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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: 13.5 months
Accreditation: ABPTRFE Accredited
Apply through RF-PTCAS 
Application deadline: February 1, 2022
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.
Number of graduates: 6 graduates since 2016
Specialty exam pass rate: 100%
View program flyer


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
  • Choice of pursuing a research or 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

Residency Program Director

Kerry Vela, PT, DPT, PCS

portrait of Kerry Vela

Program Coordinator

Alex Parra, PT, DPT, PCS

headshot of Alex Parra

Current Resident

Annie Golovcsenko, PT, DPT | Class of 2023

Undergraduate school: Gettysburg College, bachelor's in environmental studies with a minor in peace and justice studies
Graduate school: George Washington University, doctorate in physical therapy
Hometown: Lexington, Massachusetts
Professional interests: medically complex infants, prematurity, neurologic impairments, developmental delay
Why I chose Johns Hopkins: I chose Johns Hopkins because of the diverse and medically complex patient population, and the emphasis on interdisciplinary and patient/family centered care.
headshot of Annie Golovcsenko

Program Alumni

  • Daniel McKee, PT, DPT | Class of 2022

    Undergraduate school: University of Maryland College Park, bachelor's in kinesiology with a minor in neuroscience
    Graduate school: Marymount University, doctorate in physical therapy
    Hometown: Bel Air, Maryland
    Professional interests: cerebral palsy, complex movement disorders, NICU/ PICU, adaptive fitness, multidisciplinary clinics
    Why I chose Johns Hopkins: I chose Johns Hopkins because of the complexity of patients seen from all over the world, multidisciplinary approach to care, research opportunities, teaching at GWU and expertise of mentors in a variety of settings and patient populations.
    What I like about Baltimore: The pride and culture, not to mention the Old Bay-covered crabs and excitement in the city around game days!
    Daniel McKee
  • Julie Miller, PT, DPT | Class of 2021

    Undergraduate school: University of Maryland College Park, bachelor's in kinesiology with a minor in human development
    Graduate school: Drexel University, doctorate in physical therapy
    Hometown: Catonsville, Maryland
    Professional interests: neurological impairments, spinal muscular atrophy, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, pediatric cardiac care, medically complex infants
    Post-residency accomplishments:
    • Primary clinical investigator in drug and gene therapy studies for spinal muscular atrophy and Duchenne muscular dystrophy
    • Lead investigator in a quality improvement study entitled "Positioning of Infants in the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit: A Quality Improvement Project"
    • Participated as a novice SMA clinician evaluator in the research study "The Spinal Muscular Atrophy Letter Phenotype Scale: a Retrospective Review"
    headshot of Julie Miller
  • Megan Drews, PT, DPT, PCS | Class of 2020

    Undergraduate school: University of Washington, bachelor’s in biology-physiology with a minor in music
    Graduate school: Washington University in St. Louis, program in physical therapy
    Hometown: Kirkland, Washington
    Professional interests: pediatric chronic pain, pediatric sport rehabilitation and performance, concussions, headache/migraine, vestibular rehabilitation, splinting and bracing
    Post-residency accomplishments:
    • Physical therapist in the Pediatric Cystic Fibrosis Clinic at The Johns Hopkins Hospital
    • Presenter at the Johns Hopkins Critical Care Rehabilitation Conference: "Use of the Human Movement System to Guide the Physical Therapy Treatment of the Complex Critically Ill Pediatric Patient after Cardiac Surgery: A Case Report"
    • Clinical evaluator in a research study on vestibular function in patients with cystic fibrosis
    • Credentialed Clinical Instructor
    portrait of Megan Drews
  • Jennifer Resetar, PT, DPT, PCS | Class of 2019

    Undergraduate school: Wake Forest University, bachelor’s in health and exercise science
    Graduate school: University of Illinois at Chicago, doctorate in physical therapy
    Hometown: Lake Forest, Illinois
    Professional interests: prematurity, torticollis, early intervention services, academic and clinical teaching
    Post-residency accomplishments:
    • Co-authored Chapter 13, Physical Therapy for Pediatric Conditions in the 6th edition of the textbook "Introduction to Physical Therapy"
    • Adjunct Faculty at the Virginia Commonwealth University DPT program
    • Co-presenter of “A Healthy Day: Promoting Health in Early Childhood” at the 2021 APTA Pediatrics Annual Conference
    • Pediatric Therapy Team Member of the Year Award 2020 at SOAR365
    portrait of Jennifer Resetar
  • Katherine Denlinger, PT, DPT, PCS | Class of 2018

    Undergraduate school: Luther College, B.A. in biology
    Graduate school: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, doctorate in physical therapy
    Hometown: Rochester, Minnesota
    Professional interests: neurologic impairments, neurodevelopment, chronic and complex critical illness, vestibular rehabilitation, headache/migraine management, cystic fibrosis
    Post-residency accomplishments:
    • Lead investigator in research titled "Psychometric Testing of the Activity Measure for Post Acute Care (AM-PAC) in Pediatric Acute Care" which has been published in the July 2021 edition of the APTA Pediatric Physical Therapy journal
    • Presenter of research on the AM-PAC on the Pediatric Physical Therapy podcast
    portrait of Katherine Denlinger
  • Alex Parra, PT, DPT, PCS | Class of 2017

    Read Q&A with Alex about her experience in the program.
    Undergraduate school: California State University San Marcos; pre-physical therapy
    Graduate school: University of Southern California; doctorate in physical therapy
    Hometown: San Diego, California 
    Professional interests: medically complex infants, connective tissues disorders, torticollis and plagiocephaly, developmental delay, toe walking, temporomandibular joint disorders, adaptive tryke building with Charm City Trykers
    Post-residency accomplishments:
    • Established outpatient pediatric clinic
    • President and co-founder of Charm City Trykers, Inc., a local non-profit division of AMBUCS that provides adaptive trykes for children with disabilities
    • Assisted with initiation of Go Baby Go program in the Washington, D.C. area
    portrait of Alex Parra
  • Jessica Raspen, PT, DPT, PCS | Class of 2016

    Undergraduate school: New York Institute of Technology; life sciences
    Graduate school: New York Institute of Technology; doctorate in physical therapy
    Hometown: Williston Park, New York
    Professional interests: infant development, torticollis, post-NICU care, adaptive equipment
    Post-residency accomplishments:
    • Assists with the Pediatric coursework at the University of Kentucky
    • Created video that is included in the text: "Meeting The Physical Therapy Needs of Children" by Susan Effgan
    • Serves as part of the residency panel at University of Kentucky
    • Credentialed Clinical Instructor
    portrait of Jessica Raspen
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