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.