Children's Hospital Colorado
Orthopedics Institute
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Athletic Training Residency

Children’s Hospital Colorado offers a comprehensive 12-month athletic training residency with clinical and didactic education in specialized areas for certified athletic trainers. We use an evidence-based approach to enhance the quality of patient care, optimize patient outcomes and improve patients’ quality of life. The residency program aims to prepare athletic trainers to be resourceful and skilled team members in an orthopedic setting. We emphasize musculoskeletal evaluation and diagnosis, which will provide residents the foundation to be successful in this field.

About the athletic training residency

Children’s Colorado is leading the way as one of the first children’s hospitals in the nation to offer a pediatric athletic training residency. The year-long program runs from July to July. Athletic training residents will rotate with several physicians throughout the year, working alongside national leaders in pediatric orthopedics and sports medicine. Children’s Colorado will accept one certified athletic trainer into this year’s residency program.

The residency offers the opportunity to observe our providers in a variety of settings including the operating room, physical therapy and the Center for Gait and Movement Analysis. Other educational opportunities include: weekly sports medicine conferences, journal club and exam preparation for the National Board for Certification of Orthopaedic Technologists. Residents will also enjoy health benefits and team member discounts for events, ski passes and restaurants.

The program’s curriculum is best suited for athletic trainers who want to improve their evaluation and diagnostic skills in orthopedics. The athletic training resident will rotate throughout different orthopedic specialties with a variety of nationally recognized physicians. Each rotation has learning competencies, unique responsibilities and dedicated preceptors. Rotations include:

The program emphasizes these main areas:

We look for candidates who take clear initiative to further their knowledge through evidence-based medicine and grow professionally in athletic training. Applicants are required to have a master’s degree, National Certification (BOC), BLS/CPR certification, and State of Colorado License (DORA). Please see Application Requirements for additional information.

Residency Program Coordinator, Greg Waltner, ATC, and Residency Medical Director, Jay Albright, MD, oversee the residency program.

Athletic residency program requirements

  • Certified Athletic Trainer with current BOC certification
  • Master’s degree with preferred one to two years post-master’s experience
  • Eligible for athletic training license in Colorado
  • Eligible to sit for the Orthopaedic Technologist (OTC) Exam in November or current OTC certification through the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT)
  • Valid driver’s license with reliable transportation

Benefits for our athletic training residents

  • $40,000 salary
  • Medical benefits, including dental and vision
  • Continuing education stipend and opportunities
  • Travel reimbursement
  • Colorado athletic training license fees
  • OTC exam application fee
  • Children’s Colorado Sports Medicine Center apparel

Our physicians and staff in pediatric orthopedics, orthopedic surgery and rehabilitation medicine are leaders in innovative research and superior care for children and young adults. This team of caregivers ensures the best possible outcomes for our patients, families and communities. The athletic training resident will become an integrated part of this multidisciplinary team through education and professional growth.

Overview of education

  • Weekly sports medicine conference, where physicians, researchers and medical residents on a variety of evidence-based sports medicine and orthopedic topics
  • Quarterly multidisciplinary journal club
  • Sports medicine physical therapy observation
  • Casting labs
  • Radiology observation
  • Surgical skills labs
  • Opportunities to attend ATPPS, NATA, CATA, RMATA and other orthopedic and sports medicine conferences and symposiums

Curriculum overview

  • Learning competencies for each rotation
  • End of rotation and athletic training residency program evaluations
  • Reading list to be completed during the course of each rotation
  • Anatomy and diagnostic imaging curriculum taught by physicians, radiologists and clinical staff
  • Surgical observation, suturing labs and introduction to the operating room, sterile techniques and surgical instruments
  • Pre-, mid- and post-residency exams
  • Research project and three case studies
  • Healthcare administration, leadership and professional development focused to the specific goals of the resident

Sports medicine research

Children’s Colorado’s athletic training residency offers opportunities to earn continuing education credits (CEUs) during the course of the year. Residents can collect CEUs by participating in established educational offerings including CEU events on campus at Children’s Colorado and the University of Colorado Sports Medicine. Children’s Colorado will also provide a fund for athletic trainers to advance their education by attending conferences or symposiums.

As an athletic training resident, you will be required to submit and/or present original content at a local, regional or national conference and develop a quality improvement project with an attending physician.

The athletic training resident will receive one-on-one coaching to provide feedback, guidance and overall mentorship through the course of the residency. Regular one-on-one meetings will aid the resident’s professional growth and self-awareness relating to their individual strengths and opportunities as a teammate and professional. Coaching is separate from the focused education on clinical skills throughout the program. Coaching will focus on the needs of the resident and their long-term career goals. Residents will have dedicated time to self-reflect and learn new skills and strategies that enhance their abilities as future leaders in the community.

Our athletic training residency will not only help improve residents’ evaluation and diagnostic skills, but broaden their view of where and how athletic trainers can provide care.

What does an athletic trainer do in the physician practice setting?

Given their advanced patient care and musculoskeletal knowledge, athletic trainers help guide patients though the entire evaluation and treatment process. Athletic trainers help improve clinical productivity, outcomes and patient satisfaction. They provide semi-autonomous healthcare under a licensed physician while performing medical history intake, physical examinations, injury assessments, patient education and assisting in procedures.

Examples of responsibilities for sports medicine residents

  • Preparing the clinic for daily operation
  • Reviewing each patient’s medical history
  • Performing physical examination of each patient
  • Providing concise and relevant presentations to the attending physician before patient care
  • Ordering diagnostic studies or other referrals under the direction of the attending physician
  • Interpreting diagnostic imaging (X-ray, MRI, CT, ultrasound, EMG)
  • Educating patients based on their needs (answering treatment plan questions, scheduling physical therapy, instructions on symptomatic control, and information on scheduling surgery)
  • Providing initial rehabilitation exercises and instruction, demonstration and feedback on a patient’s performance of the exercises
  • Fitting and educating the patient on the use of splints, crutches, braces, wraps and other equipment
  • Removing sutures and providing dressing changes to post-surgical patients
  • Aiding the physician in preparing patients for injections
  • Recording medical documentation of each patient’s visit
  • Answering and returning phone calls, and properly documenting communication
  • Assisting with the development of educational and promotional materials for Children’s Hospital Colorado Sports Medicine Center
  • Attending internal and external educational lectures and conferences
  • Reviewing performance with the program director

Pediatric orthopedic surgical observation

Children’s Colorado’s surgeons specialize in a variety of pediatric orthopedic concentrations, which provides residents with an exclusive opportunity to observe surgical procedures. Athletic training residents help coordinate pre-surgical planning in the clinic, observe the procedure in the operating room and follow up with post-operative care. Our surgeons teach sterile field policies, tool and instrument use, surgical techniques and much more.

Our pediatric athletic training residency is the first of its kind in the nation. You will work with physicians, surgeons, athletic trainers, physical therapists, nurses and other team members who are among the best in the country at what they do. Children’s Colorado is consistently recognized as one of the top children’s hospitals in the nation. We see more, treat more and heal more children than any other hospital in our seven-state region – and we’ve been doing it for more than 100 years. As a team member here, you help empower the children who walk through our doors every day.

Life in the Aurora area

Our largest hospital is located in Aurora, Colorado, a major suburb of Denver. Children’s Colorado’s other locations throughout the Denver metro area and southern Colorado also offer a variety of experiences for athletic training residents. Colorado boasts nearly 300 days of sunshine a year, a thriving cultural scene, diverse neighborhoods and natural beauty that create one of the world’s most spectacular playgrounds. We are just hours from some of the top ski resorts in the nation and even closer to a number of outdoor activities for all seasons. Reliable transportation is necessary for the winter months.

How to apply to the athletic trainer residency program

We accept applications from Dec. 1 to March 1. Any application received after March 1 will not be reviewed. Onsite interviews take place in late April. If accepted, we will notify you in May with a start date in early July. Begin the online application process now.