Skip to navigation Skip to content

Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency connects residents with entry-level PT students

July 19, 2021 

Rebecca Bliss
Program coordinator Rebecca Bliss, PT, DPT, DHSc, is a Physical Therapy faculty member.
Lindsay Holland
Program director Lindsay Holland, PT, MPT, is a physical therapist at Mizzou Therapy Services.

A new residency program gives physical therapists an opportunity to improve their clinical practice and specialize in neurologic physical therapy. 

The Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency is a joint venture between the School of Health Professions’ Department of Physical Therapy and MU Health Care.

Lindsay Holland, MPT ’07, directs the program, and Rebecca Bliss, an assistant teaching professor, serves as program coordinator.

Residents will receive classroom instruction four hours a week in the Department of Physical Therapy, serve as teaching assistants in the department’s pro bono teaching clinic, PhysZOU, and receive training and hands-on instruction at three clinical sites — Mizzou Therapy Services, University Hospital and Rusk Rehabilitation Center.  

A unique aspect of the program is the opportunity that the residents will get to interact with entry-level physical therapy students.  

“My hope for this program is that the integration of entry-level and post-professional learners will encourage specialization within the field of neurological physical therapy,” Bliss said. “Research shows that Doctor of Physical Therapy programs with residencies elevate practice and translate science into the clinic.”  

The residents will also learn alongside physical medicine and rehabilitation residents through case conferences and journal clubs, which allows for interdisciplinary interaction every week.  

Physical therapy students help steady a man as he walks
Students and faculty work with patients at the PhysZou physical therapy clinic in Clark Hall Feb. 25, 2021. Sam O’Keefe/University of Missouri

At the three training sites, residents will see patients with neurological disorders across all facets of care. “This exposure helps the residents truly appreciate what the patient’s experience is — from acute care to inpatient rehab to outpatient physical therapy services,” Bliss said. “This deepens their knowledge of prognosis and outcomes through evidence-based practice.”  

“This program is also unique in that we are delivering all of our own classroom instruction,” Bliss said. “Many other residencies use a consortium to deliver their didactic content, so our program giving high-quality in-person learning is slightly different.” 

The first cohort of residents will begin their program at the end of this month, learning from six Physical Therapy faculty members:

  • Rebecca Bliss, PT, DPT, DHSc
  • Jeff Bridges, PT, ATC, DPT, OCS
  • Anita Campbell, PT, NCS, DPT, ATP
  • Trent Guess, PhD
  • Jamie Hall, PT, DPT, PhD, PCS
  • Brad Willis, PT, MPT, GCS

“We are excited to see the program grow future neurological physical therapy leaders and expand practice and programs in the Columbia region,” Bliss said.