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And neuro makes two

Emory DPT adds second residency program
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The Emory DPT division has launched its second residency program. The neurology residency joins the orthopedic residency, which was established in 2011. Recent DPT graduate Remi Onifade, DPT '13, began the neuro residency program in August. This month, the ortho residency will be graduating its third student, Rachelle Levy, DPT '12. Two more students enrolled in August – Zachary Dunkle, DPT '13, and Sam Kridl, DPT '13.

The Emory residency programs join a nationwide race toward specialization. "Residency programs are rising at an amazing rate across the country," says Laura Zajac-Cox, PT, NCS, instructor and head of the neuro residency program. "The American Physical Therapy Association has put a tremendous amount of resources behind the development of residencies. That's because we are moving toward a physician model, receiving a general education and then moving into a specialty practice."

Both residencies combine lecture courses, clinical rotations and research. For the didactic portion of its program, the neuro residency is partnering with the Neurologic Physical Therapy Professional Education Consortium. Developed in 2010 by the University of Southern California Department of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy and other institutions, the consortium supports more than 12 PT neuro residency programs across the country.

  sam kridl, rachelle levy, zachary dunkle
  Sam Kridl, DPT ‘13, Rachelle Levy, DPT ‘12 and Zachary Dunkle, DPT ‘13, joined the orthopedic residency program.

The clinical portion of the residency program will be broken up into four three-month rotations. Partnerships include Emory Healthcare, Grady Health Systems, the Balance and Dizziness Clinic at Emory and Emory Physical Therapy and Wellness. Upon completing the program, residents will sit for their neurologic clinical specialist certification (NCS).

Onifade is excited to help launch the program. She seeks to further her knowledge in a difficult area. "I found the neuro complexes to be the hardest we encountered in school," she says. "I want to gain more in-depth knowledge about how to deal with these conditions."

The orthopedic residency program was recently credentialed on June 30, 2013 "Being credentialed gives our program more national recognition and the opportunity to foster advanced clinical reasoning and orthopedic specialization within our profession," says Kathleen Geist, PT, DPT, OCS, COMT, assistant professor and head of the orthopedic residency program.

The year-long orthopedic residency program consists of 40 hours per week of clinical practice, a monthly lecture course and monthly grand rounds during which the students and faculty discuss research and the implications for patient care. The clinical rotations involve a six month rotation between two outpatient clinics in addition to the Emory Physical Therapy and Wellness faculty practice. Upon completing the residency, graduates sit for their orthopedic clinical specialist certification (OCS). Two students have already graduated from the program. Levy will graduate on Oct. 31. "I think the knowledge that I have gained from the orthopedic residency will be invaluable to my growth as an independent practitioner," says Levy.

Kridl sees the orthopedic physical therapy residency program as a jump start to his career. "Advanced training will help me get into the right practice and work with the patient population in which I have the most interest," he says. "Eventually I'd like to work either as a clinical instructor or as an instructor in a DPT program." Dunkle decided to pursue the orthopedic residency while he was doing his long-term clinical rotations as a DPT student. "I felt completely prepared in those rotations, and I had complete faith in Dr. Geist," he says. "I want to continue to build on that. Down the road I definitely see myself specializing in orthopedics. Just as medical practitioners need to specialize these days, so do physical therapists."

Related Resources

Emory University Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency Program

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