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About Residencies and Fellowships

See the full list of residencies available on ABPTRFE's website.

See the full list of fellowships available on ABPTRFE's website.


Residency Programs

  • Number of Accredited Programs: 171
  • Number of Graduates (1999-2013): 1603
  • Combines opportunities for ongoing mentoring including formal and informal feedback to the physical therapist resident   
  • Goal for the residency program is to have increased work in a specialized advanced practice area
  • Program's curriculum must cover the entire corresponding Descriptions of Specialty Practice
  • Minimum of 150 hours of 1:1 mentoring and 75 hours of didactic instruction while treating patients in a specialized setting

Fellowship Programs

  • Number of Accredited Programs: 34
  • Number of Graduates (1999-2013): 941
  • Combines opportunities for ongoing mentoring to the physical therapist fellow-in-training, including required written and live patient practical examinations
  • Fellowships should have a curriculum based in one or more subspecialty (specific areas of a Physical Therapy Specialty Practice) areas.
  • Subspecialized programs must include postprofessional education and training in the scientific principles underlying practice applications
  • Minimum of 100 hours of 1:1 mentoring and 50 hours of advanced didactic instruction within an area of subspecialty over the course of the program

How Do Residencies and Fellowships differ?

  • Residency
    • Designed to advance therapist’s expertise in a defined area of clinical practice
    • Often designed to prepare individuals to become board-certified clinical specialists by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties
    • Typically newer professionals

  • Fellowship
    • Designed to provide greater depth within a subspecialty area
    • For example- critical care, neonatology, manual therapy, upper extremity athlete
    • Not for new professionals
    • Applicants must demonstrate prior to application one of the following: Specialist certification, completion of residency, clinical skills
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