PHYSICAL THERAPY RESIDENCY PROGRAM NEUROLOGIC PHYSICAL THERAPY

NEUROLOGIC PHYSICAL THERAPY RESIDENCY

The mission of Harris Health’s Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency Program is to develop physical therapy professionals who will utilize advanced clinical skills and demonstrate biopsychosocial sensitivity. Graduates will be leaders in directing the plan of care across the continuum to achieve maximum outcomes for persons with neurologic dysfunction.

Furthermore, the program seeks to graduate physical therapists who support Harris Health’s mission, vision, and values, while also embracing the American Physical Therapy Association’s Vision Statement of transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience.

Residents, as full-time salaried employees, engage in focused didactic and clinical education from multiple board-certified physical therapists in a variety of clinical settings across the continuum of care. The diversity of settings allows the resident to gain advanced clinical knowledge, experience, and skills in neurologic physical therapy while training throughout the Harris Health System and other specialty facilities within the Texas Medical Center including The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Baylor College of Medicine, and Mentis Neuro Rehabilitation. Residents will be mentored by highly qualified clinicians, educators, and specialists in the management of complex and diverse diagnoses and will collaborate with other residents, healthcare providers, and administrators in both public and private systems.

Our teaching and mentoring faculty have extensive advanced credentials, including: 16 NCS, 1 FAAOMPT, 1 PhD, and 1 DSc. We have a 90% first-attempt pass rate and overall 100% pass rate on the neurologic board certification exam. Graduates of the Harris Health Neurologic Residency have gone on to become managers, assistant and adjunct university professors as well as residency faculty, and they have also served in local, state, and national appointed positions. Our program is designed to not only facilitate therapists who are experts in neurologic physical therapy, but to also develop future leaders and mentors.

The goals of Harris Health’s Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency Program are to:

  • Be nationally recognized as a leader in residency training in neurologic physical therapy
  • Graduate residents who contribute to the profession of physical therapy and the larger healthcare community through leadership, evidence-based practice, teaching, and service
  • Graduate residents who will pursue board certification through American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) upon graduation

Residents can expect complete immersion into all aspects of neurologic care, working side-by- side with board-certified clinicians. Residents are constantly challenged to put new knowledge and skills into practice. Residents will get more than 150 hours of one-on- one mentorship along with more than 150 hours of classroom and lab instruction that augments daily practice in a dynamic, evidence-based setting.

Eligibility and Application Requirements

See the Harris Health System ABPTRFE website for up to date application deadlines. In order to be eligible to apply to the Harris Health Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency Program, individuals must: Hold an entry-level degree from a CAPTE-accredited school of physical therapy Have a current or be eligible to obtain a Texas physical therapy license

What documents are required in the application packet?

Applications shall be deemed complete upon the receipt of the following:

    Application through the RF-PTCAS which includes:
  • RF-PTCAS application items
  • Essay questions
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Valid Texas physical therapy license or expected date of eligibility
  • Three (3) references
  • Supplemental application fee of $40 paid directly to Harris Health System

    Fees can be paid online or by check through the HCHD Foundation under the designation of Physical and Occupational Therapy Services. Please include the applicant’s name in the comments.

    More information on submitting your fees can be found at www.hchdfoundation.org/donate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Applying for a residency is a big life decision and there are many questions that need to be answered to make the right choice. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers to help you better understand Harris Health System’s Neurologic residency program.

What are the admission requirements?

Individuals wishing to apply to the Harris Health Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency Program must:
Hold an entry-level degree from a CAPTE-accredited school of physical therapy Have a current or be eligible to obtain a Texas physical therapy license

Complete application through the RF-PTCAS which includes:

  • RF-PTCAS application items
  • Essay questions
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Valid Texas physical therapy license or expected date of eligibility
  • Three (3) references Submit supplemental application fee of $40 paid directly to Harris Health System
  • Fees can be paid online or by check through the HCHD Foundation under the designation of Physical and Occupational Therapy Services. Please include the applicant’s name in the comments.
  • More information on submitting your fees can be found at www.hchdfoundation.org/donate. See the Harris Health System ABPTRFE website for up to date application deadline.

How long is the residency?

The residency program is 12 months in duration.

How much is the tuition?

There is no tuition cost for the residency program. The resident is a full-time employee of Harris Health System and is paid 78% of an entry level staff therapist. Residents also are entitled to a full spectrum of exemplary benefits, including:

  • Comprehensive Medical Plan/HMO and Major Medical
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Plan
  • Pre-Tax Flex Accounts
  • Basic Life Insurance
  • Deferred Compensation Plans
  • Professional Liability Insurance

Is the resident’s salary substantial enough?

If you are a recent graduate, you probably have many concerns regarding salary and finances. The resident’s salary equates to $50,232 a year, which places Harris Health among the top paying neurologic residencies in the country. In Houston, this salary is sufficient to live well and still maintain a social life. As for student loans, you may choose loan forbearance for one year during the residency program. Many residents have chosen this route and are steadily paying back their loans without the worry of a monthly payment.

How is the curriculum structured?

The residency curriculum covers all requirements outlined in the Neurologic Physical Therapy Description of Specialty Practices. Our residents are exposed to practice settings throughout the entire continuum of care including rotations through the acute care/ICU, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation settings, and specialty clinics within the Harris Health System. We partner with Baylor College of Medicine, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, and Mentis Neurorehabilitation to ensure the resident has a complete experience to the management of neurologic diagnoses. For more specific curriculum questions, please email the neurologic program coordinator.

How is the interview process structured?

Harris Health has a two-day interview process. On the first day, candidates take a tour of the facility, learn important information regarding residency, have lunch with current residents, and watch faculty and residents treat patients. This day is very casual and allows candidates to gain a true understanding of a “day in the life” of a Harris Health resident. Day two is interview day. Candidates participate in one small group interview and one panel interview. The small group interviews are led by two faculty members who ask questions of the candidate. The panel interview consists of five to six faculty members. Each group interview is about 35 minutes.

Describe a typical work week

The majority of a resident’s work week is the same as a full-time clinician. The resident works four ten hour shifts, with an additional eight hour work day at one of the off-site clinics with which we collaborate. This allows the resident to get maximal clinic time in order to utilize their new knowledge with their patients. A resident carries their own caseload and has productivity demands similar to a full-time clinician. The resident’s schedule differs from that of a typical new graduate in that they are assigned to four to six hours of one-on- one mentorship each week, as well as weekly didactic coursework. As with any schedule, it is subject to change. Residents frequently take part in off-campus events such as journal clubs at the local physical therapy schools, lectures, and other leadership events around the Houston area.

How does mentoring work?

The mentoring experience is what makes the residency unique. Residents spend between four to six hours a week working one-on- one with a mentor. These four to six hours are included in the 48-hour work week. In each setting—acute care, inpatient, outpatient—Residents have a mentor who works full time in that setting. This gives the Resident the opportunity to learn from an expert at each level of care. A mentorship session is typically structured as follows: a discussion beforehand to prepare for patient treatment, direct patient care, a debrief session afterwards to promote clinical reasoning and further challenge the Resident’s thought process. Critical feedback is provided throughout this process to maximally develop the Resident’s problem solving skills. Residents agree that the one-on- one mentorship sessions help their clinical skill growth more than any other portion of the residency. Structured mentorship is the primary aspect that differentiates a residency from a full-time job.

Will you become a clinical instructor?

The Harris Health Neurologic Residency Program is continually trying to advance the profession of physical therapy and foster its future. The program wants each resident to have the knowledge and skills to teach future students. As a new graduate, this can be both exciting and anxiety provoking. Becoming a clinical instructor places the resident in a situation where he or she can grow as a clinician. Residents will become a certified clinical instructor and will be a clinical instructor to a PT student towards the end of the residency (all didactic material will have been covered at this point). During this time, the resident also receives mentorship on how to improve their clinical teaching skills. This is an aspect that once again sets the Harris Health Residency program apart from other programs.

What type of patients do you see most?

Residents will evaluate and treat patients with a diverse range of neurologic dysfunction. The most common diagnoses are stroke, spinal cord injury, brain injury, and amputation. We also see a wide range of progressive neurologic diagnoses, such as: Multiple Sclerosis, Guillain- Barre Syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Residents have the opportunity to see various severities of these diagnoses due to their exposure throughout the continuum of care.

Are new graduates considered?

We encourage all interested in progressing their skills, knowledge and professional goals in the field of neurologic physical therapy to apply.

What is the official start date of the program?

The start date is typically at the end of August or beginning of September each year. See the Harris Health System ABPTRFE website for up to date information.

What documents are required in the application packet?

The complete application packet can be found at the Harris Health System ABPTRFE website.

THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE APPLYING

Residents work with patients who often do not have insurance. Residents see many individuals with multiple comorbidities. Additionally, 56% of the population is Hispanic. Interpreters are readily available and are frequently used during treatment sessions to provide the best care possible.

Finally, it is a tough year that will challenge you, change your practice, and develop your clinical skills far beyond what you can imagine. Harris Health is specifically looking for passionate individuals who desire to give back to the community and the profession of physical therapy.

  • "The opportunities! The Harris Health residency allows you to get involved in local physical therapy schools, the APTA and TPTA, become a certified instructor, and much more. " out together too.
  • "Evidenced-guided practice with every patient interaction"
  • "The exposure to a diverse patient population throughout the continuation of care."
  • "The opportunities! The Harris Health residency allows you to get involved in local physical therapy schools, the APTA and TPTA, become a certified instructor, and much more."
  • "The collaborative and supportive nature of the program helped to develop me as both a resident and as a person. While I was beyond challenged throughout the year, I was also supported and cared for as a co-worker and a friend by the faculty and other therapists. "

For additional information, please contact:

Stephanie Hessel, PT, DPT, NCS
Rehab Services Manager
Neurologic Residency Program
Office: 713.873.4659
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