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Do you accept international applicants?

No, unfortunately we are unable to sponsor international applicants in their bid for licensure or residency and fellowship education. 

How many people are usually accepted into the program each year?

Typically, we have one physical therapy sports fellow each year. 

What is the learning structure of the program?

The learning structure is made up of scheduled mentor time, didactic time and other scheduled learning opportunities including MD clinic observation and surgery observation. The fellow attends at least 4-5 hours of weekly didactic sessions including sports physical therapy didactic sessions, journal clubs, multidisciplinary sports medicine conferences and sports physical therapy staff in-services. We have monthly leadership didactic sessions, interresidency and fellowship conferences, PT/OT grand rounds and DEI Grand Rounds. The year is divided into 4 quarters: We start with more of the emergency care didactics, and then go into lower extremity, upper extremity, spine and other topics along the way. 

What does a typical week look like?

This varies throughout the year based on sports that are in season. Typically, the fellow will provide patient care at the Duke Sports Science Institute for 20 hours/week. They will also provide student-athlete care in the Duke Athletic Medicine Training Rooms part of the day. They are involved in sideline coverage for games, practices and performance sessions. The fellow attends 4-5 hours of didactic learning each week that includes sports physical therapy didactics, journal club and a multidisciplinary sports medicine conference. Many weeks have additional educational opportunities as well, including rounding with sports medicine surgeons in clinic, operating rooms and cadaver fresh tissue labs. The fellow spends at least 3-4 hours in formal mentored time with patients in the Duke Sports Physical Therapy clinic and in the Athletic Medicine Training Rooms.   

How is the mentorship structured?

The fellow participates in 3-4 hours of mentorship per week in the Duke Sports Physical Therapy clinic and some mentorship hours in the Duke Division I Athletic Training Rooms. Mentor time includes prep time when the fellow or mentor is presenting information they have about the patient before the encounter, and then discussion and clinical reasoning about the patient. Then, the mentor is present during the encounter. There is time after for reflection and discussion about the session. Each week, the fellow performs an evaluation which the mentor observes, and the mentor performs an evaluation the fellow observes. The fellowship mentor time requirement is 150 hours of mentor time, 75 hours directed by the fellow, and 75 hours directed by the mentor. 

Are there opportunities for teaching?

As physical therapists, it is important we become experts in teaching/educational strategies. Teaching opportunities include interacting with our patients and their families, volunteers, students, colleagues, coaches, interdisciplinary team members and the community. The fellow presents for multidisciplinary sports medicine conferences, some of the didactic sessions for the fellowship and residency, and presents articles for journal club. There is limited teaching in the Duke DPT School, including presentations for the DPT Student Sports SIG and panel discussions. We give the fellow feedback on presentation skills along the way to help them sharpen their presentation skills.   

Are there opportunities for research activities?

We require our fellows to participate in a research project. We have great research mentors and a research team that supports the fellow through their project. This includes completing research training modules, completing an abstract, contributing to a manuscript and presenting the research. There is opportunity to join a currently running project or perform a systematic review. The year culminates in a final William Garrett Jr MD Ph.D Research Day when the fellow presents the research with the other Duke Sports Medicine Orthopedic and Primary Care fellows.  

What types of technology does the fellow have access to?

The fellow has access to the Vald ForceDecks, Norbord and ForceFrame, HHD, unloading treadmills, Biodex/Cybex isokinetics, Blaze Pods, blood flow restriction devices, Class IV laser, MSK US, Catapult Wearable technology, dexascans and Trackman among others.  

What are the outcomes of previous graduates of the Division I Sports Fellowship?

We have had 25 Graduates. They have gone on to hold positions in Division I programs; professional sports including football, basketball and baseball; and even Cirque Du Soleil. There are graduates working at Olympic Training Centers, sports physical therapy clinics and on military bases. Some have opened their own clinic. Some are program directors and mentors of residencies and fellowships. 

What qualities does an ideal candidate possess?

To be successful in the application process, an applicant should demonstrate a strong academic background, excellent work ethic and commitment to deepening their understanding of sports medicine physical therapy. Candidates should have experience working with athletes, team sports and sports medicine teams, as well as significant continuing education that indicates interest in sports physical therapy. They should be passionate about what they are doing, be organized and demonstrate intellectual and cultural humility. We encourage everyone to bring their own unique self and background to the program. It is this diversity that has helped to continue to grow our program. 

Can I come for a visit or tour?

At this time, we do not offer in-person tours of the facility. If selected for an interview, this will serve as a tour of the facilities. We do have a virtual tour of the Division I setting on Instagram at instagram.com/dukesportsptresfellow. 

Where can I find a list of the approved courses to complete the Emergency Medical Responder Certification requirement? 

A list of approved courses can be found on the ABPTS website.