Frequently Asked Questions
What sets your program apart?
Our program offers two 6 month rotations–one in inpatient and the other in outpatient. Rather than offering numerous rotations over shorter time periods, we focus on enhancing the depth of the learning experience for residents. Although residents have the opportunity to work with patients with a wide variety of neurological conditions, we limit the number of rotations in order to emphasize the deeper development of clinical reasoning skills. We also integrate high quality teacher, research and community service opportunities within the residency program.
What are you looking for in an applicant?
Applicants should be self-directed learners, have strong self-assessment skills and must be open to critical feedback. Candidates should have a keen interest in neurology, a strong desire to enhance patient outcomes through practicing in an evidence-based manner and should have potential to assume leadership roles in the profession.
Do you accept new graduates into your residency program?
Yes, new graduates from all accredited physical therapy programs are welcome to apply. Candidates planning to take the licensing exam in July (or earlier) are eligible to apply as the clinical training begins at the end of August. Applicants need to have a Massachusetts PT license* prior to starting their clinical work. However, residents may start the didactic coursework in June without a license.
*Please note that there is no temporary license in Massachusetts.
Do you accept licensed physical therapists with prior clinical experience into your residency program?
Yes, we accept therapists with prior clinical experience into our program. We consider candidates with any number of months/years of clinical experience.
Are international physical therapists eligible to apply to your program?
Yes. Candidates must have or be eligible for a PT license in the state of Massachusetts.
Do you require any specific continuing education coursework or other clinical experiences in order to apply?
What is involved in the interview process?
The interview process consists of a 10-minute case presentation by the candidate followed by questions from the admissions committee.
How many residents do you accept each year?
Historically, we have accepted 2 residents per year into our program. We continue to consider accepting additional residents in the future.
How long is your program? When does the program start?
The residency is approximately 14 months in duration. The clinical training begins in late August and finishes in late August of the following year. Our didactic training typically begins in late June of each year (prior to the August clinical training start date) in the form of webinars and can be accessed remotely from anywhere in the country. Residents are expected to move to the Boston area prior to the start of the clinical training in late August.
Is the program full-time? What is the typical time requirement for residents?
Yes, the program is full-time. There is no part-time option. In a typical week, residents participate in clinical practice/clinical training approximately 30 hours per week. In addition, residents participate in didactic training, teaching, research, and community service over the course of the year. Residents should expect to devote approximately 45-50 hours per week to activities within the residency program.
*1:1 mentoring 4 hours per week Mon-Thurs
*Meeting with Residency Director 1 hour per week
*Community Service – schedule varies depending on the nature of the experience
Can you describe the clinical settings (e.g., inpatient, outpatient) where the residents will be training?
Residents will participate in clinical training in an inpatient acute hospital setting at a Level 1 Trauma Center in Boston (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center). Residents will have the opportunity to work with patients with a wide range of neurological disorders (e.g., stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, brain tumors, Guillain Barre Syndrome, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, multiple sclerosis, vestibular disorders etc.). Experience in the ICU is also emphasized. Residents will also participate in clinical training in an outpatient setting at Spaulding Rehabilitation Network Medford. Residents will experience an interdisciplinary team approach in a large academic teaching environment. Residents will spend approximately 30 hours per week participating in clinical experiences with 4 hours per week of 1:1 mentoring with expert clinicians and faculty with board certifications in their areas of expertise (i.e, neurology, geriatrics). These rotations provide the essential experiences and mentoring necessary to help residents develop enhanced clinical skills – with an emphasis on depth as well as breadth. There is some opportunity to see additional patients in a population of interest to the extent that a patient in that population is is admitted to the clinical site.
What types of teaching experiences are available to residents?
Residents have the opportunity to teach in a clinical neurologic course within the entry-level DPT program at Boston University. With mentoring from the Director of the Neurologic Residency Program, residents will be involved in teaching in the laboratory portion of this course which meets every Friday during the fall semester. Residents will work with small groups of students and patients post stroke in the lab setting to teach the essential aspects of a neurologic exam and approach to treatment. During the spring semester, residents have the opportunity to participate in implementing a case study in a lecture/discussion format. The APTA requires 1 year of experience before a PT can take the clinical instructor training course, however there are still opportunities to work with students both clinically and in research during the residency program.
What types of research experiences are available to residents?
Residents have the opportunity to participate in research within the Center for Neurorehabilitation at Boston University. This research broadly focuses on investigating the benefits of rehabilitation in reducing disability in persons with Parkinson disease. Residents may have the opportunity to be involved in carrying out assessments, implementing interventions, data management, data analysis and/or writing. The specific research experience will depend on the nature of the projects taking place in the Center for Neurorehabilitation at the time and the goals of each individual resident. Residents may have the opportunity to present their work at a professional meeting.
What types of community service experiences are available to residents?
Residents have the opportunity to participate in a variety of community service experiences which may include any of the following:
- The Center for Neurorehabilitation houses the American Parkinson Disease Association National Rehabilitation Resource Center. This Center contains a telephone/email exercise help-line service where patients with Parkinson disease as well as family members and healthcare professionals can contact expert physical therapists about their exercise/rehabilitation related questions. Residents may be involved in assisting with these inquiries.
- Faculty from the Speech Language Pathology, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Nutrition programs at Boston University offer an annual one-month intensive, interdisciplinary intervention for persons post stroke. Residents may be involved in the implementation of this program.
- Residents may have the opportunity to participate in a 1-2-week intensive residential program, Empower SCI, for persons with spinal cord injury to improve independence and quality of life following completion of rehabilitation.
Can you describe the nature of the didactic training/coursework requirements?
We partner with the Neurologic Physical Therapy Professional Education Consortium to offer a unique, cutting edge educational experience as part of our didactic training for residents. Residents will participate in two 4-day educational modules (held in Los Angeles, CA), 26 live webinars accessible from Boston University, and journal clubs in which residents will have the opportunity to interact with other residents from participating institutions. Educators and speakers include world renowned physical therapists who are experts in the field. No other formal coursework is required.
How much interaction with other disciplines is there?
There is much interaction with physicians, nurses, SLPs, OTs and case managers/social workers. There are also opportunities to interact with orthotists and neuropsychologists.
What is the annual salary of the resident? Are benefits included?
The annual salary is approximately $40,000 – $ 45,000 plus full benefits provided by the clinical facilities.
Will I have time to work beyond the hours required of the residency program?
Some of our past residents have elected to work per diem on occasional weekends at our affiliating clinical sites. It is up to each individual resident to decide if they can fulfill all the requirements of the residency program in addition to working additional hours.
Is conference participation offered?
The residents attend and may present at numerous in-services, grand rounds and any other seminars offered by our clinical partners. Residents are encouraged submit an abstract to a professional meeting based on the research they have been participating in – most succeed in doing this. Additionally, residents are encouraged to attend CSM and typically receive a stipend to cover a portion of the cost.
Does the residency program provide assistance with housing?
We are able to provide recommendations for housing options but it is the responsibility of each resident to arrange for housing. It is important to consider that Boston’s rental market is fast moving and that a majority of 1-year leases are a September 1 move-in date. There is an abundance of real estate agencies and other websites to help with this process.
How much mentoring does each resident receive during the clinical training and what does it consist of?
Residents receive approximately 4 hours per week (~200 per year) of direct 1:1 mentoring by experienced clinical faculty mentors who are board certified in Neurologic and/or Geriatric Physical Therapy. Mentoring consists of co-treatments led by the resident or the mentor, as well as discussion sessions/meetings between the mentor and resident. Discussion sessions focus on working towards the goal established for each resident at the onset of the program. The discussion sessions may occur before seeing a patient to prepare for the session and/or after seeing a patient to reflect on the session. Discussions also focus on integrating evidence into practice.
Can I apply after the application deadline?
No, we do not review applications received after the deadline.
Do I need to submit an official transcript directly to Boston University?
Boston University requires a copy of your official transcript of your PT program for consideration of your application. You do not need to submit the official transcript directly to Boston University. You do need to submit your official transcript to RF-PTCAS, who will then distribute the transcript(s) to the programs that require them. Instructions for submitting your official transcript through RF-PTCAS can be found here: http://help.unicas.com:8888/rfptcasHelpPages/frequently-asked-questions/official-transcripts-u-s-institutions/index.html
Am I required to submit 2 CVs or resumes?
No, only 1 CV or resume is required. On the RF-PTCAS website, under Program Materials –> BU Neurologic Residency –> Documents, there is a space for a CV/Resume and a space for a CV/Resume(Additional). Our program requires the submission of your CV/resume, however you will not be able to submit your application if you do not upload a document into the CV/Resume(Additional) spot. This is a configuration issue within the RF-PTCAS website. If you have additional pages of your CV/resume that exceeded the 5MB limit or if you have other documents that you believe are beneficial for us to review, please submit them in the CV/Resume(Additional) spot. If you do not have anything to submit here, please upload a blank document as a placeholder so that the system recognizes a submission. All application reviewers are aware of this. It will absolutely not count against you if you upload a blank document in the CV/Resume(Additional) spot, but please upload your CV/Resume into the 1st spot.
What is the cost for the program?
The tuition for the residency program is $4,800. Residents will also be responsible for travel expenses for the two onsite portions of the didactic training which take place in Los Angeles during August and November of each year.
Do you offer a “degree” as part of the residency?
Residents do not receive a degree; however, our residency program is accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Residents receive a certificate of completion at the end of the program indicating successful completion of an APTA accredited residency program.
Will I be able to take the NCS exam after completing the program?
Yes, all residents who complete the program will be eligible to sit for the NCS exam the year following completion of the residency program. The pass rate for our residents is 100%.
Where do your residency typically work after completing the residency?
Our graduates work in a variety of settings, including but not limited to: large academic acute care teaching hospitals, outpatient neurology settings (usually affiliated with large, urban teaching hospitals), and university settings (both research and clinical care positions).
Would it be possible to correspond with current or prior residents from your residency program?
Yes, please feel free to reach out to any of our past or current residents directly.
- Chelsea Macpherson, PT, DPT, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Nick Wendel, PT, DPT, email: email@example.com
- Jennifer Tschoepe, PT, DPT, NCS email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jon Robinson, PT, DPT, NCS, email: email@example.com
- Margherita Tamburello, PT, DPT, NCS, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sara Crandall, PT, DPT, NCS, email: email@example.com
- Parm Padgett, PT, DPT, NCS, email: firstname.lastname@example.org