The Department of Physical Therapy at the UT Southwestern School of Health Professions offers a one-year residency-based education program that begins in late February of each year. This program supports the American Physical Therapy Association’s Vision 2020 of providing post-professional clinical training. A residency is defined as a planned program of post entry-level clinical and didactic education that will significantly advance a clinician’s skill and knowledge in the delivery of neurologic physical therapy.
The resident spends the year providing patient care in the faculty practice, as well as in other university clinical settings, while working with a designated mentor and participating in seven weekend intensive educational programs. The curriculum is taught by clinical experts with advanced credentials and extensive teaching and clinical experience.
Clinicians interested in becoming a resident must complete an application. Applications are due by August 31 each year. Applicants selected for participation in the residency will be notified via a faxed or emailed confirmation letter by October 15 of each year.
This residency format is based on a structured, comprehensive approach to examination and treatment of children and adults with neurologic dysfunction. The content is based upon the American Physical Therapy Association’s description of advanced clinical practice and includes didactic, laboratory, and clinical practice components under the supervision of accomplished clinical instructors.
The series of weekend courses, collaborative clinical care time, research opportunities, and journal club experiences provide the resident the opportunity to develop and refine a framework for use in the examination, evaluation, and treatment of patients. The aim of the program is to promote and develop advanced clinical expertise for the resident in the area of neurological rehabilitation
Weekend educational modules are designed to include the core information outlined in the Neurologic Physical Therapy Description of Specialty Practice. The classes include didactic instruction as well as lab experiences.
The goal of the residency program is to provide the resident with a comprehensive learning experience. The residency will provide the physical therapist with tools to improve their examination, assessment, and treatment of the neurologic patient. Within three years of completing the program, the resident is expected to sit for the Neurologic Specialty examination.
At the conclusion of the clinical residency program, the participant will be able to:
- Explain the clinical reasoning skills necessary for examination, assessment, and treatment techniques. These same skills will help the therapist develop the ability to continue to monitor their own clinical skill level.
- Conduct an effective and comprehensive patient interview which will enable development of a working clinical hypothesis as to the patient’s primary problem, a foundation to performing an objective examination.
- Perform an integrated physical examination, including differential diagnosis, for clients with various neurologic conditions.
- Create appropriate specific clinic and home therapeutic exercise program techniques related to all areas of examination noted above and integrate these techniques into the treatment plan as indicated.
- Critically analyze current scientific literature.
- Conduct clinical research projects.
The residency program runs over a 12-month employment period. The resident treats patients in the faculty practice, as well as in other clinical sites on the University campus, and works under the supervision of a clinical mentor as well as faculty members who treat patients in the neurologic clinic. The Resident maintains a patient load of 28 hours/week with an additional four hours reserved for collaborative care with their mentor.
The remaining eight hours per week are devoted to additional learning opportunities at the discretion of the mentor and includes journal club participation, academic teaching in the DPT program, in-service presentations, research development, and attendance at seven local weekend courses.
This program utilizes active learning that requires the resident to participate in independent learning activities and complete assignments in a prompt manner. There are mid-term and final written examples and practical examinations (including live patients) to ensure comprehension of the material and application of specific skills.
Selection Criteria for Residency Assignments
Enrollment is currently limited to one participant. Selection for participation is based on the information and justification comments provided by the applicant and a personal interview. An established residency committee evaluates all applications to ensure that each application is given appropriate consideration. The applications are evaluated based on the following criteria:
- Pre-professional academic and post-professional clinical education preparation
- Clinical experience in neurologic physical therapy
- Previous mentoring, education, and research experience
- Community service
- Letters of recommendation
The start date for the 2013-14 residency program will be on or about February 25, 2013. The exact start date for each resident will be on a mutually agreeable date between the Resident, the Residency Director, and the Clinical Director of the Allied Health Physical Therapy clinic. The seven-weekend course dates will be held at UT Southwestern Department of Physical Therapy and will be held in between the months of February 2013 and January 2014 with the exact dates determined on an annual basis. There is a strict attendance policy with the possibility of a no-show or cancellation resulting in termination from the program. Make-up activities and opportunities are at the discretion of the Residency Director and Residency Advisory committee.
Residency Topical Content
Course 1: Core Patient Management Principles and Evidence Based Practice
Course 2: Gait Analysis and Evidence-Based Gait Interventions
Course 3: Management of Acquired Brain Injury and Cerebral Vascular Accident
Course 4: Pediatric Neurologic Rehabilitation
Course 5: Management of Spinal Cord Injury and Peripheral Nerve Injury
Course 6: Management of Progressive Movement Disorders
Course 7: Vestibular Rehabilitation
Topics including physiology of motor control, neuroplasticity, research design and basic statistics, normal and pathological gait review, electrical stimulation review, pain, upper extremity interventions, postural control, motor milestones, neuromotor development, pharmacology review, learning styles, sensory testing overview, airway clearance techniques, aerobic testing procedures, diagnostic testing procedures, vestibular anatomy, and function review will all be done in independent studies that are separate from the weekend learning modules.
- Valid, current licensed Physical Therapist in the State of Texas
- Current CPR/BLS certification
The program consist of 146 hours of educational content (approximately 30 of which will be through independent learning experiences and 12 hours of testing for residents only), a minimum of 125 hours of direct collaborative learning with the supervising mentor, and at least 1200 hours of patient care. This program is credentialed by the American Physical Therapy Association as a post professional residency program for physical therapists in neurologic physical therapy.
Tuition cost for the residency program is $1,500. The Residents are employed by UT Southwestern from February of 2013 through February of 2014. The salary for this position is commensurate with the resident’s qualifications and experience. Standard benefits for the job description apply and includes things such as continuing education, full medical and liability insurance coverage, and accrued paid time off. Other costs such as textbooks and journal subscriptions will be the responsibility of the resident. Continued employment beyond the residency program year cannot be guaranteed.
Benefits to the Participant
The future of physical therapy depends upon our increasing professional stature and ability to function on an independent level as an autonomous profession. UT Southwestern School of Physical Therapy is interested in helping the APTA attain their Vision 2020 by providing thorough post-professional curricula that result in highly trained clinicians. The residency program is being offered to accommodate those licensed clinicians who are motivated to achieve this level of training and expertise. Successful completion of the residency program will fulfill the educational and credentialing requirements for future fellowship opportunities.
Completion of this residency will give the therapist clinical tools and problem solving ability needed to be on the leading edge of where our profession is advancing. It will also equip the therapist to be a resource for developing clinical excellence in other therapists. Our profession is moving toward residency-based training as a standard and this residency provides an opportunity to participate in that standard.
Instructional Level: Advanced
Education Program CEU Accreditation:
Weekend educational programming has been approved by the Texas Board of Physical Therapy for continuing education approval.
The UT Southwestern Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency program will take all reasonable measures to guarantee equal access to learning opportunities for clinicians with disabilities. Educational programming will be sensitive to any sensory or physical impairment that requires special arrangements on behalf of the participant. Please indicate on your registration form if you should be contacted regarding any impairment that would require special accommodation to ensure a satisfactory learning experience.