Together with SSM Health Physical Therapy, Saint Louis University offers a 16-month women's health physical therapy residency with numerous opportunities for licensed physical therapists to develop as an advanced clinician; to develop as an educator, to produce and disseminate a scholarly product; and to grow as a provider to the area's underserved populations.
Our mission is that, through shared traditions of serving humanity and enhancing lives through quality healthcare, we provide reflective, person-centered, evidence-based residency education to licensed physical therapists pursuing the ideals of leadership, structural competency and advanced clinical practice in women’s health physical therapy.
The program, accredited by the ABPTRFE in 2022, advances physical therapists in their knowledge of women’s health, gender health and public health. The curriculum is guided by the American Board of Physical Therapy and Fellowship Education Description of Residency Practice (ABPTRFE-DRP).
- Jill Eveker Imgarten, PT, DPT, OCS, CSMT, Program Director
- Chris Sebelski, PT, DPT, Ph.D., OCS, CSCS, SLU Director of Residency Education
- Kayla Dougherty, PT, DPT, WCS, CLT, Program Coordinator
- Megan O'Normile, PT, MPT, WCS
- Krystan Kohler, PT, DPT, COMT
- Hillary Hinrichs, PT, DPT, CLT, WCS
- Caitlin Rumsey, PT, DPT, WCS
Our curriculum aims to exceed the standards of ABPTRFE accreditation. Below highlights the experiences and opportunities of the program that set us apart and maximizes the strength of the partnership between SLU and SSM Health Physical Therapy:
- 1,500 hours of women's health physical therapy patient care
- 150 hours of 1:1 clinical mentoring
- A minimum of 30 hours providing pro-bono services to the St. Louis community
- A minimum of 50 hours spent as a lab instructor or facilitator in SLU's entry-level DPT program
- A minimum of 300 hours educational hours via face-to-face didactic, small group and psychomotor skills instruction
- Up to 50 hours of clinical observation (physician shadowing, surgery observation)
We are undergoing the accreditation process with the ABPTRFE. We accept external applicants and internal applicants (current employees of SSM Health Physical Therapy).
Program highlights include:
- Direct 1:1 clinical mentoring and thorough preparation for the ABPTS WCS exam
- Compensation (including full-time employee benefits)
- Dedicated, focused pathways in an area of interest culminating in a scholarly product
- Participation as a lab instructor in SLU's entry-level physical therapy program
- Small group classroom and manual skills instruction, facilitated discussion and journal club
- Opportunities for clinic rounding, surgery observation and grand rounds with physicians
Curriculum Discussion Topics and Seminars
- Pelvic health foundational courses
- Leadership foundational courses
- Women's health foundational and special topics courses (pain science/persistent pelvic pain, oncology, gastrointestinal disorders, colorectal disorders, trauma-informed care)
- Evidence-based practice
- Lumbo-pelvic hip region
- Continuum of aging
- Visual analysis of human movement
- Clinical reasoning/differential diagnosis
- Thoracic spine/cervical spine/shoulder
- Patient-centered interviewing
- Physical examination and manual treatment procedures
While our residents always have the option to explore based upon their individual interests, we have identified two pathways which strongly emphasize the resources of Saint Louis University and SSM Health Physical Therapy.
Working with the Saint Louis University Reinert Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning, the resident will:
- Participate in courses for the Foundations Certificate in University Teaching Skills
- Earn Foundations in University Teaching Certificate (if requirements are met)
- Interact with award-winning teachers in the Program of Physical Therapy
- Explicitly be involved within a variety of entry-level DPT courses as an observer, lab instructor and lecturer
- Be involved as a clinical educator within a pro-bono environment
- Emphasize education research through readings and scholarship
Social Justice Pathway
Working directly with the Physical Therapy Clinic, the resident will:
- Participate in courses focused on interprofessional education
- Engage in specific activities to explore the influence of the Jesuit mission in clinical practice
Sample Weekly Schedule
|Monday||Entry-Level Teaching||Clinical Practice (non-mentored)|
|Tuesday||Clinical Practice (non-mentored)||Physician Shadowing|
|Wednesday||Residency Instruction||Clinical Practice (non-mentored)|
|Thursday||Clinical Practice (with a mentor)||Clinical Practice (non-mentored)|
|Friday||Clinical Practice (non-mentored)||Clinical Practice (non-mentored)|
Participation in the Physical Therapy Clinic takes place on select weekends.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our graduates report engagement in the advancement of the profession and their own commitment to life-long learning. We celebrate a 100% (2/2) graduation rate. As highlighted, we are committed to ongoing collaborations between the sponsoring organizations and numerous scholarly products. 100% (2/2) of our graduates have been accepted to present at American Physical Therapy Association’s Combined Section Meeting for an educational session and poster presentations within their scholarly areas of interest.
The American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education states: "(A residency or fellowship) program's comprehensive curriculum is developed from and addresses the most recent version of the Description of Residency Practice (DRP), the Description of Fellowship Practice (DFP), or an ABPTRFE-approved analysis of practice. All curriculum components complement each other to enhance the participant's learning. The program's curriculum organization ensures congruency between didactic and clinical components. The curriculum provides a structure for the designation of types, lengths, and sequencing of learning experiences that ensures the achievement of the program's outcomes."
The residency experience combines opportunities for ongoing mentoring and formal and informal feedback to the physical therapist resident, including required written and live patient practical examinations, with a foundation in scientific inquiry, evidence-based practice and course work designed to provide a theoretical basis for advanced practice. A residency program must be completed within a minimum of 1,500 hours including a minimum of 150 hours of one to one mentoring and a minimum of 300 educational hours completed between 10 to 60 months within the specialty area of practice. A fellowship program allows a therapist to subspecialize in an area of practice and must be completed with a minimum of 1,000 hours and between 10 to 60 months.
The expected requirements for the application to be considered include:
- Graduate of an accredited physical therapy program
- Proof of licensure as a Physical Therapist and a MO license by start of program
- Three letters of recommendation (one from an academic physical therapist, one from a clinician, and one of the applicant's choosing)
- Official DPT transcripts
- Comply with the SSM Health Physical Therapy and Saint Louis University employment requirements
Applications are initially reviewed by the program administration. Invitations are extended to a select number of applicants for an in-person, on-site interview with members of the residency faculty. Web conference interviews are possible if necessary.
Recent graduates of accredited physical therapy programs are eligible to apply, as are physical therapists who are within the field of women’s and pelvic health and are interested in one-on-one mentoring.
One to two residents are accepted each year.
It is a 16-month program, typically beginning in early August.
Early in the new calendar year. Only one annual application cycle is offered, typically beginning in the fall. It is a rolling admissions process.
Applicants can hold a bachelor's, master's or doctor of physical therapy degree.
For more information, please reach out to Program Director Dr. Jill Imgarten, at email@example.com.
Yes. Our curriculum is developed from the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education Description of Residency Practice and the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists' Description of Specialty Practice. An emphasis is placed on the concepts and knowledge necessary for the specialist exam.
Yes, a personal interview with the faculty of the SLU-SSM Health Physical Therapy Residency Program is a requirement of the application process for invited applicants. This interview can be on-site or through web conferencing.
Typically, yes; however different lenders may have different policies. Check with your specific lender regarding your individual account and its management.
Residents are expected to demonstrate successful completion of written and oral exams, and practical examinations with patients. Additionally, the SLU SSM Health Physical Therapy Residents complete clinical case presentations, an evidence-informed presentation to colleagues, and a scholarly product.
Yes. You must have a Missouri state physical therapy license prior to beginning the residency in August.
Residents who were not current SSM Health Physical Therapy employees upon acceptance to the program practice will practice at a selected SSM Health Physical Therapy clinic. Residents who were current SSM Health Physical Therapy employees upon acceptance to the Program practice at their home clinic within SSM Health Physical Therapy.
The resident is responsible for a portion of APTA Public Health Level 1, 2a, 2b, and 3 courses if not completed in advance of the program. No other tuition is required.
Residents are expected be a member of the APTA. Expenses include living, transportation, parking, APTA membership and conference fees. Learning materials such as additional texts, independent study course modules, computer access and suitable professional clothing should also be expected expenses.
Yes. Residents in this program are considered full time, benefited SSM Health Physical Therapy employees and are paid a competitive rate for physical therapy residents.