Occupational Therapy Fellowship In Physical Rehabilitation | VA Minneapolis Health Care

Minneapolis VA Health Care system offers a full time, 12-month occupational therapy fellowship in physical rehabilitation. Clinical experiences include diverse settings with rotations in acute/sub-acute inpatient polytrauma, outpatient Comprehensive Pain Center, spinal injury and disorders, and outpatient rehabilitation with an emphasis on neurological conditions.

Fellowship core elements

Minneapolis VA Health Care system offers annually, from August to August, a full time, 12-month occupational therapy (OT) fellowship in physical rehabilitation. Note: This program is currently undergoing review for initial accreditation by the American Occupational Therapy Association.

Fellowship core elements include:

  • Advanced, evidence-based occupational therapy practice across the continuum of care including diverse clinical diagnoses and presentations
  • Mentorship from a team of clinical specialists across the spectrum of occupational therapy services
  • Experiences and growth in areas of leadership, ethics and service
  • Development and execution of a research, education and/or scholarly project focused on OT in physical rehabilitation
  • Interpersonal communication and inter-professional practice and education including opportunities to partner and learn alongside post-professional trainees in OT, physical therapy (PT), and other physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) disciplines

Fellowship overview

This fellowship has been designed with curriculum consistent with adult learning principles including elective options throughout the program to allow fellows to focus on areas of particular interest.

Physical rehabilitation is viewed in a holistic sense, incorporating a true biopsychosocial lens to all learning experiences and approaches. The learning objectives and didactic content was developed consistent with the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Board Certification in Physical Rehabilitation blueprint and with expertise from Board Certified Physical Rehabilitation specialists.

Program features:

  • Our facility is located in an urban area but also serves many rural Veterans; this experience provides clinical exposure to diverse populations and treatment strategies including the use of traditional video telehealth and other virtual care delivery models unique to the VA.
  • 1-to-1 mentoring by subject matter experts across four clinical rotations as well as 500 program hours including didactic content, experiential learning activities, and scholarly experiences with an emphasis on:
    • Acute/Sub-acute polytrauma: Environmental modifications; functional mobility; functional cognition; occupation and task-based training; caregiver education; preparatory methods including physical agent modalities; emerging consciousness
    • Spinal cord injury/disorder: Seating/positioning; ADL; sex and intimacy; caregiver education; wound care/prevention; leisure and social participation
    • Outpatient neuro: Functional cognition; assistive technology; self-regulation, coping skills and integrative health; health and sleep management; IADL/work/education neuromuscular re-education; visual and perceptual training and compensation; driving rehabilitation
    • Pain Center: Neuromuscular re-education; patient education; self-regulation, coping skills and integrative health; motivational interviewing; therapeutic exercise; activity modifications; health and sleep management; sensory retraining/integration; trauma informed care; pain neuroscience education, graded motor imagery, and biofeedback


To apply for the hand and upper extremity occupational therapy fellowship program you must meet the following criteria:

  • U.S. Citizen
  • Graduate of an ACOTE accredited occupational therapy program.
  • Passed the NBCOT Board examination prior to the first day of the program. Anticipated exam dates or scheduled exam date for new graduates.
  • State occupational therapy licensure, from any state in the U.S.
  • Two letters of recommendations from individuals who can speak to their clinical skills.
  • Evidence of hand therapy interest and pursuit of additional training/experiences in this area.
  • Not be on a probation or under a learning contract at their current facility or program.

Application process

To submit an application, email Matthew.Walczak@va.gov and Lindsay.Marth@va.gov the following documents by April 30.

Application deadline: April 30

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