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Physical Therapy Sports Residency Program

PT Sports Residency Program mission

Our mission is to educate, inspire and motivate physical therapists to become integral members of the multi-disciplinary sports medicine team, acquiring knowledge through advanced didactic, clinical skills and on-field injury management. Residents of the Spine & Sport Physical Therapy Sports Residency Program will abide by the core values of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), learn how to be successful in a private practice sports setting, learn the art of communication within the sports medicine team, and learn to effectively treat the athlete from an acute injury to return to sport.

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Sports Residency Program admission requirements

In order to begin the program, candidates must have graduated from an APTA accredited physical therapy program and have licensure as a physical therapist in the state of California.

In residency candidates, we are searching for:

  • Motivated physical therapists who want to enhance their clinical reasoning/skills.
  • Have a strong passion for sports physical therapy.
  • Show leadership potential.
  • Strong communication skills, initiative and drive to enhance our profession.
  • All potential candidates must hold a valid California physical therapy license prior to beginning the program in June.

Recommended but not required:

  • ERA/EMR/ATC certified​.
  • Background in athletics/strength & conditioning.
  • CSCS.
  • APTA member.

Training and curriculum

Our Physical Therapy Sports Residency Program offers residents a multitude of experiences.
Experiences include:

  • Patient care, treating a sports oriented patient population (youth, collegiate & professional level >70% of caseload).
  • Clinical mentoring with board-certified specialists in orthopedics and sports physical therapy.
  • On-field injury management within the college (CSU, Sacramento) and professional setting (Sacramento Republic FC.)
  • Pre-/post-op clinics with leading orthopedic surgeons.
  • MD injection clinic participation.
  • Didactic lectures with Sutter Family Medicine and UC Davis Sports Medicine residents.
  • Certified Strength & Conditioning prep course (16 weeks).
  • Research related participation (Rafael Escamilla, Ph.D, PT, CSCS, FACSM).
  • Monthly research article/quiz/practical based on Sports Certified Specialist (SCS) topics.
  • Gaining the knowledge needed to successfully sit for and pass the SCS Board Certification Examination.

What does a typical resident’s week look like?

Residents can expect:

  • 20-30 hours of direct patient care.
  • 2-4 hours of 1-on-1 clinical mentor time.
  • 4-6 hours of on-field/training room experience.
  • 2-4 hours of didactics:
    • UC Davis Sports Medicine lectures​ (monthly)
    • Sutter Family Practice lectures (bimonthly)
    • Article review/manual skills development (monthly)
    • Sports related quiz/practical exam (1-2x/month)
    • Mentor guided skills development (weekly)

Weekend courses, APTA’s CSM, Communication training course via “Art Of Coaching” and Emergency Response for the Athlete course (ERA) will be required throughout the residency (some costs covered via the residency.)

The residency begins in early June and runs 13 months in duration.

Requirements for successful completion

Requirements for successful completion include:

  • Passing written and oral monthly exams.
  • Passing Live Patient Examinations (3).
  • Perform oral presentations (3).
  • Completion of Clinical Reasoning/Mentor Prep Forms.
  • Successful participation in the above listed experiences.

Physical Therapy Sports Residency Program costs

Program costs:

There are no direct costs for entering the program. The resident will be compensated at a 20-30 hours/week clinical workload (roughly 60% full-time salary).

Hours outside of clinical workload are therefore not compensated for (0rthopedic surgeon office rounds, on-field/training room experiences, didactic experiences, article review/quizzes and mentor guided training) but are included in the 40-50 hour/week commitment.


How to apply

  • Application deadline: February 1
  • Applications can be found through Residency and Fellowship Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (RF-PTCAS) website.

For additional questions, please feel free to contact Program Director Dan MacLean, PT, MPT, SCS, CSCS, USAW, at [email protected]