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Residency and fellowship programs build on physical therapists' foundational knowledge and facilitate the development of advanced practitioners with enhanced skills in a defined area of practice. Mentoring develops residents and fellows-in-training who elevate the quality of patient care and enhance the profession. Programs focus on advancing skills and knowledge including educational techniques, research methodology, clinical skills, and administrative practices. The comprehensive curriculum integrates these combined skills and knowledge specific to a defined area of practice that is consistent with the program's mission, goals, and outcomes.

Clinical Residency Practice Areas

ABPTRFE currently accredits clinical physical therapist residency programs in the following areas:

  • Acute Care
  • Cardiovascular & Pulmonary
  • Clinical Electrophysiology
  • Geriatrics
  • Neurology
  • Oncology
  • Orthopaedics
  • Pediatrics
  • Sports
  • Women's Health
  • Wound Management

Clinical Fellowship Practice Areas

ABPTRFE currently accredits clinical physical therapist fellowship programs in the following areas:

  • Critical Care
  • Hand Therapy
  • Movement System
  • Neonatology
  • Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy
  • Performing Arts
  • Spine
  • Sports Division 1
  • Upper Extremity Athlete

Accreditation Guidelines

Program Development Resources

Application Templates

Application Resources

Descriptions of Residency Practice

DRPs are used by programs to reduced unwarranted curriculum variability; provide residents minimum consistency in learning experiences for that area of practice; and streamline the accreditation process for reporting.

Descriptions of Fellowship Practice

DFPs are used to reduce unwarranted curriculum variability; provide fellows-in-training minimum consistency in learning experiences for that area of practice; and streamline the accreditation process for reporting