Geriatric physical therapy residency program
VA Northern California Health Care System Geriatric Physical Therapy Residency Program is designed to offer licensed physical therapists an opportunity to advance their knowledge and skills in the area of geriatric specialty practice.
This clinical training will help prepare the resident for Geriatric Clinical Specialist (GCS) certification through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) upon completion of the program.
Residents are employed full-time by the VA Northern California Health Care System for the year long program and thus must be U.S. citizens. Clinical training consists of managing a caseload of patients with geriatric involvement, mentoring sessions with highly experienced clinical staff (4 hours/week), as well as a didactic curriculum component (4 hours/week). Clinical training opportunities exist within Acute Care, Critical Care (ICU), Inpatient Rehabilitation, Spinal Cord Injury/Disorder Clinic, Home Health, Outpatient, Vestibular Rehab, Brain Injury, and Chronic Pain clinics. Residents will also have opportunities to participate in interdisciplinary patient rounds, journal clubs, staff in-service presentations, research projects, mentoring doctoral students, assisting in geriatric/neurologic/orthopaedic labs at UC Davis, and observing surgeries.
Mission and goals
The mission of VA Northern California Health Care System Geriatric Residency is to provide advanced, evidence-based education to physical therapists in the area of geriatric physical therapy so they will provide specialist-level care to the veterans we serve. The residency curriculum will include best practices, incorporating patient outcome measures to ensure enhanced patient care and client education. The program will promote growth and practice continuous improvement and strategic initiatives in support of the Mission of the VA.
- The VANCHCS Geriatric Residency will provide excellent mentoring and resources in support of the residents.
- The VANCHCS Residency will provide an up to date, evidence-based curriculum to the residents.
- VANCHCS Residency Program will achieve and maintain full accreditation status with ABPTRFE.
- -ANCHCS Residency Program's key components of the residency are sustainable.
- The Residency Program will support the mission and core values of the VANCHCS, to improve the quality of care to geriatric veterans served by advanced geriatric practitioners.
- The VANCHCS residency program will prepare the resident to effectively communicate with patients/clients, referral sources, clinical faculty, administration, physicians, and other members of the health care team.
The didactic curriculum will be comprised of webinars from The APTA Learning Center, MedBridge webinars, and onsite didactic lectures. The webinars will prepare participants for successful completion of the GCS by improving skills in clinical reasoning, movement analysis, assessment, and intervention in geriatric patients.
The onsite didactic lectures prepared and presented by our faculty will implement current research and case studies. This will prepare residents to practice evidence-based medicine, differential diagnose, and identify more serious disease processes where referral to a medical doctor would be warranted. The selected webinars and onsite didactic lectures have been scheduled with the appropriate clinical modules to coordinate didactic topic with primary health conditions treated by the resident.
Clinical mentoring will occur weekly with faculty in each of the clinical practice settings which include but are not limited to Acute Care, Critical Care (ICU), Inpatient Rehabilitation, Spinal Cord Injury/Disorder Clinic, Home Health, Outpatient, Vestibular Rehab, Brain Injury, and Chronic Pain. Didactic learning will occur weekly with faculty including lectures, labs, and discussion. It is estimated that approximately 30 hours a week will be dedicated to direct patient care with the remaining 10 hours available for educational experiences including mentoring (minimum 4 hours) and didactic learning from faculty (minimum 4 hours), independent study (2 hours), surgery observation, journal clubs, research projects, and mentoring of doctoral physical therapy students.
How to apply
- U.S. citizen
- Applicant must have a degree from CAPTE accredited program
- Successful/satisfactorily completed National Physical Therapy Examination
- Applicant must obtain PT license prior to beginning the program (may be obtained from any state)
To view our program profile, please visit the ABPTRFE website. If you have met or will meet requirements prior to residency start date you may apply using the APTA Residency/Fellowship Physical Therapist Centralized Application Services (RF-PTCAS). All applicants must participate in an interview process and submit all required paperwork if selected.
Frequently asked questions
What is the cost of the program?
There is no cost associated with the program however there is a nominal cost associated with the APTA Residency/Fellowship Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service Required to apply for the program. If you are selected for the residency program you will become an employee of the VA Eastern Colorado Healthcare System for the duration of the residency.
How much will I be paid?
Salary is determined by VA Central Office and is preset. The program salary is currently $47,666 . Salary is subject to change or fluctuates as determined by Office of Academic Affiliation at VA Central Office.
What benefits will I be eligible for?
Benefits will include 13 vacation days along with accrual of 4 hours of sick leave per pay period. It will also include 10 paid federal holidays, health benefits, vision, and dental benefits.
How long is the program?
If the resident meets all requirements as outlined the program should be completed in one year and one day from the start date.
How many residents do you accept?
At this time, we are accepting one resident into the geriatric residency program per year.
When does the residency program begin?
The program is scheduled to begin the first week of August with completion the following August.
How many hours a week will I spend treating patients?
Mentoring sessions with clinical staff will average minimum four hours per week, didactic curriculum component averaging a minimum four hours per week, and independent study averaging two hours per week. Please be advised that these are only estimates and that actual time in mentoring and didactic studying may change at the discretion of the department. The remainder of the time will be dedicated strictly to patient care. It is highly anticipated that the resident will need to reserve time outside of work duties for preparation for the board exam during this training.
What clinic will I be able to experience?
- Acute Care
- Critical Care
- Inpatient Rehab
- Home Health
- Vestibular Rehab
- Spinal Cord Injury/Disorder
- Brain Injury
- Chronic Pain
What will my schedule be?
While your schedule is subject to change depending on the needs of the department it typically will be from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and may include weekends or weekend days from time to time.
Does completing the residency guarantee me a job?
While residents in good standing will be employed for the duration of the residency program the VA maintains no obligation to retain the resident beyond the length of the residency program. Residents will be encouraged to apply for a position should there be openings after they have completed the residency program.
When would I be eligible to sit for the geriatric board certification exam?
Residents will apply in July of the year they are in the residency program and will sit for the exam February or March of the following year; a year earlier than would be possible without completing a residency. Residents are responsible for all application and testing fees. For more information on application deadlines and testing dates is available at American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS).
Exercise and wellness program, Gerofit director
Site Coordinator of Clinical Education
APTA certified clinical instructor
Exercise and wellness program, Gerofit co-director
VISN 21 Sierra Pacific Network