CBIS, Whats up with all these letters behind professionals’ names?

When I would go to the doctor growing up I always noticed an alphabet of letters behind my provider’s names.

 I never knew what they meant or why they had them. Now as a physical therapist I strive to have a whole alphabet behind my name. 

Letters behind your provider’s names symbolize a way to recognize their specialty area and professional accomplishments. Since 1996, physical therapy programs have been doctoral level degrees. Graduating from an accredited physical therapy college (typically 6-7 years of undergrad and grad level schooling) allows PTs the honor of writing PT, DPT behind our names. Standing for a physical therapist, doctor of physical therapy

In this blog, I wanted to touch on the meaning of CBIS. CBIS stands for certified brain injury specialist. Achieving this title was an accomplishment of mine as it allows me to stand out in the work of patients with brain injuries. 

The CBIS certification dives into the essential aspects of brain injury treatment needed to effectively care for patients. The Academy of Certified Brain Injury Specialists offers a program designed to address the unique needs of those who care for individuals with brain injury. To apply for the certification the provider must have 500 hours of direct contact experience with individuals with brain injury. After applying, I took a two-day course to help me prepare for sitting for the exam. This also included a few months of studying and finally taking my test. 

At the course, it was great to network as the CBIS certification is not inclusive of only physical therapists. Other professions such as cognitive therapists, visual therapists, nurses, etc can work towards this title. This network provides a database of other providers that can help my patient choose a top-notch and well-educated provider in their team approach to their care and healing. 

The CBIS Certification requires a minimum of 10 hours of continuing education in the field of brain injury. This allows me to be at the forefront of research and to offer the best quality care for my recovering patients. 

Being a CBIS, grants me the opportunity to better serve individuals with concussions, traumatic brain injuries, strokes, and other neurological conditions. I feel I am able to give exceptional care having this specialty and combine it with my certificate in vestibular rehab and my special interest in craniosacral therapy. 

Part of Apex’s mission and vision is to offer excellence in the field of physical therapy and therefore they are dedicated to educating all of the therapists. Check out our website or next time you are at Apex see all the certifications we are proud to have achieved. Know if you don’t see extra letters behind someone’s name, they are diligently working on some sort of certification. 

Other titles and certifications you will see behind Apex’s therapist names:

  • WCS: woman’s certified specialist 
  • CST: certified craniosacral therapist 
  • MDT: mechanical diagnosis and therapy 
  • OCS: Orthopedic clinical specialist 
  • ATC: Athletic trainer certified 

So next time you see someone’s professional title, ask them about their alphabet!

A lot of time, hard work, and dedication went into (and continues to go into with continuing education) those special letters. 

Signing off, Allison Buske PT, DPT, CBIS, certificate in vestibular rehab.

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