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The Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency Program at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta received its American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) accreditation in 2010, with reaccreditation achieved in 2015. The program lasts 12 to 13 months and begins each August.

Mission and goals

Our pediatric physical therapy residency mission is to enhance the lives of children through excellence in patient care by providing expertise in pediatric physical therapy in a comprehensive learning environment in multiple medical settings.

According to the pediatric physical therapy residency goals, we want to:

  • Promote participation in evidence-based practice and clinical research to contribute to the body of knowledge in pediatric physical therapy.
  • Provide a comprehensive pediatric physical therapy residency curriculum incorporating hospital-based environments.
  • Provide exposure and learning opportunities to teach all points of the pediatric description of residency practice (DRP) and prepare the resident to sit for the pediatric specialty exam.
  • Meet the needs of APTA and the community by developing advanced practitioners of pediatric physical therapy.
  • Develop competent instructors and mentors in the field of pediatric physical therapy.

The pediatric physical therapy residency is a clinically focused program with curriculum based on the pediatric DRP.

Residents rotate through a variety of clinical settings, including:

Didactic time is embedded throughout the residency program. The didactic experiences, which may include participation in multidisciplinary clinics, literature review, case studies, classroom instruction, observation, directed study and more, are designed to directly relate to the patient population the resident is currently treating in that clinical setting. This congruency between didactic and clinical experiences provides a resident with excellent learning opportunities to put knowledge into immediate clinical practice.

Program benefits

  • Residents are hired as Level 1 physical therapists at Children’s and receive the appropriate privileges and benefits.
  • Continuing medical education (CME) opportunities may be available.
  • Residency rotations will be tailored to each individual resident’s needs based on previous experience and comfort level.
  • A two-week elective rotation is available during which residents can focus on areas in which they desire additional instruction or advanced training.

Program outcomes

  • Since earning its accreditation in 2010, we have graduated one resident every year from the residency program, and our graduates currently have a 100% pass rate on the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) examination to become a board-certified pediatric clinical specialist (PCS).
  • Graduates have gone on to hold leadership positions in program development, become mentors to colleagues and residents, teach at local universities and participate in clinical research.

To be considered for this residency, applicants must hold or be eligible for Georgia physical therapy licensure. If the applicant is eligible for licensure, it must be obtained before beginning the residency program. One year of pediatric physical therapy experience is preferred.

Apply to the Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency Program through the APTA Residency and Fellowship Centralized Application Service.

For questions or more information about the Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency Program, contact:

Kim Carvell, PT, DPT, PCS
Program Coordinator, Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency Program
Phone: 404-785-3354
Email: kimberly.carvell@choa.org