Disclaimer: Law, rules and regulations, not Guidelines, specify the requirements for practice and violating them constitutes professional misconduct. Not adhering to this Guideline may be interpreted as professional misconduct only if the conduct also violates pertinent law, rules and regulations.
Guideline 2: Advertising and Specialty Credentials
- No one except physical therapists may advertise that they are providing physical therapy services or use the title "physical therapist." However, individuals licensed in chiropractic or podiatry may advertise that they are providing chiropractic physiotherapy or podiatric physiotherapy and a licensed physician may advertise his or her services as "physical medicine".
- In order to use a specialty title in the name of a professional corporation or in advertising, the applicant must present evidence of such certification. When private certification does not exist, other titles can be used but require the licensee to bear the burden of proof and substantiate professional superiority.
- The initials used in connection with a licensed physical therapist's or physical therapist assistant’s name are "P.T." or "P.T.A." Although an individual can include the academic degree in one’s signature, these designations are neither recognized nor protected by Education Law or the Rules of the Regents. The title should be listed first after the person’s name, i.e., Jane Smith, PT, MSPT, DPT, OCS.
- Use of the title "doctor" when offering to perform professional services must indicate the profession in which the licensee holds a doctorate (i.e., Dr. Jane Smith, P.T.).
- A licensed and registered physical therapist or physical therapist assistant who wishes to perform activities that do not require a license (e.g., Pilates or personal training) may face charges of misconduct for alleging professional superiority and advertising that is not in the public interest. Such licensee may choose to make the professional license inactive to avoid confusion.
Citations of Pertinent Law, Rules or Regulations:
Education Law, Section 6503 - "practice of a profession"
Education Law, Section 6509(9) - "unprofessional conduct"
Regents Rule, Part 29.1(b)(12)(i)(a) – "unprofessional conduct"
Regents Rule, Part 29.1 (b)(12)(i)(d) and (f) – "unprofessional conduct"
Regents Rule, Part 29.2(a)(4) – "unprofessional conduct for health professions"