A PT is trained in the musculoskeletal system, treating the source of the injury and educating the employee on how to prevent re-injury. Physical therapists all have medical training in the treatment of injuries. However, there are wide variations in skill levels.
The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) oversees the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialist (ABPTS) and certifies the most common type of work comp physical therapist - the Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS). They are:
Certified Hand Specialist
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Geriatric Certified Specialist
Neurologic Certified Specialist
Orthopedic Certified Specialist
Pediatric Certified Specialist
Licensed Physical Therapist
Women's Health Certified Specialist
A common workers compensation claims physical therapist designation is FAAOMT or FAAOMPT for PT "Fellows" who earn certification by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT). Then you have the Certified Hand Therapist (CHT).
There is the DPT for Doctor of Physical Therapy, a three-year degree post-baccalaureate endorsed by the APTA. In the end a PT's name could look like this: Leslie Doe, OCS, FAAOMT, CHT, DPT. Other more advanced designations look like:
AAOMPT American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapist
APTA Member of the American Physical Therapy Association
FAAOMPT Fellow of American Academy of Manual Physical Therapists
FAPTA Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association
FSBPT Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy
NARA National Association of Rehabilitation Providers (rare and may not see patients.