I'm often asked what one can do to improve upon their resume in order to better their chances of getting into a residency. The fact of the matter is that it is extremely competitive. I thought I had an excellent resume, when I applied to various residencies. I had been a co-founder of this website, near perfect grades, excellent references, previous work in the field, and other items. That being said, I was only offered a couple spots out of the 6 residencies at which I interviewed. Now part of the failure can be attributed to a couple poor interviews, without a doubt, however, I am more than certain that there were things I could have done to improve upon my resume.
The biggest recommendation I give to residency-hopefuls is to consider every opportunity presented to you. It can be difficult to pursue some of these opportunities. When you are in school, a night hanging out with friends sounds better than volunteering to help out at a basketball tournament. Doing some screens at a soccer practice after hours is not always appealing after working a 10-hour day. However, sometimes it is things like these that can lead to other ventures down the road. Doing a little extra at your work can lead to promotions, raises, or at least an excellent reference should you pursue another job. When I first started teaching physical therapy students, I was not paid for my time. However, it forced me to know the material even better, gain experience teaching, and I believe played a significant role in getting me where I am today. When Jim first approached me about starting this website during physical therapy school, I could easily have shrugged it off and thought it wasn't worth the time; however, I latched onto the opportunity and helped develop the website to have over 4,000 followers on facebook and nearly 50,000 views a week.
Now I am not saying you need to accept every offer that comes your way, but absolutely consider it, especially if there is some higher goal to be reached. What I am advocating for is a form of long-term selfishness (some may call it selflessness). You will be presented opportunities that do not offer pay initially, but can lead to a job in the future, a payment down the road, networking, etc. These chances may have minimal short-term reward, but in the end can potentially help you reach your goal.
-Dr. Chris Fox, PT, DPT, OCS
James Heafner PT, DPT, OCS:
Owner and lead physical therapist at Heafner Health, cash-based physical therapy in Boulder, CO. Areas of expertise include orthopedic and manual therapy, functional movement, pain science, and movement science.
In May 2013, I earned my Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Saint Louis University. After graduating from the Harris Health Systems Orthopedic Residency in October 2014, I moved to Boulder, CO. Since living in Boulder, I have started my own cash-based PT practice, earned my OCS certification, and teach for the OPTIM Fellowship and COMT program in Houston TX and Scottsdale, AZ.
Chris Fox PT, DPT, OCS: Physical therapist at Foothills Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy in Scottsdale, AZ and regularly lectures at the Phoenix Campus for NAU's DPT program and for Optim Manual Therapy's COMT program. Completed multiple advanced manual therapy courses implementing aspects of biomechanical analysis. He received his DPT from Saint Louis University in 2013. Completed Scottsdale Healthcare's Orthopaedic Residency (now Honor Health) in July 2014. He became a Board Certified Orthopaedic Specialist in 2015. Level I Expert in FMS and SFMA , Kinetacore FDN Level 1 certification, and IASTM Technique course completion. He would like to pursue further education in McKenzie Technique, Dry Needling, Strength & Conditioning, Orthopaedic and Manual Therapy.
Brian Schwabe PT, DPT, SCS, CSCS:
- Board Certified Sports Physical Therapist (SCS) at Elite OrthoSport in Santa Monica, CA which specializes in treating collegiate/professional athletes and clientele from the Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and Santa Monica areas.
- USC Sports Residency Trained Physical Therapist (<1% of all PT's residency trained)
- DPT from Saint Louis University
- Future plans/interest include:
1. USAW, SFMA & Catapult Systems technology for NBA teams
2. Pursuing a position as a sports physical therapist &/or Strength coach for a Division 1 athletic medicine department or professional sport team.
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