Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency Program

Our neurologic residency gives you the expertise to provide high-quality physical therapy to patients with a range of neurological concerns.

Through direct patient care, dedicated mentoring and dynamic classroom instruction, this one-year residency gives you a thorough knowledge of neurologic PT practice, including neuroscience and neuroplasticity, motor control and learning, and motivation and behavior change.

You’ll be prepared to provide excellent physical therapy services in inpatient and outpatient settings, advance knowledge in the field through rigorous research and offer knowledgeable leadership to students and colleagues throughout your career.

Curriculum and Training

Our neurologic residency curriculum uses a combination of formal and informal educational, clinical and academic activities, as well as mentored direct care of neurologic patients at USC Physical Therapy, Keck Medical Center of USC and Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center (RLANRC) — an international leader in rehabilitation medicine and clinical research for more than a century. Residents spend six months in an outpatient setting and six months in an inpatient setting.

Coursework is completed through continuing education courses, online and on the USC Health Sciences Campus, through the Neurologic Physical Therapy Professional Education Consortium.

In addition to clinical experience with expert neurologists and neurologic physical therapists, you will also serve as a teaching assistant for physical therapy courses at USC and publish original research or systematic literature reviews. You will also complete a scholarly project with a faculty mentor, which you present at the end of your residency.

A neurologic resident’s typical week includes:

  • 25–40 hours of direct patient care
  • 4 hours of mentored clinical practice in physical therapy
  • 4 hours in a USC neurology clinic
  • 5–10 hours of teaching in the USC entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy program
  • 2–4 hours of academic modules

The curriculum is structured around the Neurologic Physical Therapy Description of Practice assessment readiness guidelines; after your residency, you will be prepared to take the Neurologic Clinical Specialist examination.

Residents begin online coursework in June; begin teaching at the start of the fall semester in August; and begin clinical work in August or September.

Admissions Requirements

To qualify for the USC/RLANRC neurologic residency program, you must be a graduate of an APTA-accredited program in physical therapy and eligible for licensure as a physical therapist in California. You must also provide proof of current CPR certification.

In residency candidates, we are looking for leadership potential; a desire to advance clinical knowledge, skills and abilities; demonstrated clinical aptitude; strong communication skills; and initiative and responsibility.

Costs

One-year residency tuition for didactic coursework is $2,700, paid to the Neoconsortium. An administration fee of $2,500, paid to the USC Division Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy is required of residents completing practice at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center. The administrative fee for residents completing clinical practice at USC clinical sites will be covered by USC Physical Therapy.

Residents are paid for 25–40 hours of clinical time, varying each semester and by site. You will also receive pay for hours served as a teaching assistant in physical therapy courses at USC. Four hours per week of physician mentoring are not paid.

You will be responsible for your living expenses and transportation to clinical facilities. Because of limited public transportation in Los Angeles, a car is necessary. Upon request, we can provide suggestions for where and how to find housing. You will also be responsible for purchase of personal tablets or laptops, scrubs and supplies.

While a resident, you may be able to defer any student loans; check with your individual lender(s) on their requirements.

Apply

To apply for the neurologic residency, visit the Residency and Fellowship Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (RF-PTCAS), create a login and indicate that you are applying to the USC neurologic physical therapy residency.

We require:

  • three letters of recommendation
  • a CV/résumé
  • a formal in-person interview

The application and required documents are due January 31. You will be notified of the admissions committee’s decision by the end of February via email. You will then have 48 hours to accept or decline an invitation to interview during the first two weeks of March in-person on the USC Health Sciences Campus. Final admissions decisions and clinical site placements are emailed within two weeks following the interview.

More Information

For more information, please contact Lori Ginoza, PT, DPT, NCS, neurologic residency program director, at lginoza@pt.usc.edu.

To help decide whether a neurologic residency is right for you, please visit the Prospective Student Resources page created by the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy.

The USC/RLANRC neurologic residency program has 51 graduates as of 2020, with a 96 percent graduation rate.

The pass rate of the USC/RLANRC neurologic residency graduates for the ABPTSB Board of Certification Neurologic Clinical Specialist Exam is 100 percent.

USC/RLANRC neurologic resident alumni are clinicians caring for populations with varying neurologic diagnoses, faculty in doctor of physical therapy programs, clinic directors, clinic owners and residency directors. Alumni remain involved in advancing the neurologic physical therapy profession by serving in leadership positions within the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy and participating in research as clinician researchers or by having obtained a PhD and presenting their research at professional conferences.

 

“My time as a neuro resident as part of the USC/Rancho Los Amigos program was a truly wonderful and immersive neuro experience. I was impressed by the depth and breadth of neuro experience I was provided, from the clinic to labs to the classroom. Under the mentorship of clinicians at Rancho Los Amigos and faculty at USC, I gained confidence in my clinical reasoning and invaluable skills in patient and student education. In addition to amazing clinical growth, I gained an incredible network of clinicians and faculty that I know I can continue to draw upon for mentorship as I continue on my own career path as a clinician and educator.”

—Carly Lochala,
2017Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency Graduate