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ETSU enrolls first residents for orthopaedic physical therapy

Contributed To The Press • Dec 6, 2017 at 3:15 PM

The East Tennessee State University Department of Physical Therapy, in conjunction with the Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Center, recently enrolled its first cohort of orthopaedic physical therapy clinical residents.

The new program is a one-year specialty concentration in orthopaedic physical therapy.

“We are excited to bring this opportunity for advanced clinical training to physical therapists in our region. The graduates will be qualified to sit for the national exam to become Board Certified Clinical Specialists in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy,” said Dr. Patricia King, chair of the Department of Physical Therapy within ETSU’s College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences. “We are grateful to the Quillen VA administration and physical therapy staff for offering to partner with us to establish this program.

“The VA opened 10 new clinical positions nationally for physical therapy clinical residents in 2015. ETSU worked with the Quillen VA to develop a program we could deliver here, applied for two of those positions and were very pleased to be approved for both positions. After a year of detailed planning, we are now ready to launch the program. This is the first of what we expect will be many opportunities for advanced clinical training that ETSU will bring to physical therapists in our area.”

Drs. Ansel Clayton and Jennifer McGrath are the inaugural residents in the program.

Clayton is a 2017 physical therapy graduate of Western Carolina University. He received his bachelor’s degree in health from the University of North Carolina – Asheville. McGrath is a 2016 graduate of Quinnipiac University and received her bachelor’s degree in exercise science from the University of Missouri.

As residents of the program, Clayton and McGrath will be employed as physical therapists at the VA, where they will work under the mentorship of Dr. Beau Whitt and Dr. Ryan Minnick, both orthopaedic physical therapy clinical specialists and co-coordinators of the program for the VA. The residents will also be mentored in the clinic by Dr. Mike Bourassa, coordinator of the residency program from the ETSU side.

The residents will complete a variety of courses related to orthopaedic physical therapy practice and will be involved in clinical research and teaching in the ETSU Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

Additional ETSU faculty members involved with the program include Dr. Craig Wassinger, associate professor in physical therapy, and Dr. James Boone, assistant professor and director of Clinical Education for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

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