Physical Therapy Programs | MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital | MedStar Health


MedStar National Rehabilitation Network consists of inpatient rehab, acute care, and outpatient services at our flagship hospital, as well as services offered at our many outpatient facilities in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware.

MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital is a 137-bed rehabilitation hospital located in the heart of Washington, D.C., on a medical campus that includes MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Children's National Medical Center, and the Veteran's Administration Hospital.

Inpatient rehabilitation at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital

The inpatient service is organized into six units: Stroke, Spinal Cord, Brain Injury, General Medicine, Pediatric, and Cardiac. The PT service has state-of-the-art equipment and technology to include Zero G and exoskeleton.

As a specialty hospital, we generally work with students in their final clinical rotation. The length of most clinicals is 10-14 weeks. Students are assigned to an inpatient unit at the main hospital. Our structured student program allows for progressive levels of independence in patient care and opportunities to work with other rehabilitation specialists. Good communication skills, time management/organizational skills, and a strong professional identity are stressed in this active interdisciplinary environment.

A number of our experienced clinicians represent specialty training in NDT, ATP, Seating Specialists, or ABPTS Neurological or Geriatric Clinical Specialists. Some have completed advanced courses in manual therapy or PNF. Additionally, the majority of our staff are APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructors. APTA membership is strongly encouraged. A number of staff have served in leadership roles or are involved with the DCPTA chapter.

The Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency Program was established in partnership with George Washington University Physical Therapy program in 2013. The program was credentialed by APTA in January 2015.

Educational opportunities at MedStar NRH include: medical grand rounds, physical therapy in-services and clinical service unit or program presentations, and research presentations. Courses on specialty topics have included: casting, manual therapy, the neurological shoulder and seating and mobility systems. The hospital address is:

102 Irving St., NW
Washington, D.C., 20010
P: 202-877-1000

Acute care rehabilitation at MedStar Washington Hospital Center

MedStar Washington Hospital Center is a 926-bed not-for-profit acute care hospital. It is the largest private teaching hospital in Washington, D.C., and a Level 1 Trauma Center. The hospital has a Stroke Center, Cancer Institute, various transplant programs, and a Burn Center. (Note that the Burn Center student program is separate from the MedStar NRH program and MedStar Washington Hospital Center.)

The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Medicine department at MedStar Washington Hospital Center includes PT, OT, and Physiatry. There are 17 PTs, 14 OTs, and 4 Acute Therapy Aides. The patient population includes orthopedics, trauma, neurological, general medicine, oncology, cardiovascular, geriatrics, surgical, and wound care. Therapists are divided into teams based on different diagnosis and location of the patients within the hospital. Click here for more detailed information about the program.

The student program at MedStar Washington Hospital Center allows students the opportunity to evaluate and treat patients in a fast-paced acute care hospital. Students will become proficient in recognizing the impact of acute medical conditions, medications, lab values, tubes, and wires in the treatment of patients. Different affiliation lengths are available depending on the academic program needs.

General information about our clinical education program

Orientation will occur during your first week and will include information regarding pertinent department policies, documentation, billing, and other basic information about the hospital setting. A schedule for this orientation process will be given to you on your first day.

You and your clinical instructor will work together to progress from observation of tasks to mastery of skills and goals. Both informal and formal feedback will be given throughout the process, and you and your clinical instructor will meet once a week to discuss your goals and progress. Additionally, summative feedback will be given at the midpoint and completion of your clinical experience. You may be asked to complete a self evaluation at these times as well. The midterm and final summative feedback will be relayed to your school.

Educational opportunities

Each Thursday, the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department hosts an in-service on various topics related to the "Education Topic of the Month." In-services are given both by our staff as well as other hospital staff who present on topics related to their area of expertise. Additionally, the Journal Club meets once a month to discuss a current, relevant article, related to the "Education Topic of the Month."

Students, with their clinical instructor's approval, may also attend various medical education programs at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital. These include case study presentations and lectures given by various doctors and other staff.

There is also the opportunity to observe a surgery in the area of orthopedics, neurosurgery, or cardiothoracic surgery

Resources available

The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department has its own library of books related to physical therapy and occupational therapy. The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department also owns the software VHI, a computerized exercise database that allows therapists to create and print out individualized exercise programs for patients.

Additionally, MedStar Washington Hospital Center has its own medical library with extensive access to most medical journals. Librarians are available during the day to assist with literature searches. Employees and students can request interlibrary loans of articles and books not in the library.

The hospital address is:

MedStar Washington Hospital Center
110 Irving St., NW
Washington, D.C., 20010

P: 202-877-7000

MedStar Health Physical Therapy

The outpatient satellite facilities in the MedStar Health Physical Therapy address the needs of a variety of patient populations. Work hardening, chronic pain management, sports medicine, women's health, and treatment of repetitive motion disorders are only a few of the many services that are provided. Clinics are located in Washington D.C., Maryland, and the Northern Virginia areas.

The outpatient area provides services for a broad range of diagnostic categories. Patients are treated by physical therapists individually, in groups, and through a number of interdisciplinary clinics. These include: seating clinic, wound clinic, post-polio clinic, MS clinic, amputee clinic, oncology clinic, vestibular clinic, and orthotics clinic.