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Clinical Residency Program in Geriatrics

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The Jewish Senior Services Clinical Residency is a yearlong program that includes mentored clinical practice in a variety of settings including skilled nursing, long-term care, home health care and outpatient. Acute care observations with a Board-Certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist will also be provided and scheduled. Structured didactic instruction includes distance learning through Sacred Heart University and on-site seminars in geriatric physical therapy. Mentoring is provided by experienced and/or Board-Certified Geriatric Clinical Specialists across settings. The Jewish Senior Services Geriatric Residency effectively incorporates the positive attributes of academic and clinical based residencies into a unique program, which includes teaching opportunities, research opportunities and advanced clinical practice. This experience is designed to prepare the resident to take the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties examination in Geriatric Physical Therapy.


The American Physical Therapy Association defines a residency as a “planned program of post-professional clinical and didactic education that is designed to advance significantly the physical therapists’ preparation as a provider of patient care services in a defined area of practice.”


Mission & Goals

The Jewish Senior Services strives to provide a program that will provide quality post-professional didactic education and clinical mentoring for residents seeking to attain an advanced level of clinical practice and scholarly pursuits in geriatric physical therapy, utilizing specially trained and certified physical therapists who employ an evidence-based, patient centered approach in meeting the unique health care and functional needs of aging adults.


The goals of the Clinical Residency Program in Geriatrics are to:

  • Address all areas of the Description of Residency Practice through didactic instruction, clinical practice and other education activities.
  • Prepare residents to meet the requirements for specialist certification in geriatrics outlined by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists
    • Provide access to and support residents enrolled in the advanced Geriatric courses at Sacred Heart University.
    • Provide opportunities to develop advanced skills as a provider of care in a variety of geriatric physical therapy settings.
    • Prepare residents to effectively document care and outcomes to reflect high standard of care provided to the geriatric population.
    • Provide effective on-site supervision and plan for educational opportunities in the clinic.
  • Facilitate the development of residents as clinical educators who demonstrate a commitment to learning and scholarship and model that commitment to students and professional colleagues.
  • Prepare residents to be a knowledgeable and current resource to patients and other health professionals.

Program General Information

Residents will be provided with a multitude of diverse experiences including:

  • Participation in Journal Clubs and Case Presentations with other physical therapy residents (including Sacred Heart University’s Orthopedic Residents)
  • Teaching opportunities in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Sacred Heart University
  • Research opportunities with APTA recognized academic faculty
  • Participation in program development across multiple clinical settings

Residents will receive credentialing through the American Physical Therapy Association as a Clinical Instructor and will supervise a DPT student during their final rotation.


Residents will participate in a residency program which emphasizes evidence-based delivery of quality patient care for the geriatric population and exemplifies the commitment and progressive approach of the Jewish Senior Services to addressing the unique needs of older adults.


The program starts in the fall and runs for 12 months. Flexibility may be provided in start time for applicants who require adaptation.

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The Jewish Senior Services Geriatric Residency Program received accreditation from the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE) in 2009.


All residents have completed the program with a 100% graduation rate. There is a 100% pass rate for the Geriatric Clinical Specialty board examination.


Upon successful completion of the residency, residents are eligible to sit for the APTA Geriatric Clinical Specialty board examination and will receive a certificate of completion from the Jewish Senior Services.



Residents will be employed full-time by Jewish Senior Services and receive an adjusted salary. Residents do not carry a full-time case load in order to allow time for didactic coursework, research, presentations and projects. Residents are eligible for benefits through Jewish Senior Services during their employment period. There are no tuition requirements for this experience. Didactic work completed as a requirement of the residency will be reimbursed by the Jewish Senior Services after successful completion of the course.



Online learning is conducted through Sacred Heart University using Blackboard as and electronic delivery system. Residents will have access to Sacred Heart University’s library and multiple research databases.

Course Requirements:

  • GW 522 The Physiological Aspects of Aging – 3 cr
  • GW 524 The Psychological and Sociocultural Aspects of Aging – 3 cr
  • GW 534 Wellness Across the Continuum of Care – 3 cr
  • PT 911 and 912 Clinical Reasoning and Advanced Principles of Evidence-Based Orthopedic Physical Therapy Practice – 2 cr


Additional Lectures:

Vestibular Rehabilitation

Parkinson’s Evaluation and Intervention

Acute Care Management of Older Adults

Ethics and Moral Issues in Geriatric Health Cognition in Older Adults

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For additional information, please contact:
Suzanne Rodriguez, PT, DPT, MS
Board Certified Geriatric Clinical Specialist
Geriatric Trained and Certified Clinical Specialist
Geriatric Residency Director
Jewish Senior Services
4200 Park Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06604
(203) 396-6891

All applicants who are eligible for physical therapy licensure in the state of Connecticut are welcome to apply.

Click here for application submission.


Superior applicants will be interviewed by a selection committee consisting of the Residency Director, Jewish Senior Services Administrators, Rehabilitation Services director, and faculty.


“My year as a geriatric resident at Jewish Senior Services was the best decision I ever made for my career! I formed great relationships with my mentors, gained a wealth of knowledge beyond what I could have imagined, and I had fun through the process! This residency not only prepared me to successfully pass my GCS exam, but also opened up multiple doors and offered new opportunities in my career. The program truly defined who I have become as a physical therapist and I am forever grateful and privileged for being selected to be a part of the team.”
Roseanne Gillespie, PT, DPT, GCS

“Deciding to apply and accept the position as a geriatric resident at Jewish Senior Services was one of my best decisions. I am thankful for the mentorship and education that I received that allowed me to learn, build my confidence, and further develop my clinical skills to best treat my patients and help them achieve their goals. This program prepared me to pass the GCS exam and feel competent in treating the geriatric population in multiple clinical settings. I am forever grateful to be a part of the team at JSS and to make a difference in the lives of my patients.”
Jaclyn Dias, PT, DPT, GCS

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