Recommended Books

Orthopedic Clinical Examination

  • I highly recommend Orthopedic Clinical Examination by Dr. Reiman.
  • Dr. Reiman was my musculoskeletal professor at the Duke University DPT program, and truly is an exemplemary role model for our profession.
  • It can be used to study for the OCS or SCS examination.
  • The book has been advocated by the British Journal of Sports Medicine Editor-in-Chief, Karim Kahn.  @BJSM_BMJ
  • It is an exhaustive resource in the realm of orthopedics.
  • Click on book cover to learn more.

Primary Care for the Physical Therapist

  • This is a great book to use to study for the OCS examination.
  • Dr. Boissonnault at one time was a test item writer for the OCS exam.
  • This book covers topics such as differential diagnosis, triage and examination for the primary care physical therapist.
  • Understanding these topics will ensure success on the OCS exam.
  • Click on book cover to learn more.

PT Ortho Questions Pass the Test Without Breaking the Bank

  • PT Ortho Questions is the only multiple choice practice test book on the market.
  • It’s great for practicing your test taking skills on OCS-like questions.
  • There are vignette OCS case style questions as well as single content questions.
  • Each questions is associated with a supporting article, so you can read the article of questions that you miss.
  • Click on book cover to learn more.

Orthopedic Physical Therapy SECRETS

  • Orthopedic Physical Therapy Secrets has been a staple for studying for the OCS exam for several physical therapists over the years.
  • It is written in a question answer format and broken down into various musculoskeletal categories.
  • Click on book cover to learn more

Sensitive Nervous System

  • If you started studying for the OCS exam early (prior to December), I would recommend reading this book.
  • Understanding of the neuroanatomy can really help on the OCS exam.
  • This book was written by Dr. Butler of the NOI group and can facilitate a clinicians learning of neurodynamics.
  • If you are short on time, I would recommend the books above over this one.

PT Sports Questions


  • 100 SCS specific multiple choice questions
  • Rational and citations to correct answers
  • One of the only SCS specific books

PT Ortho & Sports Questions Vol. II

FTP017-002 PT Ortho & Sports Questions vII Book Cover v2

  • This book is meant for those studying for both the OCS and SCS
  • It focuses on the joints and extremities
  • Not only does it have practice questions, but review sections as well


Fun Reading Recomendaitons:

If you’re anything like me, you feel bad for any moment spent not studying for the OCS exam.  Especially in the months of January and February.

  • With that said, it is nice to take a break and read something other than one of the books mentioned above or a journal article.
  • The books below are loosely related to physical therapy and will give you a break form studying, while satisfying your need to not stop studying.

Beat the Reaper

This book was written by a physician named Josh Bazell while he was moonlighting.

  • It is a book detailing a physician’s run in with a mobster.
  • Also, there is a scene that described an auto fibulectomy and is written with plenty of anatomical type references.
  • One review says it best: Spattered in adrenaline-fueled action and bone-saw-sharp dialogue, BEAT THE REAPER is a debut thriller so utterly original you won’t be able to guess what happens next, and so shockingly entertaining you won’t be able to put it down.
  • I would agree.  This is a great distraction from studying for the OCS, while satisfying your need to not stop studying.

Born to Run

  • This is a book that I am currently reading.
  • It highlights the adventures of a writer trying to figure out why his foot hurts.
  • It is amazing that this story is actually true, and details an amazing adventure.
  • It’s related to physical therapy, because in addition to getting several opinions from top sports medicine physicians, the author sees a physical therapist named Dr. Irene Davis, an expert in biomechanics and running injuries.
  • I had the pleasure of listening to Dr. Irene Davis at the AAOMPT conference in Louisville.
  • Again, book is loosely related to physical therapy, but serves as a good break from the grind of studying for the OCS.