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Acute Care Physical Therapy Residency Program

The Duke Health Acute Care Physical Therapy Residency Program has been granted candidacy status through the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education

Our Mission 

The mission of the Duke University Hospital Acute Care Physical Therapy Residency is to develop and graduate practitioners who possess highly specialized clinical reasoning and demonstrate advanced skills to intervene and manage the medically complex patient across the acute care setting. The Duke University faculty, staff, and residents are committed to transforming the health and function of their patients, building healthier communities, and advancing the profession through nationally recognized teaching, research, and education.

What Makes Our Program Unique

With Duke’s Acute Care Physical Therapy Residency, you will be exposed to multidisciplinary environments across the continuum of inpatient care to further your clinical reasoning of the complexities of the acute care setting. The residency is a part of Duke University Hospital which is consistently rated as one of the best hospitals in the United States and is known around the world for its outstanding care and groundbreaking research. 

Duke University Hospital offers a range of specialty services where you will work closely with the interdisciplinary team. As you rotate through the acute care setting, you will receive top-level mentorship, as our mentors are board-certified in their respective clinical areas (e.g. cardiovascular & pulmonary, neurologic, geriatric, and oncology).  

Highlights of Our Program

Your residency year will include rotations through our General Medicine, General Surgery, Oncology, Wound Care, Neurology/Neurosurgery, Cardiology, Pulmonary, Orthopedic, and Trauma Units; as well as their associated Intensive Care Units.  

Residency enrichment activities related to each clinical area are provided through grand rounds, interdisciplinary rounds, and interdisciplinary observations. Additional learning opportunities will include journal article reviews and online didactic education.  

You will also develop your professional presentation skills through teaching at the Duke DPT program and at monthly meetings with all of Duke’s fellows and residents to discuss cases through narrative reasoning presentations. During each rotation, you will utilize your developing clinical knowledge and provide case reports to the clinical team.  

Another unique component to your residency includes enrollment in a 12-week long intensive cognitive behavioral therapy course which allows for a deeper understanding and ability to help your patients through an emotional and psychological lens. 

Our residents work closely with a research team of their choosing to complete the required research component of the program.  

How to Apply

All applicants must have graduated from an accredited PT program and be licensed or eligible for licensure in North Carolina. 

Please send the following documents in a single Zip folder to Duke Health’s Residency and Fellowship Director, Michael Schmidt, by December 1, 2023.

  • Three letters of reference
    • One from a clinical instructor
    • One from a professor or previous mentor
    • One from a previous employer
  • CV or resume and cover letter
  • Academic transcripts
  • Essay on motivation for applying to the residency
  • Completed application – 2024 2025 Acute Care Physical Therapy Residency Application

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