New Sports Physical Therapy Residency receives accreditation

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

School of Medicine & Health Sciences


GRAND FORKS, N.D.—The American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE) has announced that the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences’ new Sports Physical Therapy Residency has earned full accreditation until December 31, 2020. The ABPTRFE is the accrediting body for the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) for postprofessional residency and fellowship programs in physical therapy.

“Congratulations on this terrific achievement,” said John DeWitt, P.T., D.P.T., S.C.S., A.T.C., chair of the ABPTRFE in announcing UND’s achievement. “The Board and APTA as a whole are proud of your accomplishments. We look forward to a mutually rewarding relationship with the University of North Dakota Sports Residency program, and again, we congratulate you.”

Physical therapy residency programs are for licensed physical therapists who want to advance their knowledge and skills in a specific area of clinical practice. There are approximately 205 accredited physical therapy residency programs in the United States and only two in North Dakota. The UND SMHS residency program is the first sports physical therapy residency accredited in the state. The Sports Physical Therapy Residency was developed through collaboration between the Department of Physical Therapy and the Department of Sports Medicine. The residency offers physical therapists the opportunity to advance their knowledge and skills in the area of sports physical therapy. After the resident completes the intensive one-year program, they qualify to take the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties sports certification examination.

Assistant Professor Gary Schindler, P.T., D.P.T., O.C.S., S.C.S., A.T.C., is the director of the Sports PT Residency.

“Dr. Schindler initiated the program development and spearheaded the process through the first residency graduate and the accreditation process,” said Associate Professor David Relling, P.T., Ph.D., chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at the SMHS. “Most notable is that the residency includes practice opportunities at the UND Center for Sports Medicine and Altru Health System and provides opportunities for mentoring from expert clinicians at the UND Center for Sports Medicine, Altru, and the Sanford POWER Center in Fargo.”

“This is a great opportunity for two professions to come together to provide advanced didactic and clinical skills in the area of sports rehabilitation,” Schindler said. “The program enhances the resident’s ability to critically analyze and problem solve, which in turn will prepare the resident for taking and passing the sports certified specialist exam. This is exciting, especially since there are currently fewer than ten sports certified specialists in the state of North Dakota.”