Given the limited number of positions in physical therapy (PT) residency programs, it is important to select individuals who are most likely to succeed. The purpose of the study is to obtain consensus from residency program directors regarding 1) the traits and/or characteristics that are likely to result in a successful residency experience, 2) how success in residency education is defined, and 3) what do programs aspire their residency graduates to accomplish professionally.
Review of the Literature:
Limited evidence exists that explores the qualities, skills, traits, or experiences that contribute to a successful PT resident or whether the current application process is able to identify these traits.
The residency directors of 246 American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education-accredited programs were invited via email. One hundred nine (44.67%) residency program directors participated.
Using the Delphi study design, consensus was reached after round 3 of the survey.
Five traits/characteristics, 9 characteristics/achievements of a successful residency graduate, and 4 postresidency aspirations reached consensus as “absolutely essential,” and 1 outcome measure reached consensus as “very useful.”
Residency programs may look to modify 1) their application/selection processes to identify applicants who possess desirable traits/characteristics and 2) their criteria for successful completion. Entry-level PT programs may use this information to guide what skills/traits are needed to prepare graduates for postprofessional experiences.