Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency

The Johns Hopkins Hospital and the George Washington University pediatric residency begins in the acute care environment and progresses to pediatric rehabilitation, school system and early intervention, and outpatient service delivery. The goal is to build a strong foundation and gain clinical experience within the pediatric continuum of care. Residents enjoy a personalized, didactic program and are expected to participate in scholarly activities. Upon successful completion, a resident will become a clinical expert capable of providing comprehensive, world-class physical therapy for pediatric patients. Program graduates will have the foundation to positively impact the field of pediatric physical therapy throughout their career.

Duration: 12.5 months
Accreditation: ABPTRFE Accredited
Apply through RF-PTCAS 
Application deadline: January 15, 2025
Admission decision: Early March
Program start: Mid-August
Prerequisites: applicant must be a graduate from an accredited physical therapy program (new graduates are accepted), hold a valid Maryland physical therapist license or be eligible to obtain one, and hold a current CPR certification through the American Heart Association. Please note that we are unable to sponsor visas for international applicants.
Number of graduates: 7 graduates since 2016
Completion rate: 100%
Specialty exam pass rate: 100%
View program flyer | View financial fact sheet


Please click the pay application link to pay the supplementary application fee. Application will not be processed until the fee is received and application is complete. All fees are non-refundable.

This was the best decision of my career! It is a year of hard work, and more hard work, but most definitely it’s worth it. You will grow and be pushed to be the best clinician and one who is respected in your field. I was nervous about moving across the country to do a residency, but I would do it again!

Alex Parra, class of 2017

Program Features

  • One-on-one mentoring
  • Face-to-face academic teaching experience at the George Washington University in the spring semester
  • A variety of hospital-based multidisciplinary rounds and learning experiences
  • Active participation in a quality improvement project
  • Opportunity to participate in the APTA Combined Sections Meeting
  • Opportunity to participate in community service projects/camps and observe pertinent state and federal legal processes impacting the field of physical therapy

Program Completion Requirements

To successfully complete the residency, the resident must achieve/complete the following:

  • Live Patient Examinations
  • Residency Competency Evaluation Instrument
  • Written Examination
  • Skill Competency Testing
  • Program Evaluations
  • Patient Health Conditions Chart
  • Site Objectives
  • Professional Portfolio
  • Classroom and laboratory Instruction
  • Scholarly Activity
  • International Classification of Function forms
  • Residency and Fellowship Consortium Modules

Residency Program Director

Kerry Vela, PT, DPT, PCS

Email: [email protected]

portrait of Kerry Vela

Program Coordinator

Alex Parra, PT, DPT, PCS

headshot of Alex Parra

Current Residents | Class of 2024

Jennifer Bosserman, PT, DPT

Undergraduate school: University of Mary Washington, bachelor's of science in biology
Graduate school: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, doctorate in physical therapy
Hometown: Culpeper, Virginia
Professional interests: neurologic impairments, NICU/PICU, medically complex infants, early intervention services, inpatient rehabilitation services
Why I chose Johns Hopkins: I chose Johns Hopkins because of the medically complex and diverse patient population as well as the opportunity to learn from mentors with expertise in many areas. I also chose this program due to the interdisciplinary care focus, research and quality improvement projects, and the teaching opportunities at GWU.

Headshot of Jennifer Bosserman

Emily Burris, PT, DPT

Undergraduate school: University of Missouri, bachelor's of science in health science
Graduate school: University of Missouri, doctorate in physical therapy
Hometown: Springfield, Missouri
Professional interests: community inclusion and accessibility, developmental delay, autism spectrum disorders, developmental delay, clinical and academic teaching
Why I chose Johns Hopkins: I chose Johns Hopkins for the multitude of experiences offered during the residency including teaching at George Washington University and participation in community service projects. Additionally, I chose Johns Hopkins for the diversity and complexity of patients and diagnoses treated  and the focus on interdisciplinary care.

Headshot of Emily Burris

Program Alumni