Alumni Spotlight: Residency Director & Clinician

Since completing fellowship training at Kaiser in 2013, Erin Green joined the faculty at UCSF Department of Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Science. Erin now splits her time between serving as the director of UCSF’s new orthopedic residency, which she developed and is launching in September, and providing orthopedic patient care.

Q: How did fellowship training shape/alter your career path?

A: Fellowship training through at Kaiser advanced my career in a way that I didn’t expect. It greatly accelerated my professional development and professional network and because of that I’ve had employment opportunities early in my career that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.Q: Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider the most significant in your career.
A: I feel very honored to be a member of the UCSF faculty.  Since accepting this position, I have had the opportunity to challenge myself in new ways, and it has added another dimension to my career in addition to patient care.  Working with DPT students and collaborating with colleagues has been very rewarding.  I’m very proud of the progress we have made in developing our own orthopedic residency program.  This program will give more physical therapists the opportunity to expand their knowledge and clinical skills through post-professional education.

Q: Is there a lesson you learned during fellowship training that influences you on a daily basis?
A: As physical therapists we have the privilege of helping people when they’re most vulnerable. And, we can’t take that privilege for granted. We have the responsibility of giving every patient our best effort, regardless of if we’re tired or having an off day. I also really learned how to be present in the moment and focus on the task at hand, whether that is during patient care, in a faculty meeting, or in my personal life.

Q: What advice would you give to physical therapists or students when choosing a residency or fellowship program?
A: I would ask them what they envision their career looking like in 5-10 years. There are many different programs available, each with their own strengths. Begin researching programs and looking for ones whose strengths are in alignment with your long-term goals. For instance, do your goals include teaching, research, or owning a private practice? Look for a program that will contribute to you reaching those long-term goals.Q: Describe your fellowship experience in 3 words.
A: Challenging, worthwhile, and game-changing.