On this episode of the Healthy Wealthy and Smart Podcast, I invite Eric Robertson on the show to talk about residencies and fellowships. Dr. Eric Robertson, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT, is the director of Graduate PT Education for Kaiser Permanente in Northern California, where he directs the orthopaedic residency and orthopaedic manual physical therapy fellowship programs. He is also an adjunct associate professor of clinical physical therapy at the University of Southern California. Dr. Robertson serves on the executive board of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists as secretary and is a Fellow of that organization. He is board certified in orthopaedic physical therapy and has extensive experience in post-graduate clinical education and hybrid educational models. He’s current an associated editor for the Journal of Physical Therapy Education and a member of the American Physical Therapy Association’s media corps.

In this episode, we discuss:

-The evolution of residency programs

-The future standards for residency and fellowship training

-Sustainable business and educational models in the face of growing student debt

-Is it ok to be a generalist in physical therapy?

-And so much more!


Residency education covers a wide variety of clinical settings and patient populations in comparison to fellowship programs. Eric stresses, “You see a lot more specialties represented.”


There has been growing interest among new graduates to hone their clinical skills as Eric has found that, “People who are graduating PT school are a lot more aware of the role of residency as part of their clinical and professional development.”


Orthopedic residencies are facing new challenges as Eric believes, “The supply seems to be exceeding the demand.”


There is not yet a clear delineation between residency and fellowship programs and their unique challenges as Eric states, “Let’s talk about residency programs as its own bucket and let’s talk about fellowship programs as its own bucket.”


For more information on Eric:

Eric Robertson, PT, DPT

APTA spokesman Eric Robertson is director of Kaiser Permanente

Northern California Graduate Physical Therapy Education, and associate professor of clinical physical therapy at the University of Southern California. Previously, he served as assistant professor of physical therapy at Regis University in Denver. He received a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from Quinnipiac University and a doctor of physical therapy degree from Boston University. He is a board-certified clinical specialist in orthopaedic physical therapy and a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists, where he currently serves as secretary on its executive board. Robertson has taught musculoskeletal physical therapy, pharmacology differential diagnosis, and radiology courses in several physical therapy education programs from entry-level through the postgraduate level. He is the immediate past chair of the public relations committee for APTA’s Orthopaedic Section. Robertson serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Physical Therapy Education. He has authored several web-based continuing education courses for entry-level and postprofessional physical therapy residency and fellowship programs. He leads a quality and health outcomes assessment team for rehab services at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California. Robertson’s research interests lie in health service utilization, evidence-based practice, clinical reasoning, and exploring the impact of technology on health care. He is a frequent national presenter and specializes in information management and the use of social media in health care. He is founder of PTThinkTank.com, a popular website devoted to critical observations of health, science, and the physical therapy profession, and cofounder of Talus Media. A prolific writer, his work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals, on popular health websites, and in large television and print media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America, and Time magazine.


Resources discussed on this show:

Residency Education in Every Town: Is It Just So Simple?

The Impact of Physical Therapy Residency or Fellowship Education on Clinical Outcomes for Patients With Musculoskeletal Conditions

Postprofessional Cartography in Physical Therapy: Charting a Pathway for Residency and Fellowship Training

Eric Robertson Twitter

Eric Robertson Facebook

Eric Robertson Instagram

Kaiser Residency and Fellowship Programs

USC Hybrid DPT Program


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Have a great week and stay Healthy Wealthy and Smart!


Xo Karen



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©2019 Karen Litzy Physical Therapy PLLC.
©2019 Karen Litzy Physical Therapy PLLC.