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Athletic Training Residency Program Prepares Graduates for Clinical Practice

FORT WORTH, Texas — Meredith Decker scoured the internet for a comprehensive athletic training residency program after graduating from Kent State in Ohio. She earned a master’s degree in exercise physiology with an emphasis in athletic training and was hoping to gain some hands-on experience in the field.

Athletic Training Residency Program Prepares Graduates for Clinical Practice
Texas Health Ben Hogan athletic training residents Chris Johnston and Meredith Decker.

She ultimately applied for Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine’s athletic training residency program, one of two U.S. programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. She joined more than 40 other graduates vying for two positions in the program.

“Texas Health Ben Hogan’s program exposes residents to many aspects of the athletic training field, including clinical research, teaching, clinical practice and collegiate sports,” Decker said. “People often think athletic trainers only work with high school or college sports teams, but there’s more to it than that.”

The yearlong post-professional residency program is designed to advance residents’ expertise in examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, intervention, and management of patients in orthopedic rehabilitation.

The curriculum is multi-faceted, giving residents a well-rounded picture of athletic training and rehabilitation in a variety of settings, said Craig Garrison, Texas Health Ben Hogan’s director of post-professional residencies.

Residents work with physical therapists to help treat patients rehabbing after a sports injury, observe sports medicine doctors, collect and analyze clinical research data, and operate an eight-camera 3-D motion capture system for biomechanical analysis of baseball pitching. They also gain valuable experience teaching athletic training students at Texas Christian University and the University of Texas at Arlington and providing sports medicine coverage to a variety of sports teams at Texas Christian University.

“We started the residency program three years ago as part of our commitment to developing the next generation of athletic trainers,” said Brian Conway, director of Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine. “Our staff has worked diligently to create a curriculum that meets the commission’s high standards and prepares residents to provide excellent patient care in the field of sports medicine.”

When Decker completes the athletic training residency program, she hopes to apply her experience in the clinical setting to an athletic training job with a Division 1 soccer or basketball team.

“I feel like the experience I’ve gained during the residency will open a lot of doors for me,” she said.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States. The health system includes 24 acute care and short-stay hospitals that are owned, operated, joint-ventured or affiliated with Texas Health Resources. It includes the Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial and Texas Health Harris Methodist hospitals, a large physician group, outpatient facilities, and home health, preventive and fitness services, and an organization for medical research and education.

For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit

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