Mary Free Bed to offer specialized orthopedic residency program

Grand Rapids, Mich. – Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital will begin an Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency in September. Graduates from an accredited physical therapy program will have the unique opportunity to perform a post-professional residency in outpatient clinical orthopedics at the fifth-largest, independent rehabilitation hospital in the country.

“Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital is pleased to offer a unique opportunity for a physical therapist to work with our experienced musculoskeletal teams.” said James Gaynor, a physical therapist and director of the residency program. “We are excited to expand our training and mentoring programs to include this specialized orthopedic residency. This will not only restore hope and freedom to the patients we serve but also further the mission of Mary Free Bed and the field of physical therapy.”

The Mary Free Bed Orthopedic PT Residency curriculum is based on the most recent Description of Specialty Practice (DSP) in Orthopedic Physical Therapy from the American Physical Therapy Association. This unique program consists of three four-month rotations in three of our specialty outpatient clinics.  The selected resident will optimize and enhance their clinical skills and reasoning in the following three clinics: The Orthopedic Rehabilitation Center, The Pain Center and The Spine Center.

The resident will treat patients 25 hours a week and spend the remaining hours in didactic learning.  They will develop their evidenced-based practice while working collaboratively with the Mary Free Bed Center for Research and Innovation. They will be allotted time in an adjunct role in both musculoskeletal and spine labs through Grand Valley State University.  Additional professional development activities may include the following observational activities; motion analysis center, work conditioning, hand therapy, fluoroscopically guided spinal injections, orthopedic and spinal surgeries.

Applications are being accepted for the 12-month program; the deadline to apply is March 31. Candidates will be invited for interviews with the Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Board, and a final decision will be made by the end of May. One resident per year will be accepted.

More information:

Mary Free Bed is a not-for-profit, nationally accredited, rehabilitation hospital. For 125 years, Mary Free Bed has restored hope and freedom through rehabilitation for children and adults who have experienced brain injuries, strokes, spinal cord injuries, multiple traumas, amputations, cancer and other diagnoses. The combination of comprehensive services and an exclusive focus on rehabilitation enables specialty physicians and staff to help patients achieve outstanding clinical results. For additional information, visit

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