September 11, 2007

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has approved the Brooks/ University of North Florida Orthopaedic Residency Program as an APTA-credentialed post-professional clinical residency program. Brooks Rehabilitation launched the program in January.

“Receiving our accreditation this early in our development is a great honor, and it makes our program even more valuable to our residents” says program manager, Bob Rowe, PT, DPT, DMT, MHS, FAAOMPT.

Brooks Rehabilitation reports the physical therapy orthopaedic residency is a 1-year program in which experienced physical therapists research and apply highly sophisticated therapy skills, focused on a specialized group of patients such as orthopaedics, back pain, or hand therapy. The residency is one of many joint ventures between Brooks and the Brooks College of Health at UNF. The University offers several components including library access, gross anatomy lab and faculty to support the residents’ learning and mentoring experiences.

“Because of our association, the students are enrolled simultaneously within the residency and as students within the UNF Graduate program”, says A. Russell Smith, Jr., PT, Ed.D., OCS, FAAOMPT, assistant professor at the Brooks College of Health.

A news release from Brooks Rehabiliation stated there are only 41 clinical residency and fellowship programs in the country, two of which are located in Florida: one in St. Augustine and one in Miami. According to the release, Brooks is currently one of the largest orthopaedic residency programs credentialed by the APTA with 6 residents as compared with most programs which have 1 or 2 students enrolled. The Brooks residents are undergoing the rigorous, year-long, advanced training program that includes intense didactic and hands-on learning as well as clinical mentoring.

Currently the APTA credentials programs who meet the standards and guidelines set forth within the various specialty areas of practice. The residency/fellowship training is similar to the medical model in that licensed physical therapists who have graduated from an accredited physical therapy program will enter the residency training to attain advanced training within a specialty area of practice. The Brooks program will markedly advance the clinical and critical thinking skills of the participants who complete the program and also develop future educators.

Source: Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital