What is a clinical residency?
A clinical residency program is a carefully planned, post-professional clinical and didactic education experience designed to advance the 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.
Residency programs focus on furthering the resident's expertise in examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, intervention and the management of patients within the area of clinical specialization. By participating in a residency program, therapists gain many of the experiences needed to apply for clinical specialization through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties.
What is a clinical fellowship?
A clinical fellowship is a planned program of post-professional clinical and didactic education for physical therapists who demonstrate clinical expertise in a learning experience in an area of clinical practice related to the practice focus of the fellowship. (Fellows are frequently post-residency prepared or board-certified specialists.)
What is the difference between a residency and a clinical fellowship program?
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).
The residency experience often prepares an individual to become a board-certified clinical specialist. In contrast, a fellowship program is designed to provide greater depth in a specialty or subspecialty area than that which is covered in a residency program.
Additionally, participants in a clinical fellowship program must be licensed as a physical therapist and possess one or more of the following qualifications: 1) specialist certification, 2) completion of a residency in a specialty area, or 3) demonstrable clinical skills within a particular specialty area.