Yes, new content changes to the NPTE and NPTAE are underway for 2018. The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) is making changes to content that you should be aware of. As the certifying agency, the FSBPT is charged every five years with ensuring that the exams are relevant to current physical therapy practice. These changes are meant to make you both a better physical therapist and to protect patients.

Content Changes

Starting in January of 2018, there will be slight changes to the content that you are expected to know. There is a suggestion for an expansion of medical related material. Click the link to view the 2018 outline (which is far easier to read than the 2013 version). But here are a few changes that can be expected:

  • The Lymphatic System will break away from the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems to become it’s own separate group. There will be a total of 3-8 questions in this system.
  • A potential increase in the number of Gastrointestinal and Genitourinary System questions.
  • An increase in the number of questions in the Systems Interactions category.

What This Means For You

In a nutshell, the changes are fairly minor. However, the FSBPT is becoming increasingly aware of the necessity for physical therapists to have a better understanding of medicine in general. This may be in response to the increasing number of Direct Access states in the U.S. that allow physical therapists to see patients without a physician’s prescription. Therefore, physical therapists will have to become increasingly aware of “musculoskeletal or neurological disorder mimics” that are actually serious medical problems. For example, the patient presenting with back pain that is having an aortic dissection or obstructive renal stone.

What This Means For the PT QBank

We will be adjusting the content of our PT QBank to add additional questions regarding lympathics, gastrointestinal, genitourinary systems and systems interactions to best prepare your for the increase in content in these categories. Besides, being even more of an expert on medicine topics as a physical therapist will not only help you pass the NPTE but may help you save the life of a patient in the future.



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