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Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy Residency Program

The Madison VA is a specialty care site for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation across South Central Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. It is the only VA hospital that performs both heart and lung transplantation. Our residency has an academic partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison DPT Program.


Develop and retain Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Clinical Specialists to provide care that adapts to current and future demands of Veterans through a forward-thinking approach based on clinical practice, mentorship, teaching, research and community service.


Goal 1: Promote the professional advancement of the Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Clinical Specialty that aligns with the mission and vision of the Madison VA and the University of Wisconsin-Madison DPT Program.

Goal 2: Provide a diverse learning curriculum that facilitates advanced clinical competence in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy.

Goal 3: Promote professional growth and retention of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Clinical Specialists within the Veterans Administration System.


Goal 1: Acquire appropriate knowledge, clinical skills, and breadth of experience in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy to obtain APTA board-certified clinical specialist certification.

Goal 2: Provide exposure to a wide variety of cardiovascular and pulmonary conditions promoting the development of safe, effective, and individualized care plans.

Goal 3: Promote professional development through participation in research, didactic instruction, laboratory exploration, patient education, and independent study.

Goal 4:  Identify and implement best practices in the field of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. 


As of close of 2023 Academic Year:

Successful Residency Completion Residents Achieving Specialist Certification Residents Not Opting for Specialist Certification Residents Currently Applying for Specialist Certification 10/10 7/9 1 0


This one year Clinical Residency Program develops clinical specialists in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy.  Residents spend a six month rotation in the outpatient and inpatient settings providing treatment for patients with high complexity cardiovascular and pulmonary conditions.  In addition, residents participate in academic instruction through partnership with the University of Wisconsin Madison DPT program.

Credentialing: The Madison VA Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy Residency is fully accredited through the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE).

Length of Program: 12 months

Program Start Date: Annually on the second Monday of July

Tuition: There is no fee for residents to enroll in the Madison VA PT Residency.

Salary and Benefits: Residents will receive a salary and benefits (health care, dental, paid time off) through the VA. Details of either salary or benefits can be obtained through the Program Director and Madison VA Human Resources.


Jamie McKeon, MPT, Site Coordinator of Clinical Education, Residency Program Director

James Carlson, MPT, Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Clinical Specialist, Residency Program Coordinator, Outpatient Mentor

Kevin Cannon, DPT, Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Clinical Specialist, Outpatient Mentor

Matt Soergel, DPT, Inpatient Physical Therapy Supervisor, Inpatient Mentor

Jeanne Duncan, MPT, Director of Clinical Education, University of Wisconsin Madison Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

Sue Wenker, PT, PHD, Geriatric Board-Certified Clinical Specialist, University of Wisconsin Madison Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Director


Sample Learning Topics

Rotation 1:  Six Month Outpatient Cardiopulmonary Specialty Clinic/Heart and Lung Transplant and Academic Teaching Assistant for University of Wisconsin Madison – Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

  • Outpatient Cardiopulmonary Assessment
  • Outpatient Tests and Measures for Cardiopulmonary Pathologies
  • Clinical Interpretation of Arrhythmias
  • Outpatient Cardiopulmonary Pharmacology
  • Clinical Interpretation of Cardiopulmonary Diagnostic Studies
  • Rehabilitation of the Heart and Lung Transplant Patient
  • Management of Peripheral Vascular Disease
  • Adult Learning Theory and Practice
  • Principles of Academic Curricular Development
  • Utilization of Clinical Simulation in Acute Care Instruction

Rotation 2: Six Month Acute Care/ICU and Research Project

  • Inpatient Cardiopulmonary Assessment
  • Inpatient Tests and Measures for Cardiopulmonary Pathologies
  • Inpatient Cardiopulmonary Pharmacology
  • Lab Value Interpretation
  • Vital Sign Interpretation
  • ICU/Early Mobilization Decision Making
  • Ventilatory Support in the Acute Care Setting
  • Management of Critical Lines and Drips
  • LVAD and Circulatory Support Devices
  • Post operative Management of Cardiopulmonary Surgical Procedures

Additional Experiences

  • Telemedicine for Rural Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation
  • Long-Haul COVID-19 Clinic
  • Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Residency Journal Club
  • Pediatric Observation at American Family Children’s Hospital
  • Community Outreach and Wellness Clinics


Applicants will submit applications through the APTA’s RF-PTCAS portal.   Go to the RF-PTCAS web site to submit your application. 

Deadlines: Candidates can apply starting in November each year. Faculty will review completed application packages in RF-PTCAS and will interview candidates on a rolling basis.  The deadline for applications is no later than the first week of April for that Academic Year. Please note that a superior candidate with a completed application may be interviewed and selected prior to the deadline for applications.


Applications are reviewed by residency faculty to ensure the candidate meets the minimum requirements for employment in the VA.  Candidates with incomplete applications will be notified and given one week to submit necessary documents.

  • Applicants must have successfully graduated (or will be graduating) from a CAPTE PT program.
  • The applicant must provide documentation of a current Physical Therapy License or will be licensed by the start of the residency. 
  • Ideal candidates will possess excellent verbal and written communication skills, exhibit high standards of professional behavior, and have a strong grasp of the fundamentals and principles of clinical reasoning as applied to both examination and treatment procedures. In addition, applicants should demonstrate a strong desire for, or have previous experience working with complex cardiopulmonary patients.
  • Superior candidates will be given an interview conducted by residency faculty. 
  • Acceptance to the program will be based on interest, ability, and aptitude for a career as a Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Clinical Specialist.


Students requesting disability accommodations must do so by filing a disability accommodation request in writing with the program coordinator at the time of application.

For further information contact:

James Carlson MPT, CCS

Physical Therapist

VA Madison health care

Phone: 608-256-1901 ext 11107