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Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy Residency Program

The Physical Service at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center offers licensed physical therapists a year-long advanced practice residency in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy in partnership with the University of Cincinnati.

The Physical Therapy Service at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center offers licensed physical therapists a year-long advanced practice residency in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy in partnership with the University of Cincinnati. Our residency was accredited through the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE) in 2023 and is funded through the Office of Academic Affiliations.  Residents will enjoy full-time employment while completing 150+ hours of 1:1 mentoring with a Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Clinical Specialist across a variety of settings.  Collaborative, interprofessional practice opportunities occur in the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation onsite and virtual clinics, acute care/ICU rounds, cardiology and pulmonary clinics, and various Whole Health and Wellness programs.  Residents will manage a 32-hour patient caseload and have 8 hours to dedicate to self-study and a robust didactic curriculum that will be supplemented with a subscription to MedBridge during their time in the residency.  Our Program currently supports 1 resident annually.  Residents who successfully complete the program are eligible to sit for the Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Clinical Specialist (CCS) exam.  This is a funded position with benefits.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to prepare physical therapists with specialized skills who integrate the teacher-scholar model into their clinical practice through mentorship with master clinicians, structured didactic and clinical learning experiences, and research and teaching opportunities.  As advanced cardiovascular and pulmonary practitioners, graduates will serve as resources and role models within their professional, academic, and social communities and contribute to an expanding body of evidence-based practice.

Program Goals

  • Prepare physical therapists to become advanced practice practitioners of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy.
  • Develop and deliver an experiential curriculum that integrates the teacher-scholar model.
  • Contribute to an expanding body of knowledge in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy.
  • Serve as a resource within professional, academic, and social communities.
  • Graduate physical therapists who demonstrate professional excellence/virtue and who are prepared to pursue American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) certification as a Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Clinical Specialist (CCS).
  • Maintain American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE) accreditation and program sustainability.

Program Outcomes

We are a new program currently pursuing accreditation and funded by the VA.  As of this time, we do not have any outcomes to report but plan for publishing graduation rates, board pass rates, and hire into VA rates once we have achieved accreditation and recruited our first resident.


Our curriculum is composed of paced modules reflective of areas of importance in the care of the patient with cardiopulmonary dysfunction.  The modules are comprised of independent readings, 1:1 didactic instruction, and integrated learning projects with opportunities for teaching, research and community service.  These modules compliment weekly mentored advanced clinical practice in the area of cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy across settings.

  • Professionalism
  • Education
  • Research
  • Telehealth
  • Veteran Health Issues
  • Leadership Development
  • Administration and Ethics
  • Pulmonary and Cardiac Pharmacology
  • Nutrition and Diabetes
  • Cardiac and Pulmonary Evidence Based Practice
  • Cardiac and Pulmonary Foundations
  • Movement Analysis
  • Cardiac and Pulmonary Diagnostic Imaging
  • Pediatrics and Geriatrics
  • Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Heart and Lung Transplant
  • Mobility Clinic
  • Graded Exercise Testing
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Cardiac Surgical Interventions
  • Health Promotion and Wellness
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease and Podiatry

It is the intention of the Program to support APTA Clinical Instructor credentialing and attendance at the APTA Combined Sections Meeting within the residency unless in the case of unforeseen circumstances.

Residency Experiences

  • Acute Care/ICU
  • Outpatient
  • Specialty Clinics
  • University Engagement
  • Wellness Programs

Residency Requirements

  • US Citizenship
  • Graduation from a CAPTE accredited program
  • English language proficiency
  • Unrestricted State Licensure to practice physical therapy in a State, Territory or Commonwealth of the US or the District of Columbia, or demonstrated plan to achieve licensure before the start date of the residency
  • APTA and Section membership
  • Completion of Professional Portfolio and Compass
  • Completion of Personal Development Plan
  • Online Reflection Tool
  • 3 Formal Presentations to University Programs
  • Lab Assistant
  • Whole Health/Wellness Instructor
  • Completion of PT Month Project
  • 3 Formal Case Studies
  • 4 Journal Club presentations
  • Completion of Community Service project
  • 3 In-service presentations addressing best evidence on relevant topics
  • Facilitation of national conference
  • Participation in team rounds
  • 2 Written exams
  • 2 Live patient evaluations
  • 2 Self-Assessment Tool submissions
  • 3 Resident Competency Evaluation Instrument submissions
  • Completion of all program requirements within a 12-month time frame


  • $54,233 stipend
  • Health insurance
  • Paid leave days: 13 vacation; 13 sick; 10 federal holidays
  • Personal workspace / laptop
  • Scrubs / Lab Coat 
  • Office supplies/support personnel
  • Medical Media services
  • Medical Library access
  • Free parking
  • Teaching experience

How to Apply

Application Procedures:

A completed package through the APTA Residency/Fellowship Physical Therapist Centralized application Service (RF-PTCAS).

Application Acceptance:               October – March

Interview:  Onsite/Virtual:           January – April

Notification of Acceptance:         No later than April 30

Program Begins:                               After July 4

Should you have any questions, please contact Alice Holder at


Keep in mind that our residency timeline may be flexible given funding reallocations that may occur throughout the year so please reach out if you have any questions related to the application window.  Best wishes in your professional journey!



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