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Is a Residency Right for Me? 

Elise Ruckert, PT, DPT, NCS, GCS, shared experiences as a former resident and her current role as a residency director to provide insights to questions like:

  • Does pursuing a residency also increase ones chance of being employed in hospitals?
  • As a 2nd year student, what can I do today to become a competitive applicant?
  • What type of patients were you seeing independently when you first started in your residency?
  • Would you recommend a residency program for someone who is more interested in structured mentoring and gaining the fast track to a certification specialization?
  • How important is GPA when applying to programs?
  • What does an interview for a residency program look like?
  • Do you have specific criteria are character traits that help to distinguish between applicants?
  • If I would like to pursue research as a physical therapist, does the lack of a PhD narrow my options?
  • Can foreign trained physical therapists apply to residencies before being licensed?
  • Are there residency programs that allow you to complete the program with your current employer coupled with online classes?
  • In regards to applying for a position in an institution/hospital that is affiliated with a residency before applying for said residency.   Would this give a possible competitive edge to an applicant?

Dr. Ruckert answered these questions and more in a webinar that's now free to you!  

Click here to listen to this 1 hour 20 minute webinar

About Dr. Ruckert: Dr. Ruckert is Assistant Professor and Director of the Neurologic Residency Program at George Washington University (GW).  After receiving her Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) Degree from Ithaca College, Dr. Ruckert completed a neurologic residency program through the University of Southern California (USC)/Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in Los Angeles, California. Following completion of the residency, she continued clinical practice on the spinal cord injury service at Rancho, and later in neurologic critical care at USC’s Keck Medical Center.  With a passion for teaching, Dr. Ruckert continued instruction of PT students both in the clinical setting as an APTA-Credentialed Clinical Instructor and in the classroom as adjunct faculty at USC.

Dr. Ruckert has presented neurologic and stroke-specific interdisciplinary seminars and continuing education sessions for nursing, physical, occupational, and speech therapists, as well as multiple peer-reviewed presentations at national conferences regarding neurologic clinical practice and teaching and learning in graduate physical therapy education.  More recently, her research interests have involved computer-assisted learning technology for student decision-making in acute care, blended learning in health sciences education, and fall prevention for individuals with Multiple Sclerosis. She is currently involved in a collaborative study between GW and the National MS Society to investigate the effectiveness of their Free from Falls educational and exercise program. 

Dr. Ruckert is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association, and serves on the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency & Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE) Accreditation Services Committee. A board-certified clinical specialist in neurology (2009) and geriatrics (2012) through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties, she continues clinical practice as a per diem therapist at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH).


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