Neurologic 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, the 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 to inpatients and outpatients, 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 Keck Medical Center of USC and Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center — 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 and 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:

  • 25–35 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 Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy’s neurologic residency, 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 $2,600, paid to the Neoconsortium. Administration fees are $2,500, paid to USC Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy. Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center charges an additional administrative fee. Administrative fees for USC clinical sites will be covered by the sites.

Residents are paid for 20–35 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 mentored physical therapy patient care and 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 may be 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, textbooks, 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 career statement
  • 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 third week 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, view a webinar presented by Elise Ruckert, PT, DPT, NCS, GCS, a former USC resident and current director of the neurologic residency program at George Washington University.

“As a resident, I taught components of neuroanatomy and patient care labs, studied neurologic differential diagnosis and neuroradiology, researched neurologic literature, and evaluated and treated patients with neurologic disorders. … The affiliation with a well-established rehabilitation hospital such as Rancho Los Amigos provides the opportunity to practice under the guidance of very bright and experienced neurologic clinical specialists. I would highly recommend this program to anyone considering pursuing a career in neurologic physical therapy.”

– Bernadette Currier, Neurologic Physical Therapy Resident, Class of 2004