Physical Therapy Oncology Residency Program FAQs

Physical Therapy Oncology Residency Program FAQs


1. Why MSK PT Oncology Residency?

At MSK, we’re not only changing the way we treat cancer, but also the way the world thinks about it. For over 30 years, MSK has been named a top hospital for cancer by U.S. News & World Report. You will have the opportunity to work alongside leading physicians in oncology and innovative researchers. Our Rehabilitation team provides supportive, outcome driven care to optimize the quality of life for individuals with cancer. Our faculty and clinical mentors exclusively work in oncology rehabilitation and are considered experts in the field.

2. When did the MSK PT Oncology Residency program begin?

The MSK Physical Therapy Oncology Residency program began on January 11, 2016 and was accredited in 2020 by the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE).

3. How many residents are accepted into the residency program each year?

The program currently accepts 1 new resident annually.

4. What are the different clinical experiences provided during the residency?

The resident will complete two 9-month rotations, one in the acute care hospital setting and one in the outpatient setting providing a well-rounded foundation to the rehabilitation cancer care continuum. A multidisciplinary clinical care approach will be utilized throughout the program. The resident will gain exposure to a wide variety of patients at various stages of cancer care (i.e. post-surgical, active chemotherapy and radiation treatment, survivorship, palliative care).

During the acute care rotation, the resident will spend time on various units (i.e., orthopedics, breast surgery/medicine, lymphoma, stem cell transplant, pediatrics) covering all major diagnoses. Patients are seen bedside with the focus on discharge planning and safety. A unique attribute of the hospital at MSK is that many patients have an extended stay with physical therapy provided at an increased frequency and duration. 

In the outpatient setting, the resident will be exposed to a wide variety of impairments related to cancer and associated medical treatments. Patients are seen with a focus on improving function within the community and increasing quality of life. The resident will be exposed to many of the outpatient specialty programs, including lymphedema therapy.

5. Do you accept new graduates?

Yes, new graduates are welcome to apply. 

6. Are international physical therapists eligible to apply to your program?

Yes, international candidates are eligible if they have a PT license in the State of New York.

7. Does the resident need to obtain a New York State PT license prior to program commencement?

Yes, residents must obtain their PT license from the State of New York by the start of the program. Information about New York State PT licensure may be found through the New York State Education Department.

8. What attributes are important in a MSK PT Oncology resident?

Candidates should demonstrate a passion for oncology, commitment to a high standard of care, and interest in taking a leadership role in the field of oncology rehabilitation. Applicants should be self-directed learners, who have strong clinical reasoning skills, self-awareness, and resilience. Ideal candidates have 1-5 years of clinical experience however the program will consider candidates with any level of clinical experience/practice.

9. Will housing be provided for the resident?

MSK does have potential studio and 1-bedroom subsidized rental options on Roosevelt Island for residents; however, it is not a guarantee and the responsibility of each resident to arrange their own housing.

10. Is there a tuition fee?

No, there is no tuition fee. The only fee associated with the program is an application fee of $125 to apply.

11. What benefits are offered during the program?

A resident will receive the following fringe benefits during the 18-month program. These benefits will begin on the first day of the month following the start of the program and conclude on the last day of the month in which the program ends.

  1. Medical and Dental Insurance: Comprehensive MSK coverage options are available.  Residents are responsible to contribute to the cost.
  2. Time Off: Paid time off will be available to the resident to utilize for vacation, sick, and emergencies (planned or unplanned). 56 hours will be protected time under New York City Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (ESSTA).
  3. Continuing Education: If approved, specific fund and meeting days will be provided.  

12. Are graduates of the program qualified to take the oncology specialization exam?

Yes, the MSK PT Oncology Residency program is designed to incorporate the components of the description of specialty practice for oncologic physical therapy through didactic instruction and clinical mentorship to prepare residents to sit for the specialist exam. Over the 18-month program, the resident will also achieve well above the minimal requirement for direct patient care hours in the oncology setting. As part of the program, the resident will have an opportunity to initiate a case report which is one requirement of the board specialization application.