HCHD’s Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency Program Receives Accreditation

HOUSTON (Nov. 30, 2009) – The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has accredited the Harris County Hospital District’s Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency Program, establishing it as the only full-time residency program of its kind in Texas. It also becomes the only orthopaedic physical therapy residency in the nation offered by a public healthcare system.

The five-year accreditation means the Harris County Hospital District is credentialed by the American Physical Therapy Association as a post-professional clinical residency program for physical therapists in Orthopaedics. Its credentialed status also means the hospital district’s program meets the highest standards set by the association for educational and training programs. Creation of residency programs is part of the American Physical Therapy Association’s vision 2020, which encourages physical therapists to complete residency training and doctorate degrees. 

“The Harris County Hospital District has always valued the pursuit of education, research and innovation for its staff and residents,” said Carol Oddo, PT, MS, FACHE, vice president, Patient and Public Affairs, Harris County Hospital District, and residency program director. “Our addition of the orthopaedic physical therapy residency program is a fine example of our commitment to educating the next generation of healthcare professionals.” 

The one-year residency program provides physical therapy participants with post-graduate clinical and didactic education in a clinically diverse and unique setting to attain advanced clinical skills in orthopaedic physical therapy. The program emphasizes a learning approach that is patient-centered and evidence-based. The resident is prepared to function as an interdependent practitioner in a collaborative healthcare model through patient-care experience, mentoring, scientific inquiry and independent study.

Orthopaedic physical therapists diagnose, manage and treat disorders and injuries of the musculoskeletal system. These therapists are trained in the differential diagnosis and management of acute sports injuries, arthritis, sprains, strains, back and neck pain, spinal conditions, post-operative orthopaedic procedures, fractures and amputations. 

“Our residents, often doctors of physical therapy, licensed in Texas, could practice anywhere, but choose to train here because of the expertise of the staff and the variety of patients,” said Brian Duncan, PT, MS, OCS, FAAOMPT, program manager, Quentin Mease Community Hospital, the dedicated rehabilitation center for the Harris County Hospital District. 

Because of the successful orthopaedic physical therapy residency program, Harris County Hospital District staff is looking forward to launching a neurologic physical therapy residency in the next couple of years.

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