Sports Physical Therapy Clinical Residency

The Hospital for Special Surgery Sports Clinical 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.

New York and Florida Residencies Available

The residency is a multi-site program, operated in two locations (HSS Sports Rehabilitation and Performance Center in New York, NY and HSS Sports Rehabilitation at IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL). One resident is accepted at each site per year. Applicants should indicate which location they're interested in.

Time Commitment and Salary

The Sports Clinical Residency is a full-time position, one year in duration. The resident is expected to work 40-45 hours/week.  Approximately 40% of their time is spent in educational experiences and 60% providing supervised patient care. A salary and benefits package is provided.

Important Dates

New York Residency 

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

Florida Residency

  • The Florida Residency runs from June  -  June of each year
  • The application deadline is March 15th for the current year's residency

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

Your application packet will need to include:

  • A completed and signed application form: Sports Clinical 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

Application and supporting materials, along with a $50 non-refundable application fee (made payable to Hospital for Special Surgery), should be submitted to:

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


The educational component of the Sports Physical Therapy Clinical 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 Service 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 Clinical Residency Director at 212.606.1005 or

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