It’s Official! PTSMC Now Offering Orthopaedic Residency

PTSMC earns accreditation as one of only three orthopaedic residency programs in New England

PTSMC is proud to have earned accreditation as an orthopaedic residency by the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE) in September of 2019, joining nine other residency programs in New England, and one of only three in the state of Connecticut, to specialize in orthopedics. In their approval letter, the ABPTRFE noted that accreditation “is a reliable indicator of the value and quality of the Residency Program,” and that PTSMC “demonstrated its commitment to educational standards and ethical business practices indicative of quality, accountability, and continuous improvement that enhances the physical therapy profession.”

A significant addition to the residency is PTSMC’s unique Leadership and Management Development Program, (LMDP). Following the year long clinical residency, Residents participate in the LMDP to continue their professional development to become leaders in the business of physical therapy. The LMDP sessions cover such topics as understanding financial reports, clinic operations, management, and employee development.

PTSMC orthopaedic residency program

PTSMC Orthopaedic Residency students learn from program director Mike Gans.

When Mike Gans took on his current role as Director of Clinical Excellence, we knew he would have several opportunities to help improve clinical care in the organization. In my early conversations with Mike, it was clear that he had a vision for PTSMC and our scope of continuing education. His goal was to lead the charge to establish an orthopedic clinical residency.

It took Mike a few years of preparation to see the application become reality. In fact, the initial challenge was convincing myself and PTSMC’s leadership that it would be worth it. While we recognized that the program supported our mission to improve the quality of people’s lives, we also understood that accomplishing this goal would require a significant investment of human and financial resources – it wouldn’t be easy.

Ultimately, improving the care all of our clinicians provide serves our tenets of unmatched experiences, clinical excellence and lifelong relationships…so we went for it!

After receiving a candidacy from the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE), we needed to prove we could delivery a quality educational experience. PTSMC is fortunate that “three of our own” were willing to make a year-long commitment to the initial program.

PTSMC welcomed its inaugural class of orthopaedic residents in 2018

I greatly appreciate Guilford’s John Galer, Plainvilles’ Channing Harwood, and Westbrook’s Erik Schmitt for the leadership and dedication required to successfully complete an extremely challenging year. They all sacrificed personally and professionally to succeed as residents, and we are proud to have witnessed them become the first graduating class of PTSMC’s Orthopaedic Residency Program! We now look forward to guiding these clinicians through the Leadership and Management Development Program to round out both their clinical and leadership development.

As an organization, we are fortunate to have some extraordinary physical therapists. My sincere thanks to Newington Partner Joe Allen, Orange PT Nick Almonte, Wallingford PT (and Clinical Development and Mentorship Coordinator Danielle Dunn), Fairfield Partner Rebecca Petrosino, West Hartford Partner Tom Kassan, Wallingford PT Ken Kosior, and New Haven PT Russ Woodman for assisting Mike Gans in this endeavor. You’ve gone above and beyond to make us a better company!

I believe the PTSMC Orthopaedic Residency Program reinforces our commitment to attract and grow great clinicians and great people. The program also sets us apart from many of our peers, as we are one of the few residency programs in New England specializing in orthopedics. I am proud that we have made a major investment in PT for Life.

Alan Balavender, PT, MS
Founder and President
Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Centers


Learn more about PTSMC’s Orthopaedic Residency Program, including program requirements, structure and application, here.