What exactly is a residency? Many programs exist, in fact there are currently 178 credentialed programs (and counting), and they exist in a variety of forms. More or less, it is a program designed to bring a PT from entry level to specialty practice through mentoring, clinical practice, specialty course work and evidence based practice. This experience gives new professionals the equivalence of 4 years’ experience in just one year because of the course work and mentoring. The course work varies based on the program; with EIM (see more info below) it is mostly on-line based. Students interact, discuss, and complete projects with fellow residency students all across the country who are on the same track. This has been extremely successful as most of the work is self-paced, but also incorporates the input of others in the program. There are also a few intensive weekends where students get together for some hands on learning. It often takes a PT a few years of clinical practice and continuing education to be prepared to sit for a specialty exam, however a residency prepares PTs to be prepared to sit for the specialty exam upon residency completion with a 93% pass rate. Specialty exams exist in all clinical specialties including orthopaedics, neurology, pediatrics, geriatrics, etc.
So I’ve heard the term fellowship… What’s that? A fellowship is geared toward a more experienced PT who would like to further specialize in a particular sub-specialty within their given specialty. It does however follow a similar set-up as residency programs with a mentor, academic programming, and clinical practice.
Why complete a residency? The simple answer. Better patient care. If we all specialize in a particular area we will have a better understanding for whom we can deliver the best care to and whom to refer out to another PT in that specialty. Another reason is the mentoring. Some companies will state they mentor new hires, if so really question the mentoring system in place; you may find it is not structured. With a residency you are guaranteed one-on-one time set aside with your mentor where they will be available for help, advice, and to challenge you to be your best.
Sign me up?! There is a common application to apply to residencies that can be found at www.abptrfe.org. Some good tips to keep in mind if you choose to apply… Share your passions. Why do you feel that this is the best next
step for you? Show them that you want to do MORE through this experience, what visions do you have, what benefits do you see in this specialty that you can bring?
EIM: Evidence in Motion. EIM is a credentialed residency program which offers two models.
The Independent Residency model which:
Allows you to live, work, and mentor wherever you choose.
Lasts 18-36 months and all self-scheduled learning time.
You are responsible for negotiating salary with the employer of your choice
You are responsible for paying tuition
The Hosted Residency model which:
Places you in an EIM facility, with the potential for relocation
Onsite mentoring with EIM pre-approved mentor
12-14 months duration with ~4 hours per week as dedicated “learning time”
Competitive resident salary
Employer pays tuition; typically involves some sort of commitment to the facility after
Both of the above offer 4 weekend intensive labs during the program, prepare you to sit for OCS exam, and the ability to add a post-professional DPT or certification to your plan. A few MU students had the ability to meet with
Dr. John Childs, founder of EIM while at NSC 2013. He graciously offered his e-mail to any and all with questions and would be more than willing to help! firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: Marisa Gordon, SPT
If you have any additional questions I would be more than willing to help if I am able or direct you to someone who can help!