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Curriculum

Sports medicine with virtual reading analysis of motion

Trainee experience

The Physical Therapy Sports Residency is a full-time, 54-week program. You experience 1,500 hours of clinical practice, including over 150 hours of individual mentored time from highly trained and board-certified physical therapists and over 300 education hours.

Curriculum modules

Didactic and laboratory education is integrated throughout the curriculum and modeled after the sports physical therapy description of specialty practice in the following modules.

Foundations Module

  • Clinical Reasoning
  • Communications and Quality Service
  • Practice Management and Professionalism
  • Evidence Based Practice & Research
  • Biopsychosocial and Chronic Pain Management

Spine Module

  • Lumbar Spine
  • Pelvis, Sacroiliac, and Abdomen
  • Thoracic Spine and Ribs
  • Cervical Spine

Upper Quarter Module

  • Shoulder
  • Elbow
  • Wrist and Hand

Lower Quarter Module

  • Hip
  • Knee
  • Foot and Ankle

Additional Content Module

  • Basic Sciences
  • Pharmacology
  • Diagnostic Imaging

Sports-specific Content

  • Pre-Participation Evaluation (PPE) and Medical Conditions
  • Protective Equipment in Sports
  • Environmental Considerations for the Athlete
  • Concussion Assessment and Management for the Athlete
  • Dermatology Considerations for the Athlete
  • Sports Nutrition
  • Considerations for the Female Athlete
  • The Running Athlete
  • The Golfing Athlete
  • The Hockey Athlete
  • The Cycling Athlete
  • The Swimming Athlete

Other curriculum content and directed learning activities include assisting with teaching lectures and laboratory coursework, clinical mentoring and teaching physical therapy students, and observing other medical specialty practices.

Requirements for residency completion include attending and presenting at journal clubs and educational Grand Rounds, as well as completing a final research project chosen from one of these options:

  • A resident's case problem
  • A critically appraised topic
  • A research project examining a clinical measurement or question in sports practice, such as:
    • Pursuing a study that addresses a clinical question that can be answered from current databases
    • Partnering with an aspect of an ongoing study
    • Pairing with a physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) medical resident and mentor on an ongoing or novel project

Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences is committed to developing and maintaining the best education programs. The curriculum and other aspects of this program are routinely assessed and changed as necessary to ensure the highest quality training.

Schedule and hours

During your residency, you work 44 to 50 hours a week, though schedules may vary from week to week and include:

Breakdown of schedule and hours

Patient care

30 hours a week includes:

  • Four hours a week of mentored patient care with a board-certified clinical specialist
  • Saturday Sports Team Clinic (fall only)

Event and outreach coverage

Four to eight hours a week:

Didactics 

Four to six hours a week:

  • Sports AM Conference — weekly
  • Sports Journal Club — monthly
  • American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting (APTA CSM) — 24 hours 
  • Mayo Clinic Symposium on Sports Medicine and Performance — 16 hours
  • APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor Program Level I Course — 16 hours
  • Teaching within the Physical Therapy Doctoral Program (Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences)

Curriculum

Based on the Sports Description of Residency Practice, includes the following content:

  • Foundations Module
  • Spine Module
  • Upper Quarter Module
  • Lower Quarter Module
  • Other Content Module
  • Sports Specific Module

Research

Four to six hours of research, resident learning, and development opportunities

Surgical and procedural observation 

30 to 40 hours a year of physician shadowing, including surgical and procedural observation.

Independent learning and assignments may occur outside of this time frame.

Department and faculty

The Physical Therapy Sports Residency at Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences is coordinated and taught by the clinical and academic staff of Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota. Faculty members are chosen for their commitment to teaching, clinical practice and research. Many are board-certified specialists in orthopedics and sports.

Teaching faculty

Ryan Buus, P.T., D.P.T., OCS
Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy

Darren Calley, P.T., DScPT
Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy

Chad Cherny, P.T., D.P.T
Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy

Joseph Eischen, P.T., A.T.C.
Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy

Adam Finck, P.T., D.P.T.
Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy

Aaron Hellem, P.T., D.P.T.
Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy

Nathan Hellyer, P.T., Ph.D.

Steven Higgins, P.T., D.P.T.
Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy

John Hollman, P.T., Ph.D.

Kim Jensen, P.T.
Board-Certified Hand Therapist

Mark Jensen, P.T.
Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy

David Krause, P.T., D.Sc.
Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy

Aaron Rindflesch, Ph.D., P.T.
Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Neurologic Physical Therapy

Nicole Ron, P.T., D.P.T.
Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic and Women’s Health Physical Therapy

Helga Smars, P.T.

Dawn Underwood, P.T., D.P.T.
Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy

Emily Wert, P.T., D.P.T
Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy

Rebecca Wessel, P.T., D.P.T.
Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy

Paul Yerhot, P.T., D.P.T.
Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy

Program leadership

Darren Q. Calley, PT, DScPT, OCS

Darren Calley, P.T., DScPT, OCS

Dr. Calley is the director of the Neurologic, Orthopaedic, and Sports Physical Therapy Residencies at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota and is a core faculty member for the Mayo Clinic Program in Physical Therapy at Mayo Clinic Rochester. He helped organize and create the clinical and didactic curriculum utilized in the Mayo Clinic Physical Therapy Orthopaedic and Sports Residencies and serves as a primary mentor and core faculty member for these programs.  

He is a 1996 graduate of Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences' physical therapy program. In 2006, he became a board-certified specialist in orthopedics, and in 2009 he earned a DScPT degree through the University of Maryland. Dr. Calley is an Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. His research interests include musculoskeletal examination, psychosocial factors, and clinical and residency education.

With a strong background in clinical and residency education, Dr. Calley served 10 years as an Outpatient Clinical Education Coordinator and 9 years as the Mayo Clinic Physical Therapy Orthopaedic Residency Coordinator in Rochester, MN, where he has been a primary clinical instructor to more than 175 physical therapy students and a mentor to over 25 residents in an outpatient orthopedic setting. He is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, the Orthopaedic and Education Academies, and several Orthopaedic Academy Special Interest Groups.

Corey Kunzer, P.T., D.P.T., SCS

Corey Kunzer, P.T., D.P.T, SCS, ATC

Dr. Kunzer is a licensed physical therapist and certified athletic trainer. He is currently the Physical Therapy Supervisor for Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Minneapolis and Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Kunzer also serves as the Coordinator for the Mayo Clinic Sports Physical Therapy Residency Program and as a mentor and faculty for the Mayo Clinic Sports and Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency Programs. He has appointment as Instructor of Physical Therapy at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.  

Dr. Kunzer completed his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology – Movement Science with an emphasis in Athletic Training from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2003. He completed a Masters of Physical Therapy from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2005 and a transitional Doctorate of Physical Therapy through Evidence in Motion (EIM) in 2015. He became a Board-Certified Sports Clinical Specialist (SCS) in 2012.

Kunzer is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy (AASPT) as well as the American Academy of Orthopedic Physical Therapy (AAOPT). He currently serves on the board for the Minnesota Physical Therapy Association (MNPTA) on the Nominating Committee and is on the Education Committee.

Mentors

Ryan Buus, P.T., D.P.T.

Ryan Buus, P.T., D.P.T.

Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy

Darren Calley, PT, DScPT

Darren Calley, PT, DScPT

Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy

Chad Cherny, D.P.T.

Chad Cherny, D.P.T.

Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy

Aaron Hellem, P.T., D.P.T.

Aaron Hellem, P.T., D.P.T.

Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy

Mark Jensen, P.T.

Mark Jensen, P.T.

Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physial Therapy

Corey Kunzer, P.T., D.P.T., ATC

Corey Kunzer, P.T., D.P.T., ATC

Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy

Paul Yerhot, P.T., D.P.T

Paul Yerhot, P.T., D.P.T

Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy

Visiting professors and lecturers

A hallmark of higher education excellence is the breadth and depth of information and experience provided to you by faculty and visiting experts. Each year, many prominent professors visit Mayo Clinic to lecture in their areas of medical and scientific expertise.

As a resident at Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences, you are encouraged to learn from these valuable resources by attending all relevant conferences, lectures and seminars prepared for students, interns, residents, fellows and consulting staff.

Facilities

Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota, includes an extensive outpatient complex, Mayo Clinic Hospital — Rochester, and substantial research and education facilities. This Mayo Clinic site is among the largest, most advanced medical centers in the world.

As a resident, you spend the majority of your time at Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine in the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center in Rochester, Minnesota.

Evaluation

Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences uses these evaluative tools:

  • Written examination
  • Demonstration of skills
  • Self-assessment exercises
  • Faculty reviews
  • Live patient exams

Mayo Clinic's system of evaluation provides students and faculty with a comprehensive look at individual performance. This allows faculty and administrative staff to direct students who are experiencing academic difficulty to the appropriate support resources, including tutoring programs and counseling opportunities.