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HSS Sports Physical Therapy Residency

The HSS Sports Physical Therapy Residency is a clinically-based training program for physical therapists seeking to specialize in sports physical therapy.

Accredited by the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education, the program's mission is to provide the therapist with a comprehensive, structured program of clinical and didactic experiences for the development of advanced critical reasoning and clinical skills in sports injury management and rehabilitation.

Time Commitment and Salary

The HSS Sports Physical Therapy Residency is a full-time position, one year in duration. 
The resident is expected to work 40-45 hours/week. Approximately 30% of their time is spent in educational experiences and 70% providing supervised care.  A salary and benefits package is provided.

Download the ABPTRFE Financial Fact Sheet 2023-2024

Important Dates

  • The Residency runs from January - January of each year
  • The application deadline is September 15th for the following year's residence

Application Form (pdf)

Admission Requirements

Minimum Requirements

  • US citizenship
  • Graduation from an accredited physical therapy program
  • Malpractice insurance (minimum $1 mil per occurrence/$3 mil aggregate)
  • One of the following: a current ATC designation, current license as an EMT, or certification as an Emergency Responder


  • One year of sports physical therapy experience (35 hour work week) OR one year of experience as a certified athletic trainer (ATC) in a full-time setting. New graduates will be considered.

How to Apply

Applicants can apply in one of two ways:

Your application packet will need to include:

  • A completed and signed application form: HSS Sports Physical Therapy Residency Application Form (pdf)
  • Your resume/curriculum vitae, including academic and clinical education, continuing education, clinical and other relevant experience
  • A brief summary (400-800 words) of your relevant clinical experiences thus far, with an emphasis on sports rehabilitation and sports medicine exposures'.
  • A short essay (one page) explaining your reasons for applying for the clinical residency, your goals and why you consider yourself to be a good candidate.
  • Three letters of professional reference
  • Academic transcripts for postsecondary academic work
  • $50 non-refundable application fee made payable to Hospital for Special Surgery

Application and supporting materials should be submitted to:

John Cavanaugh, PT, MEd, ATC, SCS
Sports Physical Therapy Residency Director
Hospital for Special Surgery Rehabilitation Department
535 East 70th Street
New York, NY 10021

Admissions Process

Applications are evaluated by the Sports Residency Director and faculty based on:

  • Admission criteria listed above
  • Academic and clinical education, continuing education, and other relevant experience
  • Clinical experience in sports medicine/rehabilitation
  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Demonstration of leadership, professionalism, and commitment

All applicants are screened prior to interview selection and admission into the residency program. The Sports Residency Director and faculty select the top candidates each year based on the criteria described above. In accordance with hospital policy, all employment-related decisions, including program recruitment, admission, retention, and dismissal, are made without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, national origin, marital status, age (18 or older), disability, veteran status, citizenship status, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.


The educational component of the Sports Physical Therapy Residency includes a comprehensive series of weekly lectures, labs, case reviews, on-field/court coverage of athletic events, participation in Sports Section journal club and in-service programming, Sports Medicine Institute fellows and CORE conferences, surgical and physician office observation, participation in professional education conferences and research project involvement.

In addition, the resident will observe, co-treat and receive one-on-one mentoring sessions from an experienced staff of sports physical therapists, athletic trainers, and exercise physiologists.

Program Goals

  • To  provide a learning environment and an opportunity to develop advanced clinical skills for evaluating and treating sports related injury
  • To provide didactic and laboratory sessions so as to learn the theory and rationale for the current rehabilitation guidelines of multiple sports related diagnoses
  • To provide on-field/court experience to better the understanding of sport injury management
  • To provide the resident with the opportunity to observe leading sports medicine physician's perform surgery so as to recognize the most current approaches to the surgical management of sport injury
  • To participate in a multi-disciplined, team approach to managing sport injury
  • To provide the opportunity to participate in outcome studies and related sports physical therapy research

For further information, please contact John Cavanaugh, PT, MEd, ATC, SCS, Sports Physical Therapy  Residency Director at 212.606.1005 or cavanaughj@hss.edu.


ABPTRFE Accredited program logo


Residency By the Numbers

Calendar logo showing residency inception in January 2008

ABPTRFE logo showing accreditation since Dec 31, 2009

Image of graduate indicating 21 graduates

Image of cap and diploma representing a 95% graduation rate

Graph with an upward trending arrow indicating a 100% pass rate