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Do you accept new graduates into your program?

Yes, but incoming residents need to be a licensed physical therapist in the state of North Carolina before our mid-July start date.

Do you accept international applicants?

Yes, provided they are licensed to practice in North Carolina. Unfortunately, we are unable to sponsor international applicants in their bid for licensure.

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

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

Are there opportunities for research activities?

Yes, we require our residents to participate in a research project. This includes completing an abstract, contributing to a manuscript and presenting at a final research day with the other Sports Medicine Surgical and Primary Care Fellows. We have research mentors and a research team that support the resident through their project. The opportunity exists to join a currently running project or perform a systematic review.

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, volunteers, students, colleagues, interdisciplinary team members and the community. The resident presents and teaches to all of these groups through Friday morning multidisciplinary conferences, didactic sessions, journal clubs, and inter-residency and fellowship conferences to name just a few. We typically have a few formal teaching or lab-instructing opportunities in the Duke Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

What does a typical week look like?

This varies throughout the year based on sports that are in season. Typically, the resident will provide patient care at the Duke Sports Science institute for 30 hours/week. They will provide outreach coverage during the week primarily at local high schools in the afternoon and evening for 2-3 days/week. There is often a weekend outreach commitment to cover community sporting events. There are also educational sessions throughout the week that include didactics, journal club, and an interdisciplinary sports medicine conference. Many weeks have additional educational opportunities that include rounding with sports medicine surgeons in clinic, the operating room, and cadaver fresh tissue lab. Lastly, there is at least 3-5 hours of formal mentored time with patients in the clinical setting.

How is the mentorship structured?

Formal mentorship occurs with patients in the clinical setting with a board-certified sports specialist on a weekly basis. Typically, this is 3-5 hours/week with a rotating the lead provider. There is time before and after for preparation and discussion. During outreach opportunities, the resident is with a dual-credentialed and board-certified Duke PT/ATC. This provides many other learning opportunities and times to hone in on skills.

What are sport coverage opportunities?

For the sports residency, our primary sports coverage is performed at the local high school and at weekend events with high-level soccer programs. The resident rotates through three high schools with a dual-credentialed and board-certified Duke PT/ATC. This experience affords the resident firsthand opportunities for on-field evaluations and training room management. The resident will cover an array of sports that follow the typical sports year. This includes football, wrestling, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, softball/baseball and help managing all the athletes/sports at the schools. We do provide an opportunity to spend time in Duke Athletics. Currently, we are doing this in the last trimester/quarter of the program.

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. They should be passionate about what they are doing, be organized and demonstrate intellectual and cultural humility. That being said, 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.