Academic Programs : University of Miami & Affiliated Residencies

University of Miami – Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Pediatric Residency Program

The University of Miami, Department of Physical Therapy and Nicklaus Children’s Hospital have jointly formed the University of Miami – Nicklaus Children’s Hospital (UM – NCH) Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency Program. This one year long program offers physical therapists the ability to gain structured experiences in a variety of pediatric settings, including: hospital, outpatient clinic and school-based. Residents complete didactic training at the University of Miami, Department of Physical Therapy on the Coral Gables campus. Clinical mentoring takes place at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital’s main campus and satellite centers and the University of Miami, Debbie School. Mentoring is led by experienced pediatric physical therapists and board certified pediatric clinical specialists. During the residency year, Residents are employed through Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. Residency graduates will be prepared to sit for the ABPTS PCS exam.

Applications deadline is December 31, 2017 for the 2018-2019 year.
Applications must be submitted through RF-PTCAS at

Residency Mission Statement

The mission of the University of Miami – Nicklaus Children’s Hospital (UM – NCH) Pediatric Residency Program is to provide advanced training to practicing physical therapist enabling them to assume a greater role in the care of children and their families in the areas of: leadership, education, administration, consultation and evidence-based practice. Through development of skills in critical inquiry and participation in clinical research, residents will be better prepared to contribute to the growing body of knowledge in pediatric physical therapy.

UM – NCH Pediatric Residency Program Goals

This residency program is designed to prepare participants to become skilled primary care pediatric physical therapists by providing focused academic and clinical experiences. Residents will function as an integral member of an interdisciplinary team to assure integrated care for the patient, and will be able to provide primary care as a point of entry into the healthcare system for pediatric clients.
The goals of the residency program are to educate physical therapists to:

  1. Provide academic and clinical training in advanced skills in pediatric physical therapy.
  2. Facilitate the resident’s ability to integrate science and theory with advanced clinical practice in pediatrics through structured academic and clinical experiences.
  3. Provide opportunities to develop advanced skills as a consultant in a variety of pediatric physical therapy settings.
  4. Provide opportunities to develop advanced skills as an educator in a variety of pediatric physical therapy settings.
  5. Provide opportunities to develop advanced skills as a direct service provider in a variety of pediatric physical therapy settings.
  6. Provide opportunities to develop skills in critical thinking and research to enable them to contribute to the pediatric physical therapy profession in the future.
  7. Provide opportunities to observe and model behaviors reflecting the highest standards of professionalism as a pediatric physical therapist.
  8. Prepare residents academically and clinically to successfully complete the pediatric clinical specialist certification examination by the APTA

General Information

Credentialing: The University of Miami – Nicklaus Children’s Hospital (UM – NCH) Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency Program APTA received accreditation in 2013. *Length of Study: *52 weeks *Program Entrance Date: *Residents enter the program in August and complete all requirements by the end of August the following year. *Tuition: *Resident’s pay no tuition fee while enrolled in the UM – NCH Pediatric Residency Program.
Salary: Residents will be employed full time by Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and receive an adjusted salary. Residents do not carry a full-time case load in order to allow time for didactic coursework, research, presentations and projects.)
Benefits: Residents are eligible for benefits through Nicklaus Children’s Hospital during participation in the Residency Program. This includes employer supported health and dental insurance, and paid time off (vacation, sick time, a personal day and six holidays).
Overview: The program is designed to provide a year-long intensive study of pediatric physical therapy, to prepare the resident to assume a greater role in the care of children and their families in the areas of: leadership, education, administration, consultation and evidence-based practice. In addition, the combined didactic curriculum and focused clinical mentoring will prepare the resident to sit for (and pass) the Pediatric Clinical Specialist Examination.

Clinical Mentoring

Residents work a 5 day, 40 hour work week with structured one-on-one mentoring approximately four hours per week. One day during the work week is typically set aside as a “residency day” during which residents spend time participating in didactic training, research, projects and presentations related to the overall curriculum of the residency program. Residents spend approximately six months in the acute care/hospital setting and approximately six months in an outpatient clinic setting. Additional clinical experiences at the University of Miami include: Early Intervention, school-based physical therapy, and specialty clinics (i.e., Hemophilia). Clinical mentors are on-site and work side by side daily with the residents.

Didactic Curriculum

Residents receive didactic training on numerous topics related to pediatric physical therapy which are expected knowledge areas published in the current Description of Specialty Practice for Pediatric Physical Therapy. The content is taught by expert faculty from the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Department of Physical Therapy, Miami Children’s Hospital and expert clinicians in the community. Learning units are taught every week throughout the year. Residents are also expected to lead and participate in hospital rounds, case presentations and/or journal clubs, and teach in the entry level DPT program at the University of Miami. Pediatric residents participate with other residents currently enrolled in Geriatrics and Orthopedics physical therapy residency programs here at University of Miami for select topics.

Learning Unit Topics (sample)

• Practice and Disablement Models
• Interpreting and Using Research in Clinical Practice
• Normal and Abnormal development
• Musculoskeletal Issues in Pediatrics
• Neurological Issues in Pediatrics
• Genetic disorders and other syndromes
• Cardiac Issues in Pediatrics
• Pulmonary Issues in Pediatrics
• Integumentary Issues in Pediatrics (wounds and burns)
• Hematology/Oncology Issues in Pediatrics
• Practice settings in Pediatric Physical Therapy
• Public law and its implications to Pediatric Physical Therapy
• Teaching and learning theory
• Early Intervention
• School-Based Services
• Feeding and Oral Motor considerations
• Speech, Language, and Communication Considerations
• Adolescent/Sports medicine
• Health Promotion and Wellness Issues in Pediatrics
• Balance and Vestibular Rehabilitation Issues in Pediatrics
• Gait/Motion analysis
• Prosthetic/Orthotic Considerations
• Assistive Technology and Equipment
• Use of Complementary Medicine in Pediatrics


Core Academic Faculty:
Martha Bloyer, PT, DPT, PCS
Meryl Cohen, PT, DPT, CCS
James Moore, PhD, PT, PCS (Program Director)
Michele Raya, PhD, PT, ATC, SCS

Core Clinical Faculty:
Tatiana Garcia, DPT, PCS
Cheryl Gimenez, PT, DPT, PCS (Program Co-coordinator – clinical/WKF)
Andrea Hayward, PT, DPT
Valerie Howel, PT
Sara Narbecki, MSPT, PCS (Program Co-coordinator – clinical/main)
Julia Sanchez, PT, DPT
Claudia Zuluagg-Yunis, PT

Adjunct Academic and Clinical Faculty:
Carol Davis, DPT, EdD, MS, FAPTA
Sherrill H. Hayes, PT, PhD
Joan Hooks, DPT, C/NDT
Neva Kirk – Sanchez, PhD, PT
David W. Mandel, PhD, PT
Kathy Roach, PT, PhD

Contact Information

University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Department of Physical Therapy
5915 Ponce de Leon Blvd. 5th Floor
Coral Gables, FL 33146
James G. Moore, PhD, PT, PCS (Program Director)
305-284-4535 Office
305-284-6128 Fax

Learn More About Clinical Residency & Fellowship Credentialing
American Physical Therapy Association Clinical Residency Information