Eric Jorde, a colleague, and I were talking the other day about the rise of students that come to us for internships who are considering Residency Programs now. When I graduated just 6 years ago, continuing on to a residency program after graduating was not a consideration at all!
With that said, both he, I and David Love (we work together), all challenged the Residency Program. I am sure many of you readers did the exact same thing. What this means is that we took the OCS Examination without participating in a residency program.
The APTA highly advocates completing a residency program. One benefit of the program is that upon completion, it allows the clinician to sit for the next ABPTS specialist exam (I am using OCS for this post but it also includes neurology, women’s health, pediatrics, sports, etc.).
I always strive to give my interns the “clinical education without the residency price” during their entry-level program so they do not have to participate in a residency program post-graduation (mainly for the clinical knowledge and beginning stages of clinical reasoning). I really do think that the specialist exam can be challenged by all if they have a superior work ethic and self-motivation.
The question remains: with the growth in residency programs and push towards post-graduate education, in the future, will the APTA prohibit PTs from challenging the specialist exam in order to push students towards residency??