Our Mission

The mission of the UNC School of Medicine Department of Allied Health Sciences and UNC Hospitals Rehabilitation Services Residency Programs is to provide a superior, comprehensive specialist training and mentorship to licensed clinicians to meet the health and wellness needs of the people of North Carolina and beyond. For the UNC Neurologic Physical Therapy residency, this mission is applied to physical therapists and their work with patients with neurologic conditions.

Residency Program Philosophy

The faculty and staff of the Division of Physical Therapy and UNC Hospitals are committed to developing residents who are recognized leaders within neurologic physical therapy. Residents will develop excellence in examination, diagnosis, intervention, consultation, teaching and the integration of best evidence into the patient care they provide. They will develop as a resource for the community in neurology and will contribute to the profession through entry-level and clinical teaching, writing, and leadership. Graduates of the residency program will be prepared to sit for the ABPTS Neurologic Certified Specialist (NCS) examination.

Program Structure

The program’s curriculum is designed in modules that address all areas of the Neurology Description of Specialty Practice (DSP). The modules include:

  • Academic mentorship in the topics of clinical reasoning, evidence-based practice, teaching and learning (12 weeks)
  • Clinical mentorship in acute care (12 weeks)
  • Clincial mentorship in outpatient settings (12 weeks)
  • Clinical mentorship in inpatient acute rehabilitation (12 weeks).

Additional mentored time is devoted to teaching and other areas of interest (service, research, etc.) as agreed upon by resident and his/her mentors. Didactic work is a combination of online study, small group modules with residents in other areas, and individualized face-to-face instruction by module mentors. Ongoing assignments and rotation-specific assessments provide the resident with regular benchmarks to ensure their learning progresses throughout the year. There are two written exams and two live patient exams administered at approximately the middle and end of the program. The resident is responsible for 30 hours a week of clinical work during the residency program in an outpatient setting, in addition to didactic, teaching and service responsibilities.

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Additional helpful resources:

Academic Faculty:

  • Karen McCulloch, PT, PhD, MS, NCS
  • Vicki Mercer, PT, PhD

Clinical Faculty:

Tricia Agnoli, PT, MS, NCS
Susan Gisler, PT, DPT
Deidre Bennett, PT
Audrey Osinski, PT, DPT, NCS
April Xayavong, PT, DPT
Diane Meyer, PT, MSCS
Dietra Buxton, PT, DPT
Catherine Jacobs, PT, DPT, MSCS
Courtney Matrunick, PT, DPT
Sharon Wong, PT, DPT, ATP

ABPTRFE Accreditation Status:

UNC-Chapel Hill’s Neurologic Residency Program applied for accreditation by the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education as a post-professional residency program for physical therapists in neurology in the spring of 2018, site review was completed in March of 2019, with notification of accreditation status expected in summer/fall of 2019.