Orthopaedic Residency Program

ABPTRFE Accredited Residency Program

A commitment to clinical excellence has been part of PTSMC’s culture since our inception.

When joining the PTSMC Orthopaedic Residency Program, you can expect a level of excellence that is hard to find anywhere else. Our physical therapy residency program leaders have created a program that combines clinical lab work with didactic instruction, thoughtful discussion, one on one mentorship and leadership development.

PTSMC Orthopaedic Residency Program is one of nine residency programs in New England and one of only three to specialize in orthopaedics. PTSMC achieved accreditation as a residency program through the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE) in 2019 and prides itself as a leader in cutting edge clinical education.

Residency Mission

Facilitate the development of advanced practitioners in orthopaedic physical therapy through the development of advanced evidence based orthopaedic physical therapy, life-long learning, and transforming society through leadership.

The PTSMC Difference:

Our goal is to provide residents with the knowledge, skills and clinical capabilities to function at the top of their license and the physical therapy profession.

PTSMC Residency is focused on:

  • Growing and honing clinical delivery skills
  • Preparing for orthopedic board certification exam
  • Preparing for potential future PTSMC clinic ownership or leadership
  • One on one clinician mentorship

Program Details:

The PTSMC Orthopaedic Residency program is completed in one year while maintaining a clinical care schedule. We offer two options and encourage the clinician to choose the option that is best for them.

Option 1: 40 hour work week (four 10 hour days) and full-time salary

Option 2: 32 hour work week (four 8 hour days) at 80% of full-time salary

The one year, Orthopaedic Residency program includes the following curriculum:

  • 3 hours of weekly didactic instruction (45 weeks total)
    • 3 week Evidence Based Practice and Statistics course
    • 14 week Lower Extremity course (Foot/Ankle, Knee and Hip)
    • 14 week Spine course (Lumbopelvic, Thoracic, Cervical and TMJ)
    • 14 week Upper Extremity course (Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist/Hand)
  • 1 hour monthly case discussion
  • 1 hour month journal club
  • Coursework (300 hours combined lecture/lab & home study)
  • External home study courses from the APTA Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy;
    • Current Concepts in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy
    • Pharmacology,
    • Clinical Imaging
    • Frontiers in Orthopaedic Science
    • Post Operative Management of Orthopedic Surgeries

Please visit the PTCAS at www.ptcas.org/Directory for detailed information about the program’s admission requirements.

ABPTRFE Program Financial Fact Sheet

Application Process:

Applicants will be evaluated on the following:

  • Curriculum Vitae/Resume 
  • Personal Essay Statement
  • Interview with faculty
  • Three Professional letters of recommendation from faculty and/or work managers 
    • Relationship of recommenders to you must be in a supervisory capacity  

***Applicants must have a valid PT license prior to the start date of the residency program***

Learn more about the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE), including admissions, here.

Application Deadlines:

July 31st 2024 / Residency Program begins January 28th, 2025

Program Outcomes:

PTSMC has a 100% graduation rate from our Orthopaedic Residency Program and 100% pass rate for OCS exam. See what our residency graduates are doing now here.

Class of 2024

Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Centers (PTSMC) Orthopaedic Residency Program Group

Back row from left to right: Justin Marceau (Wallingford PT), Xavier Gibson (Naugatuck PT), Vladimir Smolgovskiy (West Hartford PT & Residency Program Coordinator), Mike Popolizio (Glastonbury PT)

From row from left to right: Leah Cummings (Orange PT), Emily Pelz (Waterbury PT), Danielle Dunn (Wallingford PT & Residency Program Director)

Class of 2023

Orthopaedic Residency 2023

Anticipated Graduation Date: January 16th, 2024

Featured left to right: Elena Masiello, Orthopaedic Program Resident (Wallingford), Brittany Kearney, Orthopaedic Program Resident (Westbrook), Bri Boulerice, Orthopaedic Program Resident (Waterbury) and Vladimir Smolgovskiy, Residency Program Coordinator (West Hartford)

Class of 2022

PTSMC Orthopaedic Residency Graduates with Director Danielle Dunn

Featured from left to right: Liza Peressini (Danbury), Danielle Dunn (Program Director) and Conner Gavin (Orange)

Liza Peressini (Danbury) – Orthopaedic Residency Program graduate and Clinical Instructor, Leadership, Management, & Development Program gradate (LMDP)

Conner Gavin (Orange) – Orthopaedic Residency Program graduate and Clinical Instructor

Class of 2021

Ortho Residency group picture

Featured left to right: Alan Balavender (PTSMC President), Andrew Kalach (Fairfield), Sam McMullen (Southington), Meghan Blanusa (Naugatuck), Danielle Dunn (Program Director), and Tom Mango (New London).

Andrew Kalach (Fairfield) – Assistant Director of PTSMC Fairfield, Orthopaedic Residency Program graduate and Clinical Instructor, Leadership, Management, & Development Program graduate (LMDP). He serves as a Residency and New Graduate Mentor, Lab Assistant for continuing education courses, and also lectures facilitates integrated clinical experiences at a local university.

Sam McMullen (Southington) – Orthopaedic Residency Program graduate and Clinical Instructor, Leadership, Management, & Development Program gradate (LMDP). He is also a Mentorship Coordinator, Lab Assistant for continuing education courses, and residency Didactic Faculty Instructor and New Graduate Mentor.

Meghan Blanusa (Naugatuck) – Orthopaedic Residency Program graduate and Clinical Instructor, Leadership, Management, & Development Program gradate (LMDP). Meghan is our Clinical Excellence Coordinator, residency Didactic Faculty Instructor, new graduate mentor, as well as a clinic supervisor for a local university pro bono clinic.

Tom Mango  –  Orthopaedic Residency Program graduate

Class of 2020

Residency Grads of 2020

Featured left to right: Alan Balavender (PTSMC President), Danielle Dunn (Program Director), Mike Krukiel (Plainville), and Tom Kirsch (Avon)

Tom Kirsch (Avon) – Director of PTSMC Avon, Orthopaedic Residency Program and Leadership, Management, & Development Program graduate (LMDP). He also serves as the residency Clinical Mentor and Clinical Instructor for physical therapy students.

Mike Krukiel – Orthopaedic Residency Program graduate

Class of 2019

Featured left to right: : John Galer (Guilford), Erik Schmitt (Westbrook), Channing Harwood (Plainville), and Alan Balavender (PTSMC President)

John Galer (Guilford) – Orthopaedic Residency Program graduate and Clinical Instructor.

Erik Schmitt (Westbrook) – Assistant Director of PTSMC Westbrook. Orthopaedic Residency Program and Leadership, Management, & Development Program graduate. Erik is also a Clinical Instructor and New Graduate Mentor.

Channing Harwood (Plainville) – Orthopaedic Residency Program and Leadership, Management, & Development Program graduate. He has previously served as a New Graduate Mentor, Clinical Excellence Coordinator and residency Didactic Faculty Instructor. He also has been a lab assistant and lecturer at a local university.

Meet Program Director Danielle Dunn

Danielle Dunn, Physical Therapist, PTSMC Wallingford

Dr. Danielle Dunn, PT, DPT, MTC, OCS, CMTPT graduated from The College of St. Catherine with B.S. degrees in Biology and Psychology in 2009.  She graduated with her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2011 from St. Catherine University. Danielle has devoted her entire career as a physical therapist to outpatient orthopedics and is always striving to gain new knowledge, give back to her profession and promote the growth of new clinicians. She advanced her manual therapy and clinical skills through a year-long program through Evidence in Motion, becoming a Certified Manual Therapist in 2014, and has been a Board Certified Orthopaedic Specialist since 2015. In addition, she has been a clinical instructor for students for many years for clinical rotations. Danielle has been actively mentoring new graduates and teaching courses in PTSMC’s Development of Clinical Success Program since 2015. Since 2018, she has been PTSMC’s Clinical Excellence & Mentorship Coordinator, a role in which she mentors our new clinicians, develops curriculum and helps to coordinate external courses as well.  In addition, she played an integral role in getting the PTSMC Orthopedic Residency developed and accredited. Since its inception, Danielle has been a mentor in the residency program and faculty member. She is a clinician in the Wallingford clinic and is certified in trigger point dry needling & LSVT BIG for Parkinson’s Disease. In addition, she has clinical interests in pelvic health, orthopedic manual therapy and post-surgical rehabilitation. Outside of the office, you can find Danielle spending time with her three children and husband exploring new places, hiking and being outside.

Advancements beyond Orthopaedic Residency:

Partnership: PTSMC has a unique partnership model. Students who successfully complete the Residency program and the Leadership Development Management Program have the opportunity to pursue clinic ownership within the organization.

LMDP: At the completion of the Orthopaedic Residency program, graduates next move on to PTSMC’s Leadership & Management Development Program.  This program is 6 sessions over the course of a year that prepares participants for partnership, director role or other administrative leadership positions.

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