Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital physical therapy residency program achieves national milestone

The board-certified physical and occupational therapists at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital do more than help patients improve mobility and return to active lifestyles. They are also training the next generation of specialized therapists in areas such as orthopedic physical therapy, sports physical therapy, athletic training and occupational therapy with a specialty in hand rehabilitation.

Each year, the hospital’s post professional residency programs give licensed therapists and athletic trainers the opportunity to further their education. Residents are able to work alongside leading therapists who provide one-on-one education and mentoring in both clinical and classroom settings. Residents also work directly with some of the area’s leading surgeons and orthopedic and sports medicine specialists to develop, implement and measure patient outcomes. Each of the individual residency tracts is specially designed to provide unique experiences; for example, the sports and athletic training residencies participate in live, on-field activities with local high school, college and professional teams, and athletic training residents serve as assistant athletic trainers at area high schools.

Houston Methodist Sugar Land is the only facility in the U.S. with fully accredited orthopedic physical therapy, sports physical therapy and athletic training programs in one location. The hospital’s athletic training residency program is one of just five programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) in the country. The occupational therapy residency in hand rehabilitation is the third in the nation to achieve candidacy status from the American Occupational Therapy Association.

“Our faculty sets us apart from other residency programs,” said Toko Nguyen, physical therapy residency manager at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital.  “No one else can offer the same caliber of instructors, all under one roof. All of our faculty members are experienced and knowledgeable, having all completed residency or fellowship training themselves. They enjoy teaching our residents how to provide better, more effective therapy services to patients.”

The fast-paced environment at Houston Methodist Sugar Land and Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine ensures that residents see a broad range of patients and conditions throughout the 12-month program. Improving clinical reasoning skills and treatment approaches are key elements; residents are typically ready to sit for their certified specialist exam upon completion of the program.

 “Our residents learn from a full range of clinical cases – from patients recovering from injury to those with long-term physical ailments or conditions,” said board-certified occupational therapist Peggy Boineau, who leads the hand therapy residency. “Through detailed classroom learning and work with patients, our residents master the latest and most sophisticated therapies in their chosen specialty. They leave here ready to make a difference in patients’ lives.”

Houston Methodist Sugar Land has been offering physical therapy specialty residencies since 2011, and over the years the program has grown significantly. That growth is reflective of a national trend toward specialized physical therapy, with residencies and fellowships providing additional training and expertise in specific areas of study.

 “Young therapists today recognize the importance of focusing on a specialty,” said Nguyen. “Our program helps therapists further their studies and gain a deeper understanding of their chosen field. They leave here with excellent clinical reasoning skills along with the most advanced treatment techniques.”

Today, physical therapists from around the country seek the opportunity to come to Houston Methodist Sugar Land, and the competition for acceptance into the program becomes more intense each year.

“Graduates of our residency programs are highly sought after in the job market,” said Nguyen.  “We have been developing top-notch clinicians for several years now, and our reputation is a real benefit to our residents.”

For more information about Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s therapy services and residency programs, visit houstonmethodist.org/sugarland-therapy or call 281.274.0123. Visit our Facebook page, fb.com/methodistsugarland for the latest news and information.