- Question: What is a clinical internship?
Answer: A clinical internship is a clinical education experience that is part of the requirement for graduation from a physical therapist professional education program. Although some exposure to women's health issues may occur during a clinical internship, it is unlikely the intern will be independent in treating all areas of women's health physical therapy practice.
- Question:What is a clinical residency?
Answer: A clinical residency is a planned program of post-professional clinical and didactic education designed to advance the PT resident's preparation as a provider of care in a specially defined area of clinical practice. The learning experience is a combination of an educational component addressing clinical theory and scientific inquiry as well as clinical supervision and mentoring.
- Question: What is a clinical fellowship?
Answer: A clinical fellowship is a planned program of post-professional clinical and didactic education for physical therapists who demonstrate clinical expertise, prior to commencing the program, in a learning experience in an area of clinical practice related to the practice focus of the fellowship. A fellowship possesses 3 main components: 1. is focused, with advanced clinical and didactic instruction within a subspecialty area of practice; 2. is intensive and includes extensive mentored clinical experience; and 3. provides a sufficient and appropriate patient population to create an environment for advanced clinical skill building. Currently no fellowships exist under the umbrella of the SOWH.
- Question:What is the difference between a clinical residency and fellowship?
Answer: A clinical residency program is designed to substantially advance a resident's expertise in examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, intervention, and management of patients in a defined area of clinical practice (specialty, i.e. women's health). This focus may also include community service, patient education, research, and supervision of other health care providers. Often, the residency experience prepares and individual to become a board-certified clinical specialist.
- A fellowship program is designed to provide greater depth in a specialty or subspecialty area than that which is covered in a residency program. Additionally, applicants of a clinical fellowship program must be licensed as a physical therapist and possess one or more of the following qualification: 1. specialist certification, 2. completion of a residency in a specialty area, or 3. demonstrable clinical skills within a particular specialty area.
- Question:How does a residency program decide what it will teach?
Answer: Clinical residencies base their curriculum off of the most recent "Description of Specialty Practice" (DSP). This document is based off analyses of the subset of skills need to serve the targeted population; what diagnoses this population present with; and the standards of practice being used to treat these patients. It is this DSP that ensures that a residency in New England is comparable to one in the Great Plains. The SOWH has a DSP that is for sale via the APTA website.
- Question:How many hours are required to complete a clinical residency program?
Answer: Clinical residencies require a minimum of 1,500 hours of participation.
- Question:What time frame is required to complete a clinical residency program?
Answer: Clinical residency programs should be completed in no fewer than 9 months, but no more than 36 months.
Clinical Residency and ABPTS Specialist Certification in Women's Health
- Question: Does residency fulfill the ABPTS specialist certification practice eligibility requirements?
Answer:Specialty councils may allow completion of an APTA-credentialed women's health clinical residency to replace all or a portion of the practice eligibility requirements; click here for details
For the Potential Clinical Residency Host Site
- Residency Models
- Question: Are all residencies offered by a single institution?
Answer: No. Sometimes multiple entities collaborate to administer the didactic and clinical components of a residency.
- Question: What current models are being used by APTA residencies?
- Single facility model. In the single facility model, one site takes care of providing the didactic and clinical components of the residency. This may include contracting unit(s) to other institutions when that clinic itself does not have all the resources. Essentially, the single facility (clinic or university) takes on sole responsibility for planning and executing the program.
- Multiple clinical facilities collaborative model. In the multiple clinical facilities collaborative model, more than one clinic takes responsibility for providing didactic and clinical experiences to the residents. For example, in a large metropolitan community there may be 3 clinics with individual specialty areas (pregnancy related issues, incontinence issues, and gynecological cancer rehabilitation issues). These 3 clinics may chose to team up and share responsibility for educating a resident(s).
- A clinical facility and university/other educational program collaborative model. In this model a university system or continuing education group provides the educational aspect while a clinical system provides the hands on learning system. The clinic is responsible for coordinating the educational component and directly provides the mentoring and direct patient contact experiences. In the case of affiliation with a university, responsibility of planning may fall jointly on these two entities..
- Military model. This model is developed by military programs for its active members
The Residency Application Process
- Question: How do I get started in establishing a residency?
Answer: Before beginning the process of establishing a residency program it is important to obtain a copy of the "Description of Specialty Practice" (DSP). This document outlines what is minimally expected to be in a residency program. The Women's Health DSP is available at the APTA Service Center, 800/999-2782, ext. 3395 or via the website . When using the DSP in planning, it is useful for your program to list available resources (staff and equipment) available for use in teaching and what will need to be developed or contracted to another facility. In addition to the DSP, your program should have a mission and/or vision statement for your program. You use these to determine the goals of your program and how you will measure them.
Requirements for Starting a Program
Collectively, the clinical faculty must possess the following qualifications in order to effectively conduct all of the necessary activities of a residency or fellowship program: (1) advanced clinical skills, with at least one faculty member who is ABPTS-certified in the content area; (2) expertise in teaching; and (3) involvement in scholarly and professional activities. Clinical supervision of the residents or fellows by the clinical faculty, while they are performing patient care, is critical. Other aspects of the curriculum should include classroom and lab training relevant to specialty or subspecialty area of physical therapy, and clinical practice hours. Other options can include academic courses, study groups, case presentations, clinical research, supervision of staff, and community service. Many credentialed programs partner with nearby physical therapist professional education programs that provide academic expertise and assist with classroom and laboratory teaching. The prospective program must provide evidence that the residency or fellowship program and its institution meet specified requirements with regard to organization, resources, curriculum, and performance measures, all of which are necessary to conduct a residency or fellowship. Such evidence is evaluated through: (1) a review of the application materials, and (2) an on-site visit. The Application Packet and a helpful Application Resource Manual are available on line. The application packet contains the policies and procedures related to the credentialing process, the application fee information, the application and forms, and description of evidence requirements. The residency or fellowship program should be consistent with the program's overall mission and philosophy and should include activities that promote residents' or fellows' continued integration of practice, research, and scholarly inquiry into their personal career objectives.
Please click here for the APTA's "starting a clinical residency of fellowship program" page.
- Question: Where can I find a clinical residency application?
Answer: Contact the APTA for an application resource manual or for an application.
- How does accreditation of my clinical residency work?
Answer: Accreditations of your clinical residency occurs once the APTA Clinical Residency/Fellowship Program Credentialing Committee review and approve the program based on the written evaluation and site visit. The total process is limited to one year.
- Question: What happens after our residency program is credentialed?
Answer: New programs are recognized during Opening Ceremonies at CSM. Additionally, the programs are listed on the web site and in an annual PT Magazine announcement.
Credentialed programs may advertise using the designated APTA credentialing display table at CSM and Annual Conference. Credentialed programs submit an annual report and fee for the length of their credential. At the end of the five year credentialing period, the program must submit a new application for ongoing credentialing. Re-credentialing does not normally require a site visit.
Host Site Concerns
- Question: What are the benefits of having clinical residents on site?
- Educational Advantages.
Answer: Some residencies enroll current employees thereby providing in depth continuing education that may fulfill a portion of some states' licensure requirements. Residents also provide education to other clinicians in the organization via evidence based presentations given on current issues and concerns.
Answer: Resources such as texts or audiovisual materials can be purchased within the residency budget and shared with the clinic when not in use.
- Staff Retention/Recruitment
Answer: Residency programs can serve as a method of recruiting new, highly motivated staff for your clinical site. This can reduce the expenses associated with recruiting.
- Question: How can my facility afford this?
- Day to day operations. Answer: Each residency must demonstrate financial solvency upon application. There are multiple ways of doing this including charging residents tuition and/or paying a partial salary compared to that of a new graduate.
- Defraying the cost of residency application.
Answer: The SOWH currently offers limited $1,500 grants which are awarded on a first come, first serve basis. The application for this grant occurs at the same time as the residency application. If the grant is awarded, the application fee will be reimbursed to the residency site.
- Question: How can my facility afford liability insurance?
Answer: If you are in a large facility, this additional coverage may be minimal. Another possibility is having the resident buy their own coverage for the time they participate in the residency.
- Question: How do we pay the staff/residents?
Answer: Residents are typically paid a partial salary to reflect the amount of time they participate in non-billable activities such as mentoring. This is generally a partial salary of a new graduate. Since residents also provide treatments during part of their program, this is billable time.
Resources for the Host Site
- Question: Where can I find information for developing a residency program?
Answer: Click here for APTA resources for developing residency and fellowship
The link includes resources for: