 500 practice questions and recommended journal articles

Group Study

Prepare on your own or with others sitting for the exam

Structured Program

Improve your expertise with this 20-week program designed specifically for the OCS exam

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