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Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency Program

The Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency 12-month program at Vanderbilt prepares residents for ABPTS board certification in Pediatric Physical Therapy.

Mission of the residency

Monroe Carell Junior Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt mentors the professional development and advanced clinical training of pediatric physical therapists in an inter-professional environment.

Residents prepare to serve as leaders in the field of pediatric physical therapy, demonstrating exceptional clinical skills and reasoning guided by current evidence, social responsibility, and compassion. Residents develop the knowledge and skills to serve as educators, consultants and clinical researchers.

The Pediatric Residency provides diverse didactic education opportunities within the Vanderbilt and Belmont University systems, as well as participation in the Pediatric Residency Consortium and other external continuing education courses, seminars and webinars.

Residents deliver direct clinical care approximately 30-32 hours per week rotating through our outpatient physical therapy clinic, inpatient/critical care, specialty clinics and a developmental preschool. In addition, residents participate in experiences in the school system and inpatient rehabilitation.


The Pediatric Residency curriculum includes

  • LEND training through the Vanderbilt LEND program at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center
  • Participation in specialty clinics, grand rounds and other educational programming at Belmont and Vanderbilt Universities
  • Assisting as a lab instructor in the Belmont University Physical Therapy Program
  • Participation in webinars and continuing education courses. Belmont University funds the resident’s tuition for enrollment in the Pediatric Residency Consortium and other continuing education courses (up to $1,000 total).
  • Participation in clinical research

Other program features include

  • Service as a fellow in the Vanderbilt University LEND program
  • Participation in a clinical research project
  • Teaching opportunities in Belmont University School of Physical Therapy in the Pediatric content areas of the entry level DPT curriculum
  • One-on-one clinical mentoring a minimum of three hours weekly

The American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE) accredits the program as a post-professional residency program for physical therapists in Pediatrics.

Requirements and application

Recent graduates and experienced clinicians may apply. Applications are through the Residency/Fellowship Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service. (RF-PTCAS)

The Vanderbilt University and Belmont University Pediatric Residency Program admission requirements include

  • Graduate of an accredited Physical Therapy program
  • Eligible for Physical Therapy licensure in the state of Tennessee
  • U.S. citizenship (required for LEND program)
  • Application to the Residency via RF-PTCAS completed by stated deadline including: 1) applicant cover letter; 2) three letters of recommendation (two of the three letters must be professional references); 3) a completed essay that includes the following (per RF-PTCAS): why the candidate is applying to our pediatric residency program; short-term and long-term professional goals; strengths the candidate will bring to the program

All applications for the Pediatric Residency Program are due December 1 of each year. Interviews are conducted in January. Residencies begin in August.

Program outcomes

  • Pediatric residency graduation rate since inception in 2016: 100 percent
  • Graduate pass rate for pediatric clinical specialization board exam: 100 percent
  • All graduates are currently employed in Pediatric Physical Therapy practice.
  • Graduates are actively engaged in leadership, community service, education, research and professional development.

Contact: Laura Flynn PT, PCS

The Vanderbilt Consortium LEND

The Vanderbilt LEND is committed to increasing the number of students and faculty from underrepresented minorities who are in the program. In this video African-American and Latino health care professionals who serve individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities speak about the factors that led them to choose their careers and the multitude of benefits they experience.