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Physical therapy clinical education program

The physical therapy clinical education program aims to provide exceptional, specialized education to prepare physical therapists and physical therapy assistants with professional skills and knowledge to become excellent clinicians.

Program summary

The Minneapolis VA Medical Center is a level 1A facility with a large physical therapy (PT) department and experienced training program. We offer clinical training experiences for more than 20 entry level Doctor of Physical Therapy and Physical Therapy Assistant programs representing 15 colleges and universities across the nation.

We place students throughout our hospital as well as some of our VA Community Clinics, which are located in Chippewa Falls and Twin Ports, WI and Maplewood, Hibbing and Rochester, MN. Settings include the Community Living Center (subacute rehabilitation/long term care), neurologic rehabilitation (inpatient and outpatient settings, variety of specialty programs including spinal cord injuries/disorders, CVA, TBI/polytrauma, Parkinson’s Disease and other neurologic conditions), orthopedic settings (inpatient and outpatient, post-operative, total joint replacement, musculoskeletal complaints), pain (within our comprehensive pain center), and acute medicine.

Clinical trainees complete full-time affiliations that range in duration from 6-16 weeks. Additionally, students within our program have access to a plethora of new, innovative technologies for rehabilitation, including NeuroCom and Bertec Computerized Dynamic Posturography, dynamic EKSO skeleton, Bioness and Walkaide electrical stimulation orthoses, HydroWorx therapy pool and more.

Application process

We accept students from Doctor of Physical Therapy and Physical Therapy Assistant programs with which we currently have affiliation agreements. Trainees can follow their academic program’s process for requesting placement within our healthcare setting. At this time we are not exploring the establishment of new affiliation agreements/contracts.

Physical therapy faculty

Students in the program have access to nearly 50 physical therapists and three physical therapy assistants across a number of specialty programs. They have opportunities to work with PT staff with an average of 12 years in clinical practice that are diverse and highly trained, many as credentialed clinical instructors and board certified specialists in the areas of geriatric, neurologic and orthopedic physical therapy.


Shawn Mclaughlin
Minneapolis VAHCS, PM&R (117)
One Veterans Drive,
Minneapolis MN 55417