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Women's Health Physical Therapy Residency Program

The Women’s Health Residency Program provides practicing physical therapists with advanced training in pelvic and abdominal health, oncology, and lymphedema management, including:

  • Examination.
  • Clinical decision-making.
  • Multi-disciplinary and patient-centered care.
  • Manual therapy techniques.

The program also places an emphasis on using current research and literature to maintain practice within the scope of evidence-based physical therapy. 

UPMC Rehabilitation Institute funds the Women’s Health PT Residency Program, housed within several outpatient clinics.

Clinics where residents may provide patient care include our locations in:

  • McCandless
  • Monroeville Corporate One
  • Chapel Harbor
  • Cranberry
  • Beaver
  • Oakland
  • Pleasant Hills
  • Pittsburgh - Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC

Who should apply to the Women’s Health PT Residency Program?

Licensed physical therapists that have already completed an entry-level program who want to:

  • Receive advanced training in pelvic health, oncology, and lymphedema physical therapy.
  • Obtain the experience and mentorship needed to become a board-certified Women’s Clinical Specialist.
The Women’s Health Residency Program runs 16 successive months, beginning in mid-August.

As part of the Didactic Plan of Study, you will take part in a planned Women’s Health Residency Program curriculum as well as musculoskeletal coursework to provide comprehensive patient care within the specialty.

The didactic coursework includes the following live and self-study modules:

  • Basic and advanced pelvic floor.
  • Antepartum/postpartum.
  • Lymphedema.
  • EMG/biofeedback.
  • GI dysfunction.
  • Oncology.
  • Bone health.
  • Relative energy deficiency in sport.

You will also enroll in part of the Advanced Clinical Practice — Musculoskeletal Sequence, sponsored by outpatient rehabilitation services at UPMC Rehabilitation Institute. These courses promote advanced decision-making and manual therapy skills for assessing and treating musculoskeletal disorders of the:

  • Foot and ankle.
  • Knee.
  • Hip.
  • Shoulder.
  • Elbow.
  • Sacroiliac joint.
  • Cervical, lumbar, and thoracic spine.

You will complete in-person labs for cadaver dissection. The “Advanced Dissection” course is provided through the University of Pittsburgh’s Physical Therapy Program.

You will also complete a lymphedema certification course through Klose Training Klose Training to earn your Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT) credential. 

You will earn continuing education units (CEUs) for this didactic part of the program.

Along with advanced coursework, you will attend and/or present at the following events to strengthen your professional skillset in this specialty:

  • Multi-program Residency Grand Rounds.
  • University of Pittsburgh DPT Grand Rounds.
  • Teaching assistantship for University of Pittsburgh DPT program, serving as lab instructors for the musculoskeletal program and lecturing for women’s health/ lymphedema curriculum.
  • Specialty practice observations in clinical/ surgical settings with healthcare providers and physicians, including urologists, urogynecologists, physiatrists, oncologists, gastroenterologists, colorectal surgeons, and psychologists.
  • Quarterly Journal Clubs with residency faculty.
  • Residency meetings with faculty, during which you will present biopsychosocial/ outcomes assignments to faculty to reflect upon your clinical interventions and caseload.
  • Women’s Rehab/Men’s Health departmental staff meetings, trainings and in-services for advancing skills in pelvic health PT.

Women’s Health PT Residency faculty will provide mentorship as you prepare your case reflection for the WCS examination application. They will also guide you to develop a case study to submit to a peer-reviewed journal, and/or presentation at APTA’s Combined Sections Meeting, utilizing your case reflection.

Typical weekly schedule for women's health PT residents:

  • Clinical practice: M/W 11:30 am – 8 pm, T/TH 7 am - 12 pm; F 7 am - 11 am.
  • Faculty Meeting:  3-hour time blocks per week during clinical practice.
  • University of Pittsburgh, Department of Physical Therapy (DPT) Grand Rounds: F 12-1 pm.
  • Didactic residency modules: Fridays, typically 1-5 pm.
  • Teaching assistance: (Pitt DPT musculoskeletal courses): T/TH 1-5 pm (typically spring and summer semesters)
  • Specialty practice observations: during spring and summer, between teaching assistantship semesters.

Kristyn Sprague, PT, DPT, WCS, CLT
Women’s Health Residency Director 
Chapel Harbor

Core Faculty:
  • Susan George, PT, DPT, MS, WCS, OCS
  • Megan Glod, PT, DPT, WCS, CLT-LANA
  • Lisa Mager, PT, MPT, WCS, CLT-LANA
  • Margo Haroldson, PT, MPT, CLT
  • Lisa Lennon, PT, MPT, CLT
  • Ashley Whitehead, PT, DPT, CLT-LANA

Women’s Health Residency Program Outcomes

  • Number of Graduates (% Graduation Rate): 17 (100%)
  • WCS examination first time pass rate: 94%
  • WCS examination ultimate pass rate: 100%

Salary, Tuition, and Benefits

  • Tuition: $9,600
  • Salary: $46,716/year ($22.46/hour)
  • Tuition is deducted in equal amounts from biweekly paychecks throughout the 16-month program.
  • Benefits: medical, dental, vision, retirement, paid time off, continuing education allotment, Medbridge subscription

Application Process, Dates, and Contacts

  • Deadline to apply: November 30
  • Interviews for qualified applicants: January 
  • Start date: Mid-August

To learn more, email Kristyn Sprague, PT, DPT, WCS, CLT, Women's Health PT Residency Program Director.

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