When selecting which residencies you want to apply to, a component some choose to consider is teaching. While I was interested in possibly teaching, I can't say it was necessarily one of my top criteria for deciding which ones to apply to. I had a preconceived idea that any teaching a resident would be doing would include the type of classes taught in the 1st year of PT school. That didn't exactly make me want to switch to the academic side of PT, especially with the thought of making lesson plans and grading paper.
Upon accepting the residency position at Scottsdale Healthcare, I was completely unaware of the two teaching opportunities I have had thus far. A couple months ago, I was the clinical instructor for a student on her final rotation before graduation. This was a form of teaching I thoroughly enjoyed in that it was highly clinical-based. Going back to PT school, I never thought I would want to become a CI due to my distaste for completing the CPI. As many have said before, teaching an enthusiastic student can be incredibly rewarding. Being able to see the transition of a student to a highly competent physical therapist is pretty mind-blowing. We all know that we can learn from a student when they ask questions that challenge us, but we also learn by reinforcing what we already know when we teach them, as it further embeds the information into our minds. While it may seem unusual for a 1st year PT to be having a student (I had previously thought that new grads were not allowed to have students), the residency makes up for it in 2 ways. First, as residents we had developed a clinical reasoning and skill-set that were beyond most new grads, allowing us to further the skills of the students. Secondly, many of our mentoring hours changed format to mentoring for how to be a CI. As I said earlier, this teaching opportunity further enhanced my understanding of the residency material as well.
The second opportunity for teaching was a recent cervical course that my mentor hosted in AZ. The other resident and I were TA's for the course, where we helped out in lab with teaching the various examination and treatment techniques. It was really interesting to watch these PT's learn and develop their skills as it was in a way a look back at how the other resident and I felt at the beginning of the residency. Another component of the course was that I was able to contribute to a current literature review regarding manual therapy in the cervical spine. I bring both of these teaching methods up because my initial impression of how one could teach in a residency was to give a case study or teach to 1st or 2nd year PT students. Both of the methods I was exposed to were more clinical-based in my opinion and thus more interesting to me. I hope that some reading this will perhaps be more open to contributing to the development of PT as a profession by teaching in any method. I was resistant towards it originally, but I found a path that was much more appealing to me and hopefully you will as well!