Pediatric Residency Program

Our pediatric residency provides an opportunity for you to develop the specialized skills to provide high-quality physical therapy to children from birth to 21 years.

Guided by knowledgeable mentors, residents receive training in children’s unique needs during a team-based, year-long residency at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), named among the top 5 children’s hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Our pediatric residency graduates provide family-centered care to their communities, publish influential research, help train the next generation of clinicians and grow into leaders in pediatric care.

Curriculum and Training

Our rigorous pediatric residency curriculum uses a combination of formal and informal educational, clinical and academic activities.

To broaden expertise in leadership and advocacy, our residents complete the California Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (CA-LEND) Training Program, an interdisciplinary learning community that prepares health professionals to be leaders in serving children with neurodevelopmental disabilities.

To broaden expertise in pediatric physical therapy, our residents complete academic modules on Evidence Based Practice, Typical Development, and Tests and Measures. The Evidence Based Practice module culminates in the completion of a systematic review. These systematic reviews have been published in peer-reviewed journals with our residents as first authors, and the findings have been presented by our residents at scientific conferences.

To broaden clinical experience, our residents work 30 hours a week in the outpatient setting at CHLA. This includes 4 to 8 mentored hours a week in the outpatient, inpatient rehabilitation or acute inpatient setting. Our residents also complete clinical modules (12–18 hours each) in:

To broaden expertise in teaching, our residents serve as teaching assistants for a course in the USC Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program.

A pediatric resident’s typical week includes:

  • 30 hours of direct patient care in the outpatient setting at CHLA
    • Includes 4 to 8 hours of mentored patient care at CHLA
      • 4 months mentoring in outpatient
      • 4 months mentoring in inpatient rehabilitation
      • 4 months mentoring in acute inpatient
  • 4 hours of participation in the CA-LEND program (Sept–May)
  • 3 hours of teaching in the USC DPT program (Jan–April)
  • 1–3 hours of academic modules
  • 4–6 hours of clinical modules (9 times over the course of the residency)

The pediatric residency is a 12-month residency that begins in late August. Upon completion of the residency, our residents are well-prepared with the concepts and knowledge required for the Pediatric Clinical Specialist examination.

Admissions Requirements

To qualify for the USC/CHLA Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency, you must be a graduate of an APTA-accredited program in physical therapy and eligible for licensure as a physical therapist in California.

We are looking for residency candidates that have leadership potential, demonstrated clinical aptitude, strong communication skills, high levels of initiative and responsibility, and a desire to advance pediatric clinical knowledge and skills.

Costs

One-year tuition is $2,500, paid in one or two installments, due by October.

Residents are paid for 30 hours per week of clinical time at CHLA (including full benefits), their teaching in the USC DPT program and their participation in the CA-LEND program.

You will be responsible for your living expenses and transportation to clinical facilities. Due to limited public transportation in Los Angeles, a car may be necessary. Upon request, we can provide recommendations for housing.

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

Apply

All pediatric residents must have a California state license prior to beginning the residency in late August.

All documents are due February 1, and qualified applicants will be interviewed in late February or early March. We participate in the common application and notification program, which notifies applicants of admissions decisions in mid-March.

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

Contact Us

For more information, please contact Barbara Sargent, PhD, PT, PCS, codirector of the USC/CHLA Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency at bsargent@pt.usc.edu or Karen Fadul, CHLA staff development coordinator at kfadul@chla.usc.edu.