Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about Membership

How do I join?

Becoming a member of the Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Section is through the APTA
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What are the benefits of being a member?

Membership benefits:

  • Quarterly published Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Journal
  • Member-only access to the journal online at
  • Member-only area access to the Section webpage at
  • Access to the Section listserv
  • Participation in Section officer elections (via the web!) and opportunity to run for an office yourself
  • Participation on one of the many committees in the Section. You are encouraged to be an active member of the Section and are welcomed to contact any committee chair to offer your assistance
  • Receive Legislative updates and information on reimbursement issues
  • Having your voice heard - your Section delegate speaks on behalf of your interests at the APTA House of Delegates
  • Reduced rates on Section sponsored programming and products
    • Examples:
      • Pre-conference courses at APTA's Combined Sections Meeting
      • Monitoring Clinical Response to Exercise booklet, Heart Owners Manual, and more!
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What are the Membership dues for the Section?

All dues are paid to the APTA with annual membership renewal

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How do I change personal information (ie address, phone number, email, etc)?

Contact the APTA directly to change any personal information. You can change information via:

  • Calling the APTA's Member Services Department at 1-800-999-2782, x3395
  • Emailing APTA at
When you change your personal information with the APTA it automatically changes in the section roster the next month.

How do I sponsor a student?

Any active or affiliate member of the CVP Section can sponsor a student by offering to pay their Section dues for the year

Contact the APTA (via phone or email) with the students name and membership ID number and inform them you would like to pay the students Section dues for the year.

  • APTA's Member Services Department: 1-800-999-2782, x3395
  • APTA's Membership email:

Questions about Specialization

Why is the cost of specialization so high?
  • The current cost of sitting for the specialist examination is $1300 (Application Review fee $500, Examination fee $800) for APTA members and $2370 (Application Review fee $845, Examination fee $1525) for non-members.
  • These fees go towards establishing the examination, reviewing the examination after the exam has been taken and setting the passing score. Every year many specialists volunteer their time to write questions that can be submitted as possible examination questions. These questions are written on the individuals own time or they may be able to attend a regional Item Writers Workshop with a group of writers. All of this time is volunteered by the individual.
  • The members of the Specialty Council and the Committee of Content Experts volunteer their time to then go through the questions for editing and make suggestions as needed to make sure good, fair questions are submitted and then added to the bank of questions.
  • Once every other year the members of the Specialty Council and a small group of selected specialists meet in Philadelphia to set the passing score. They volunteer to take time out of their schedules to meet for one day to go over the entire exam and review each question to make sure it was a fair and appropriate question.
  • Yes, it is a large amount of money upfront to sit for the specialist examination. Once you pass the exam, your specialty certification is good for 10 years. If you are a member of the APTA that’s only $130 per year to have this recognition.

What does specialization do for me?
  • In general, the benefits of specialization go towards demonstrating to your patients, your peers and the medical community that you have done the due diligence of going that next step in your education and treatment skills to care for a special population of patients.
  • Specialization shows that you have a drive to advance and succeed in an area you have shown a great deal of interest in.
  • In some cases employers will pay to have an employee go through the process. In other cases those that have passed the specialist exam have been given bonuses and/or promoted by their employer.
  • Specialization can also open other opportunities for employment such as teaching or consultation.
  • In the future there may come a time that reimbursement payment may be similar to that of physician specialists. It may be that specialist would be reimbursed more than the non-specialist who may be paid less, or not at all.

Isn’t the CCS more geared towards, and focuses on, outpatient rehab?

  • No. While many CCS’s work in an outpatient environment, there are also an equal amount that work in the inpatient setting.
  • As the length-of-stay continues to decrease and more patients are discharged earlier than in the recent past, CCS’s are regularly in the ICU and step-down settings seeing patients. The importance of early intervention with such a limited time-frame speaks to the importance of having a specialist seeing these patients.
  • The home health setting is also becoming an area where CCS’s are also being seen more frequently.
  • Specialization can demonstrate a commitment to cardiovascular and pulmonary care beyond the basic levels in all of these settings.

I haven’t had any research published. How can I meet the research component of applying for the CCS?
  • If you’ve published a paper in the field of cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy you will likely meet the research requirement.
  • However, there are other ways to meet the requirement. For example:
    • If you did a platform or poster presentation at a state or national conference you may meet the research requirement
    • If you assisted the author of a research paper (i.e. you collected data, developed the tool used to perform the research, interviewed subjects for the research project, etc.) you may meet the research requirement.
  • The advice is to submit what you can in regards to your involvement in a research project along with any supporting information such as an abstract of your presentation or a written letter from the lead author of the research project you were involved in. The information will be reviewed and you will be notified if it is acceptable or if more information is needed.
  • Become A Member

    Become a member of the section (Must become a member of APTA also)

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  • CCS Exam Preparation Resources

    Resources that will assist in your preparation

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  • Physical Therapy Journal

    Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Journal

    Read Now
  • Partners Program

    Not a PT or PTA, but still interested in joining the section?

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