Geriatric Clinical Residency

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The University of Minnesota Geriatric Clinical Residency prepares residency graduates to sit for, and pass, the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) Geriatric Certified Specialist exam. To date, all residents who have completed the residency have passed the Geriatric Certified Specialist (GCS) exam on their first attempt.

Geriatric patient

About the Program

The Geriatric Clinical Residency contracts with geriatric clinical sites for the clinical practice aspect of the residency. The didactic curriculum is provided through the University of Minnesota. The residency is accredited by the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE) as a post-professional residency program for physical therapists in geriatrics.

Timeline 

The University of Minnesota’s Geriatric Clinical Residency is a 12 month program, from September 1 through August 31 of each year. The residency began in September 2010. Applications are due by January 31st of each year. Interviews are held in February and admission decisions are made by March 7.

The residency is divided into 3 semesters: 

  1. Fall Semester:  September 1 - December 31
  2. Spring Semester:  January 1 – May 31
  3. Summer Semester:  June 1 – August 31

Didactic Curriculum

There are currently 45 didactic modules in the year long residency curriculum. One-third of these modules are self-directed home study modules, and two-thirds are taught live by residency clinical faculty. All clinical faculty in the residency program are geriatric specialists/experts, and are from a variety of disciplines. 

The topics for the modules/curriculum are all derived from the Description of Specialty Practice for Geriatric Physical Therapy, published by the Specialty Council on Geriatric Physical Therapy (part of the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties). This is the same document that is the basis for the geriatric board-certified specialty exam (GCS). Some modules will have assignments attached to them (e.g. written paper, journal club, in-service, etc.).

At the end of each semester there is both a written exam, covering some of the didactic modules from that semester, as well as a live patient evaluation. Residents must successfully pass all components of the didactic curriculum in order to graduate from the residency program.

This is a full-time residency program, with residents practicing four days per week in the clinic and one day per week devoted to the didactic curriculum. During this didactic day (Tuesday), residents attend their scheduled learning modules, perform their service learning hours, work on their assignments, work on their research project, etc.

1:1 Clinical Mentoring

Residents receive 4 hours of 1:1 mentoring with a geriatric clinical specialist each week (with a few scheduled weeks off each semester). During this time, the mentor observes the resident during patient care (both evaluations and treatment sessions) and provides individualized feedback to the resident, both during and outside of direct patient care. The nature of mentoring in a clinical residency differs from that of a Clinical Instructor with an entry-level DPT student. Mentoring in a clinical residency requires a more in-depth reflective process by the resident, and a less directed process by the mentor.

Resident Status

Residents will be non-degree seeking graduate students at the University of Minnesota and employees of the contracted clinical site. As a student, residents are eligible for traditional University of Minnesota student benefits including: full University library services for all onsite and electronic holdings, and other traditional student services outlined on the University of Minnesota website.

Salary & Benefits

As an employee of the contracted clinical site, residents will earn a new graduate level salary at four days per week. As employees, this also allows residents to earn full employee benefits including malpractice insurance, health insurance, vacation, holidays, etc., all consistent with the specific clinical site’s benefit package.

Upon successful completion of each semester, residents earn CEU credits for all of the didactic content from that semester. This totals over 230 CEU credits for the entire residency year. Other unique residency benefits include free registration to the following conferences:

  • MN Chapter APTA Annual Conference
  • Combined Sections Meeting
  • Travel assistance to CSM (Residents can also elect to defer their subsidized trip to CSM to the year following their residency year, if they are planning to submit their research abstract for presentation at CSM in that subsequent year.)

Residents will also earn additional CEU credits from each of the conferences they attend as well. Current residents are eligible for student rate membership status in the APTA. Residents should notify the APTA that they have been accepted into the residency, so their membership rates can be adjusted accordingly. 

Contact Us

Becky Olson-Kellogg, PT, DPT, GCS, CEEAA
Residency Director
Division of Physical Therapy
MMC 388
420 Delaware Street SE
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN  55455


Phone: 612-624-6591
Email: olso0184@umn.edu

How to Apply

Applications are due by January 31st of each year, prior to a September 1st start in the same year. 

Interested candidates must complete the centralized application form for clinical residencies (RF-PTCAS) found on the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education webpage. 

Requirements for applicants are outlined in the Application & Selection Process document

This same document also describes the timeline for processing applications, scheduling interviews, and selection of residents. 

One resident was accepted in each of the initial two years of the residency and two residents were accepted and a second clinical site was added in the third year of the residency. The residency then expanded to three residents and three clinical sites in the sixth year.

Courses and cost

Residents register for one 2-credit course each semester:

  • Fall Semester: PT 7010 Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation I
  • Spring Semester: PT 7011 Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation II
  • Summer Semester: PT 7012 Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation III

Residents are guaranteed in-state tuition rates, for the duration of the residency, no matter where they relocate from.


2016 Graduates

Geriatric Residency GradsPictured L to R:  resident Katie Fandrey with her mentor Debbie Hanka, mentor Matt Mesibov with resident Kristen Reed and second mentor Liz Moe, resident Josh Meuwissen and his mentor Iva Carey

2016-2017 Residents

Geriatric Residency ResidentsPictured: Marina Cheung (left) and Beth Anne Cooper (right)

Clinical Residency Defined

According to the APTA, a clinical residency is “a planned program of post-professional clinical and didactic education for physical therapists that is designed to significantly advance the physical therapist resident's preparation as a provider of patient care services in a defined area of clinical practice. It combines opportunities for ongoing clinical supervision and mentoring with a theoretical basis for advanced practice and scientific inquiry.

A clinical residency program is designed to substantially advance a resident's expertise in examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, intervention, and management of patients in a defined area of clinical practice (specialty). This focus may also include community service, patient education, research, and supervision of other health care providers (professional and technical). Often, the residency experience prepares an individual to become a board-certified clinical specialist.”

The two hallmark components of a clinical residency include extensive didactic education and 1:1 clinical mentoring in the defined specialty area of clinical practice.