Record Number of Doctor of Physical Therapy Students Accepted to Residencies

Record Number of Doctor of Physical Therapy Students Accepted to Residencies

Of the 38 students who will graduate from UCF’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program this spring, one in four — an impressive 26% — will immediately go on to develop further specialization in their defined areas of practice at a post professional physical therapy residency. This year is a record high for the DPT program, which typically sees only about 10% of graduates accepted to residency programs.

Across the U.S., less than 12% of DPT students apply to residency programs following graduation.

The increase comes as no surprise to program leaders in the College of Health Professions and Sciences who, over the last three years, have increased the number of education sessions delivered to students to help make them more aware of residency opportunities and how they can further expertise and ultimately improve patient care.

Physical therapy residency programs provide advanced training and prepare students with the knowledge and skills needed to pass a certification examination for a specialized area of practice.

“Residency training for physical therapists is the crucible where theory meets practice, forging expertise through immersive learning and mentorship,” says Associate Professor and Division of Kinesiology Chair William Hanney. “It’s the transformative journey that hones skills, instills confidence, and shapes compassionate caregivers, ensuring excellence in every step towards healing.”

The 10 students graduating from UCF this year and entering residencies will receive structured mentoring, further didactic learning and guided clinical experiences. They’ll develop skills in specialty areas that include sports, neurology, orthopedics and cardiopulmonary.

Riley Hogge will serve her orthopedic physical therapy residency at The Ohio State University and says she’s eager to receive one on one mentoring from experts in her chosen specialty area and looks forward to the chance to teach.

“I hope to develop my clinical reasoning and further build on the education that I received from UCF DPT through the high level and structured mentoring that residency education provides,” Hogge says. “This will help prepare me for my career goals of becoming an orthopedic expert for my patients and an educator within the Doctor of Physical Therapy program.”

According to the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education, there are 7,896 physical therapists who are residency program graduates from 426 accredited residency programs.

The DPT program this year also reached an all-time high of No. 41 in the U.S. News & World Report graduate rankings. Since its first doctoral cohort in 2010, the DPT program has consistently exceeded state and national averages in National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) pass rates, attaining an overall pass rate of 100% in 2022-2023.

The graduating students going to post professional physical therapy residency programs include:

  • Dimitri Shurik, attending the University of Miami-Jackson Rehabilitation Hospital Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy Residency;
  • Scott Stockunas ’21, attending the AdventHealth Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency;
  • Gabriella Orlando, attending the AdventHealth Sports Physical Therapy Residency;
  • Emma Scammon, attending the UCF and Orlando Health Neurologic Residency;
  • Riley Hogge, attending The Ohio State University Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency;
  • Juan Rodriguez, attending the University of Miami Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency;
  • Breven Dalsemer, attending the Nationwide Children’s Sports Residency;
  • Reid Whiting, attending the AdventHealth Neurological Physical Therapy Residency;
  • Kylie McCarty ’19, attending the University of North Carolina Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency; and
  • Marc Luzadder ’20, attending the Brooks Orthopaedic Residency.

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