Frequently Asked Questions

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    How many years of experience in the Physical Therapy field should I have before applying to the Neurologic Residency Program?
    Recent graduates of APTA credentialed physical therapy programs are eligible to apply as well as experienced physical therapists.

    When is the Application deadline?
    The Application deadline is January 31st.  Only one annual Application cycle is offered for the Neurologic Residency Program.

    What is the size of the Neurologic Residency Program class?
    Four residents are accepted to the Program each year (2 at USC Physical Therapy Associates/ Keck Medical Center at USC and 2 at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center).

    Will I be prepared to take the Neurologic Clinical Specialist (NCS) exam after I graduate?
    Yes. The Neurologic Residency Program Curriculum is structured around the Neurologic Physical Therapy Description of Specialty Practice assessment readiness guidelines, emphasizing the concepts and knowledge required for the NCS examination.

    What degree should I hold to apply to the Neurologic Residency Program?

    A Bachelor's, Master's, or Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from an accredited program is needed to apply to the Neurologic Residency Program. 

    How long is the program?
    The Neurologic Residency Program begins in mid-August and runs for a period of one year. Work at the clinical site begins at this time.  However, webinars begin in June but can be accessed from any location with a computer and Internet access.

    Can student loans be deferred while enrolled in the Program?
    Previous residents have been able to defer their student loans while in the USC Residency Programs (Orthopedic, Neurological and Sports). However, individual lenders may have different requirements.  Please check with your lender to confirm this information for your specific situation.

    Is an interview a required part of the Application process?
    Yes. A personal interview with Neurologic Residency faculty members is a required part of the Application process for the Neurologic Residency Program. Potential interviewees will be invited after applications are reviewed.

    What are the requirements for successful completion of the residency?
    Requirements for successful completion include successfully passing live patient examinations with patients,mentor and teaching assessments, attendance in all didactic coursework, passing written, oral and practical exams,presentation of a scholarly project at Neurologic Residency Grand Rounds, and completion of a scholarly project suitable for submission for publication.

    Must I be licensed to practice Physical Therapy in the State of California, USA?
    Yes.  All Program residents must have a California state license prior to beginning the residency in August.

    Can I apply for the NCS exam while in the Program?
    Residents are eligible to apply for the Neurologic Specialist Certification (NCS) exam while in the Program. Those currently holding the NCS designation may be eligible to use completion of the Program to fulfill re-certification requirements.All USC/RLANRC neurologic residents who have taken the NCS exam to date have passed.

    Where will I practice if I am accepted to the residency program?
    Residents will practice at either USC Physical Therapy Associates/ Keck Medical Center at USC or Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center.  At both locations, residents will spend 6 months in inpatient and 6 months in out patient.

    Am I going to get paid?

    Residents will be paid for their non-mentored, patient care atUSC or Rancho and will also be paid to assist in teaching in the DPT courses at USC.

    How does the USC/RLANRC Neurologic Residency Program differ from many other residency programs?
    The USC/RLANRC Neurologic Residency Program is unique in that it is a university-based program that provides teaching opportunities as well as expert mentor ship from Physical Therapist clinicians who focus on patient focused care, differential diagnosis, and facilitation of leadership and teamwork. In addition to clinical practice, our residents are trained with a focus one education, research, and leadership. Residents also have the opportunities to work side by side with neurologist who specialty expertise. The Program's combined university and clinical settings also makes tremendous resources available including people,equipment, and facilities. Additionally, this residency is aligned with residencies around the country through the Neurologic Physical Therapy Professional Education Consortium.

    Who is a typical USC Residency graduate?
    We have a long history of residency education at USC. The Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency is the second residency to be established at USC. Our residents have an outstanding track record for achieving excellence in clinical practice, education, publication, and leadership. Our graduates can be found in private practice, running practices, starting clinics, working in a variety of settings, teaching at universities, as directors of neurologic residency programs, enrolled in and/or teaching continuing education courses, publishing articles, and becoming involved in research and patient/profession advocacy.

    Is a residency right for me?

    View the webinar "Is A Residency Program Right for Me?" (link below) to hear the answer to this question and additional information. The webinar is presented by Elise Ruckert, PT, DPT,NCS, GCS who is a former USC/RLANRC resident and current residency director of a neurologic residency program at George Washington University. In this webinar, Dr. Ruckert shares her experiences as a former USC/RLANRC resident and her current role as a residency director and answers several questions related to the application process.

    Webinar Link: http://www.neuropt.org/professional-resources/neurologic-residency/is-a-residency-program-right-for-me