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Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency Program

The Physical Therapy Department at the Central Virginia VA Health Care System (CVHCS) will offer licensed physical therapists a year-long advanced practice residency in Neurologic Physical Therapy. Our residency program is currently seeking accreditation by the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE) as a post-professional program for physical therapists in Neurology.

Attention: The Tentative Announcement for Recruitment is December 2022.

Residents will be employed full time as they complete 150+ hours of 1:1 mentoring with specialists in the field of neurologic physical therapy across various settings including acute care/ICU, inpatient polytrauma and SCI rehabilitation, and outpatient therapy. Training will consist of didactic education via expert instruction, web-based learning, immersive experiences with interdisciplinary professionals, research participation, as well as teaching opportunities with peers and students. Residents who successfully complete the program will be eligible to sit for the Neurologic Clinical Specialist (NCS) board exam.  Our program will enroll and train one resident annually. This program is funded by the Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA, the department in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) that has oversight for training programs).

The Central Virginia VA Health Care System, located in Richmond, Virginia, is a level 1a 349-bed facility offering primary, secondary, and tertiary health care in medicine, surgery, neurology, rehabilitation medicine, intermediate care, acute and sustaining spinal cord injury, skilled nursing home care, and palliative care. Richmond is a national referral center for heart, lung and liver transplantations, and the medical center acts as a tertiary care referral center for subspecialty treatment, traumatic brain injury, open-heart surgery, oncology, and vascular diseases. The medical center has five community-based outpatient clinics located in Charlottesville, Henrico, Fredericksburg, Emporia and Spotsylvania County, Virginia, and a strong and mutually beneficial affiliation with the Medical College of Virginia. Residency programs exist in virtually all general and specialty areas of medicine, rehabilitation, surgery, psychiatry, and dentistry. The medical center is the host site for one of five Polytrauma Rehabilitation Centers in the VA system of care, and a Parkinson's Disease Research, Education and Clinical Center (PADRECC), one of six in the nation.

The Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency Program at CVHCS aims to develop neurologic physical therapy specialists who demonstrate excellence in clinical practice treating patients with complex neurologic conditions, contribute to evidence-based practice, and serve patients with comprehensive and compassionate care. The program will provide advanced mentorship across the continuum of care, comprehensive didactic learning materials, and individualized teaching opportunities to prepare residents for specialist certification who will become valuable resources to the community.

  • Provide high quality mentoring in neurologic clinical practice
  • Provide education focusing on evidence-based and patient-centered care in all elements of the patient/client management model
  • Graduate residents with competencies in advanced neurology practice who are prepared to seek certification as a Neurologic Clinical Specialist (NCS)
  • Develop lifelong learners, educators, and knowledge brokers in the field of neurologic physical therapy
  • Achieve and maintain accreditation as a Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency according to ABPTRFE standards

Our core curriculum reflects areas of importance in the care of the individual with neurologic dysfunction.  Learning methods will include 1:1 mentoring, independent readings, didactic education, opportunities for teaching and research, and exposures with interdisciplinary team members to understand the comprehensive and collaborative care involved in treating the whole person. 

The curriculum has been designed around the American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA’s) Description of Specialty Practice (DSP) for Neurologic Physical Therapy with readings, exposures, and didactic material aligning with clinical settings for comprehensive clinical experiences.   The following knowledge areas will be included:

  • Foundational sciences
  • Behavioral sciences
  • Clinical sciences
  • Sciences related to clinical inquiry
  • Professional roles, responsibilities, and values
  • Patient-client management

Residents can expect to provide neurologic physical therapy and receive mentoring across the continuum of care and in multiple settings. The year-long residency will be divided into four 12-week rotations as follows:

  • Brain injury / Polytrauma
  • Stroke
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Multiple Sclerosis / Movement Disorders / CNS disease

Weekly experiences will vary through the rotations and will follow a general schedule consisting of:

  • 20 hours direct patient care
  • 3-4 hours 1:1 mentoring
  • Up to 4 hours research / educating / journal club
  • 3-4 hours didactic education
  • 4 hours observation
  • 4 hours independent study
  • Citizen of the United States of America due to employment requirements by VHA
  • Graduate of, or demonstrate imminent graduation from, an accredited physical therapy program recognized by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
  • Fully licensed by any state in the union to practice Physical Therapy
    • If the candidate is a student at the time of application, the applicant must successfully take and pass the licensure exam or be scheduled to sit for the July test date
  • American Heart Association Basic Life Support certified
  • Not be on probation or under a learning contract at their current facility or program
  • Demonstrate evidence of neurologic interest and pursuit of additional training/experiences in this area

The U.S. government is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex/gender, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, membership in employee organizations or other non-merit factors.

In accordance with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the federal government requires all agencies to reasonably accommodate known physical or mental limitations of qualified disabled employees or applicants. The VA is committed to providing appropriate reasonable accommodations for everyone who requires them.

  • $45,000 salary (base pay)
  • Health insurance
  • Paid time off: 13 vacation, 13 sick days, 10 federal holidays
  • Use of a government-owned laptop
  • VA online medical library access
  • Virtual learning module access
  • Free parking
  • Use and laundering of facility-issued scrubs and lab coats

Complete the online application through the APTA Residency/Fellowship Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (RF-PTCAS)

Application Acceptance:                February – March

Interview (onsite/virtual):            April

Notification of Acceptance:          May

Program Begins:                               July

Wayne Church, MSPT, SCCE

Residency Program Director

Email: Wayne.Church@va.gov

804-675-5000 ext., 6633

 

Lindsay Ebersole, PT, DPT, NCS

Residency Mentor/Clinical Coordinator

Email: Lindsay.Ebersole@va.gov

804-675-5000 ext., 7071

 

Lynette Villadelgado, PT, DPT            

Acting PT Supervisor/Section Supervisor

Email: Lynette.Villadelgado@va.gov

804-675-5000 ext., 7662