Physical Therapy Neurologic Residency Program - Milwaukee VA Medical Center
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Milwaukee VA Medical Center

 

Physical Therapy Neurologic Residency Program

Logos for Zablocki VA, Neuro PT and Marquette University

Milwaukee VA Medical Center Neurologic Residency Program in Affiliation with Marquette University

The Milwaukee VA Medical Center (Zablocki) Neurologic Residency Program is the oldest post-graduate Physical Therapy Residency Program in the VA system. Established in 2009, it was originally titled the Marquette University & Zablocki VA Medical Center Neurologic Residency Program. The program continues to be affiliated and highly collaborative with Marquette University’s Physical Therapy Program and is accredited by the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency & Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE), with re-accreditation occurring in 2025.

Our program strives to provide residents with:

  • high quality didactic programming on foundational principles of neurologic clinical practice as outlined in the Description of Residency Practice in Neurology
  • Advanced mentoring in neurologic clinical practice with master clinicians
  • Opportunities for the residents to educate others about neurologic disorders, and their evaluation and treatment
  • Research exposure through scholarly activities

Our Mission:

To prepare physical therapy residents for advanced specialty practice. The program cultivates high-level neurologic physical therapists who integrate the teacher-scholar model into their clinical practice. Through neurologic clinical experiences under the mentorship of master clinicians, along with didactic learning experiences in neurology including teaching, the program develops advanced physical therapy practitioners who care for the whole patient, embodying the spirit of cura personalis

The Milwaukee VA Medical Center Neurologic Residency Program, in affiliation with Marquette University, selects three candidates from a large pool of applicants annually. Residents rotate through three areas of clinical practice: Inpatient Acute Care/Rehabilitation, Spinal Cord Injury/Disorders, and Outpatient Neurologic Clinic. 

Program design is in accordance with American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education Guidelines.  This includes 32 hours/week of clinical treatment with Veterans with neurologic diagnosis. Additionally, the Program also collaborates with other outside sites to improve the resident’s exposure to neurologic patient populations not commonly seen at the VA. 

Residents participate in 4 hours of mentorship/week with expert clinicians and didactic education at the Zablocki VAMC; as well as additional experiences including, but not limited to: rounding, specialty clinics, interdisciplinary team participation, staff in-service presentations, and clinical education.

Marquette University’s Physical Therapy Program provides residents with teaching opportunities in neurologic coursework, residents will receive adjunct faculty status.

Residents are expected to participate in and lead local area journal club sessions, provide in-service presentations to VA staff, and attend American Physical Therapy Association's Combined Section Meeting. Funding to attend CSM is not provided, but authorized absence will be granted.

Upon successful completion of the residency, a graduate is qualified to apply and sit for the APTA Neurologic Clinical Specialty (NCS) examination. The Milwaukee VAMC Neurological Residency Program has an overall NCS exam pass rate of 100 percent.

Employment Benefits

  • Stipend - 1 year, 366-day temporary appointment
    • resident stipends are established and reviewed yearly by Office of Academic Affiliations
  • Health insurance
  • Paid leave days: 13.5 Annual, 13.5 Sick, 10 observed Federal Holidays
  • Authorized absence for Marquette University obligations and for approved continuing education
  • Personal workstation, access to office supplies
  • Research librarians available on site
  • Medical Media services onsite

Applicant Minimal Requirements

  • Be a citizen of the United States of America due to employment requirements by the Veterans Health Administration.
  • Be a graduate of / demonstrate imminent graduation from an accredited physical therapy program recognized by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)
  • Be fully licensed by the State of WI to practice Physical Therapy. If the candidate is a student at the time of application, the applicant must successfully take and pass the WI licensure exam or be scheduled to sit for the July test date.
  • Be American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) certified
  • Not be on probation or under a learning contract at their current facility or program.
  • Demonstrate evidence of neurologic interest and pursuit of additional training / experiences in this area.

The United States Government is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex/gender, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, membership in employee organizations, or other non-merit factors.

In accordance with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Federal government requires all agencies to reasonably accommodate known physical or mental limitations of qualified disabled employees or applicants. The VA is committed to providing appropriate reasonable accommodations for everyone who requires them.

Application Process

The applicant will submit a completed application portfolio through the RF-PTCAS system https://rfptcas.liaisoncas.com/applicant-ux/#/login which will include:

  • Completed residency application form with resume
  • Transcripts of entry level physical therapy education
  • State license number or plan for obtaining prior to the residency start date
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak to their clinical skills
  • Respond to three essay questions

Important Dates*

  • Application Deadline: First Week of January
  • Interview Date: First Week of March
  • Admission Decision Date: Mid-March
  • Program Start Date: Fourth Week of June

* Dates are approximate and may be subject to change

About the Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

““To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan.”” Abraham Lincoln


The mission of the VHA is to improve the health of the served veteran population by providing primary care, specialty care, extended care and related social support services in an integrated healthcare delivery system.

The vision of the VHA will continue to be the benchmark of excellence and value in health care and benefits by providing exemplary services that are both patient-centered and evidence based. This care will be delivered by engaged, collaborative teams in an integrated environment that supports learning, discovery, and continuous improvement. It will emphasize prevention and population health and contribute to the nation's well-being through education, research and service in national emergencies.

About the Milwaukee VA Medical Center

The Milwaukee (Zablocki) VA Medical Center is a 1A (the highest) complexity medical facility located just west of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Originally established in 1867, we are one of the oldest VA sites in the country. Our extensive grounds house both modern and historical buildings alike for patient care and general facility operations. More about the Milwaukee VA.

Our Journey with Marquette University

The Milwaukee VA Medical Center has collaborated with Marquette University’s Physical Therapy Program since 1955 and was the first clinical site for Marquette’s Physical Therapy Program. This relationship continues today with Milwaukee VAMC providing clinical placement for pre-professional trainees, neurological clinical lab experiences, and with collaboration in our Neurological Clinical Residency Program.

Contact

Christina Kowalski
Milwaukee VA Neurologic Residency Program Director
414-384-2000 Ext. 43381
Christina.kowalski@va.gov