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Physical Therapist - Clinician Scientist

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  • Physical Therapist - Clinician Scientist

    PHYSICAL THERAPIST: Clinician-Scientist
    at the Leon Root, M.D. Motion Analysis Laboratory

    The Leon Root, MD Motion Analysis Laboratory (LRMAL) ( within the Rehabilitation Department of the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is looking for an experienced Physical Therapist that wants to embark upon a unique opportunity and be both a clinician and a scientist. The ideal candidate will have expertise in both genres but our staff is willing to train the highly motivated individual to be a master clinician and an independent investigator.

    As part of a 162 bed orthopaedic and rheumatology specialty hospital (, the laboratory evaluates a wide range of individuals including pediatric, adult and geriatric in a multi-disciplinary environment. The central philosophy of the laboratory is to examine the relationship between anatomical and physiological structure and biomechanical function to improve our methods of evaluating and treating individuals with musculoskeletal disease. Our vision is to enhance evaluation, prognosis, and treatment (non-surgical and surgical) strategies for such individuals through the quantitative observation of gait and other movements.

    As a member of our renowned physical therapy team, you will provide care for a diverse range of patients of all ages. Upon referral by a physician, you will evaluate patient condition, determine the appropriate treatment plan and set rehabilitation goals. Educating patients and family members on the most up-to-date approaches to the rehabilitation and evaluation processes will be an important part of this role. The laboratory's clinical caseload is balanced between adults and children with altered walking patterns due to orthopaedic conditions and cerebral palsy. Prior pediatric treating experience is not required, but a willingness to learn about and to evaluate children and adults with CP is required. An optimum fit would be a therapist with special certification in one or more of our neuromuculoskeletal patient populations (osteoarthritis, cerebral palsy, sports medicine (shoulder and knee), arthroplasty (hip, knee, ankle, shoulder, elbow), foot and ankle Pathologies, wrist and hand pathologies, etc).

    Applicants will conduct new and existing research in the areas of applied clinical biomechanics of human movement. The four areas of focus for research in the lab are: osteoarthritis, sports science, pediatric orthopaedics, and rehabilitation. The laboratory typically conducts 10 to 15 simultaneous investigations in these areas. A successful therapist will assist and ultimately lead protocol development, IRB submissions, experimental design, data collection, data analysis, disseminate results in peer review publications and presentations, and develop new sources of funding for research projects in their area of interest. In addition, they will be expected to participate in educational seminars, both as a student and as an educator. An optimum fit would be the therapist that wishes to develop into a principal investigator in biomechanically related studies in one or more of our focus areas.


    1. To be able to screen all patients referred for gait analysis and determine appropriate evaluative procedures for the pertinent clinical question.
    2. To be able to independently perform kinesiological evaluations (biomechanical muscle testing, gait analysis including observational, temporal-spatial, three-dimensional (3-D) kinematic and kinetic gait testing, dynamic pedobarography, kinesiologic electromyography, and functional performance measures), within appropriate methodological constraints and in a manner consistent with biomechanical and rehabilitative principles.
    3. To independently complete data reduction for all types of current testing including:
    Biomechanical muscle tests
    Temporal-spatial gait analysis
    Plantar pressure with the platform system & insole system
    Three-dimensional motion capture raw data
    Kinematic and kinetic data with surface/fine wire kinesiologic EMG data
    4. To independently provide written reports to the referral source in a timely manner for all clinical tests performed
    5. To participate in weekly Gait meetings and present clinical cases as needed for review.
    6. To assist and teach the rotating clinical staff.
    7. To act as a clinical instructor to physical therapy students and interns.
    8. To meet the clinical competencies of the LRMAL.

    1. To demonstrate understanding of current research projects conducted at the LRMAL.
    2. To collaborate and assist with current research projects as needed through all aspects of projects (development, data collection, data reduction, data analysis and dissemination).
    3. To maintain a state of the art knowledge base with the literature in your field
    4. To supervise volunteers, summer medical students.
    5. To design and develop protocols for research projects within the LRMAL.
    6. To write components of grants under the mentorship of laboratory investigators.
    7. To become an independent investigator that conceives of a novel study, develops research proposals to procure the required funding, assembles an appropriate team of investigators to execute that protocol, and leads that team through the successful completion of the study as their training level and experience permit.

    1. To demonstrate independence in the use of appropriate resource facilities, including laboratory staff personnel, research personnel as well as library facilities.
    2. To demonstrate an understanding of LRMAL policy and procedures.
    3. To maintain a clean, safe environment.
    4. To uphold the professional code of conduct at the Hospital for Special Surgery

    The Leon Root, M.D. Motion Analysis Lab is equipped with a 12-camera motion capture system, force plates, EMG system, plantar pressure hardware and software, an instrumented walkway, instrumented stairs, isokinetic dynamometers and several specialized test jigs for the study of the musculoskeletal system. The laboratory has both extramural and intramural collaborations including the Soft Tissue Engineering Laboratory, Prosthetics and Orthotics Laboratory, as well as the Biomechanics, Orthopedic, Rheumatology, Radiology, Physiatry, and Rehabilitation departments at HSS.

    For the interested individual please contact Howard J Hillstrom, PhD Director, Leon Root, MD Motion Analysis Laboratory, Hospital for Special Surgery, 535 East 70th street, New York, NY 10021.
    Office: 212-606-1507; Lab:212-606-1215; Email:
    Last edited by Howard Hillstrom; February 20, 2012, 12:45 PM. Reason: left out contact info