Program Structure and Curriculum
The Sports Physical Therapy Residency is structured to provide the resident with a wide range of experiences to develop advanced clinical skills in sports physical therapy. The resident will be expected to work 40 to 50 hours per week. Experiences include:
Patient Care (50%) - The resident evaluates and treats a limited load of patients with a variety of musculoskeletal pathologies that are commonly found in the sports physical therapy setting. This includes management of patients with pathology of the knee, shoulder, foot, ankle and spine. Biomechanical analysis of the following is also common: gait, throwing, golf and cycling. Time is provided for one-to-one clinical instruction between the resident and mentor. Clinical practice under the supervision of the mentor allows the resident to develop psychomotor skills and clinical reasoning processes necessary to effectively evaluate and treat individuals with sports-related injuries.
Teaching (15%) - The resident functions as academic staff/lab assistant in the musculoskeletal curriculum in the UW-La Crosse Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. The resident attends all class sessions and assists in lab instruction for evaluation procedures to the upper/lower extremities and sports specific topics. The resident and course instructor, Paul Reuteman, DPT, OCS, ATC, also select three lectures that the resident is required to present to the students.
On-Field Management of Athletic Injuries (5-8%) -The resident assists in covering athletic events under the guidance of a certified sports physical therapist or certified athletic trainer. This allows the resident to develop skills to prevent, recognize, evaluate and treat acute sports injuries.
Observation of Physician Office Hours and Surgery (2-5%) - The resident observes physicians during office hours to gain an appreciation for diagnosis and medical management of common sports-related injuries. The resident can observe surgery to gain an understanding of current surgical techniques to manage sports-related injuries.
Research (10-15%) - The resident is required to design, conduct and complete a clinical research project related to sports physical therapy and present it to Gundersen Sports Medicine. Additionally, the resident is required to summarize the results in a format suitable for presentation and publication.
Educational Activities (10-15%) - The resident participates in numerous educational activities to develop an evidence-based rationale that is required for prevention, evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries in an active athletic population. An advanced curriculum, Clinical Rounds, is presented through a series of didactic and laboratory sessions that cover the expanse of knowledge outlined in the DRP. Other activities include participation in in-services, journal clubs and conferences. Instructors also present didactic lectures to provide the resident with knowledge and understanding of the basic sciences that are related to management of athletic injuries and improvement in human performance. Additionally, the resident may be required to provide in-services for staff at the host institution. The residency program has also established clinical affiliations with the University of South Dakota departments of Physical Therapy and Athletics to provide additional clinical experiences.
Evaluation of the Resident
To demonstrate their knowledge and skills, the resident is expected to satisfactorily complete a series of written and practical examinations with the residency director and/or residency faculty. These evaluations include a midterm and final written assessment with the Sports Physical Therapy Clinical Resident Tool and Post-Graduate Physical Therapy Professional Behaviors Assessment Tool. A series of practical examinations covering both lower/upper extremities and spine-related pathologies is administered throughout the course of the residency year. The resident also is required to log a minimum of 200 hours of on-field athletic game coverage—50 hours of which can be completed in an athletic training room setting. A practical examination for acute emergency response situations is completed by the end of the residency year.