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SLU-SSM Health Physical Therapy Women's Health Residency

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.

SLU Hospital
SLU - SSM Health Hospital

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. 

Learn about our SLU-SSM Health Physical Therapy Orthopedic Residency.

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).

Program Faculty

Curriculum

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:

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:

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
  • Spirtuality
  • 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

Individualized Exploration

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.

Education Pathway: Working with the Saint Louis University Reinert Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning, the Resident will:

Social Justice Pathway: Working directly with the Physical Therapy Clinic at the Health Resource Center, the Resident will:

Sample Weekly Schedule

  AM PM
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)
Sample Weekly Schedule

Participation in the Physical Therapy Clinic at the Health Resource Center takes place on select weekends.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I apply for a residency program or a fellowship program? What is the difference?

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.

What are the admissions requirements and process for the SLU SSM Health Physical Therapy Women's Health Residency?

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 (3) 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.

How many years of experience in the physical therapy field should I have before applying?

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.

How large is the program?

One to two residents are accepted each year.

How long is the program?

It is a 16-month program, typically beginning in early August.

When is the application deadline?

Early in the new calendar year. Only one annual application cycle is offered, typically beginning in the Fall. It is a rolling admissions process.

What physical therapy degree should I hold to apply to the Women's Health Program?

Applicants can hold a bachelor's, master's or doctor of physical therapy degree.

How do I apply?

 

For more information, please reach out to the Program Director, Dr. Jill Imgarten, at jimgarten@ssm-select.com .

Will I be prepared to take the clinical specialist exam after I graduate?

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.

Is an interview a required part of the application process?

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.

Can student loans be deferred while I am enrolled in the program?

Typically, yes; however different lenders may have different policies. Check with your specific lender regarding your individual account and its management.

What are the requirements for successful completion of the program?

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.

Must I be licensed to practice physical therapy in the state of Missouri?

Yes. You must have a Missouri state physical therapy license prior to beginning the residency in August.

Where will I practice if I am accepted to the program?

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.

Is tuition charged for the education portion of the program?

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.

What expenses can I expect to incur?

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.

Will I be paid?

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.