Physical Therapist (Clinical Specialist)

Baltimore, Maryland
Oct 01, 2022
Oct 07, 2022
Full Time

This position reports directly to the Supervisor, Physical Therapy Section who provides clinical oversight and administrative support in consultation with the Service Chief, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service (PMRS). The incumbent will primarily provide services at the Loch Raven campus.

The Physical Therapist who works at this level is responsible for providing assessment and treatment intervention on an independent basis across the continuum of care and services of the VAMHCS, but primarily serves as a subject matter expert (SME) in a content specialty area of geriatrics at least 75% of the time. This position supports Medical Center, acute inpatient, short-stay skilled, long-term care, and outpatient Physical Therapy referrals. The incumbent is responsible for participating in activities leading to the advancement of physical therapy profession and as such serves in the capacity of Residency Faculty (RF) or Residency Director, as needed for the VAMHCS & University of Maryland Residency Programs in Geriatric (and potentially Neurologic) Physical Therapy, developed in partnership with the VA Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA).

The Geriatric Clinical Specialist (GCS) Physical Therapist spends most of his/her time providing independent examination and treatment in the specialized area of geriatrics. The PT may provide service as required elsewhere in support of the Physical Therapy Section and PMRS and will be expected to participate in inpatient weekend coverage on a rotational basis, as needed. The Physical Therapist/GCS networks with other Sections and Services that includes Mental Health, Nursing, Pharmacy, Nutrition, Occupational Therapy, Recreation Therapy, Kinesiotherapy, Geriatrics and Extended Care, Neurology, and Social Work in interdisciplinary evaluation and care planning. The incumbent manages his/her caseload with concern for the complexity of treatment required. Supervisory support is for administrative input only.

The Physical Therapist/GCS responsible for the examination and treatment of geriatric patients referred to inpatient/outpatient PT services, often exercising professional judgment to establish appropriate discharge planning recommendations to ensure safe discharge. Provides in-service and clinical training. Designs, conducts, and evaluates education experiences for staff members and residents, taking a leadership role in Journal Club, and seeks educational opportunities to enhance the Physical Therapy Section, PMRS, and Medical Center. Establishes and maintains contact with other key staff involved in patient care via written, telephone, and personal communication on a regular basis at the Medical Center and VISN level. Develops and provides timely reports to the Supervisor, Physical Therapy Section.

Maintains timely data input utilizing care plans, initial assessments and/or specialty protocols as part of an ongoing process in coordination with other key interdisciplinary staff to provide effective patient care. Represents the Physical Therapy Section and PMRS at various clinical and administrative meetings/rounds at the discretion of the Supervisor, Physical Therapy Section. Conducts comprehensive patient examinations to identify rehabilitation problems and establish treatment goals utilizing the most recent evidence based Physical Therapy practice.

Work Schedule: Monday - Friday 8:00am - 4:30pm
Telework: Available
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Functional Statement #: 000000
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized
Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job.
  • All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in a testing designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA.
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English.
  • You may be required to serve a probationary period.
  • Subject to background/security investigation.
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process.
  • Must pass pre-employment physical examination.
  • Participation in the seasonal influenza vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP).
  • Participation in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination program is a requirement for all Veterans Health Administration Health Care Personnel (HCP) - See "Additional Information" below for details.


Applicants pending the completion of educational or certification/licensure requirements may be referred and tentatively selected but may not be hired until all requirements are met.

Basic Requirements:
  • United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.
  • Education and experience. The individual must meet at least one of the requirements below:
    • Bachelor's degree in Physical Therapy AND five (5) years of progressively independent experience as a physical therapist.
    • Master's degree in Physical Therapy AND two (2) years of progressively independent experience as a physical therapist.
    • Doctorate degree in physical therapy.
      • NOTE: Individuals must be a graduate of a Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) accredited college or university. The CAPTE is the only accreditation agency recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) to accredit entry-level physical therapy programs. Verification of accredited programs may be obtained from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) at .
  • Foreign Graduates. Graduates of foreign physical therapy programs meet the requirements in subparagraph 3b if they have a full unrestricted and current license to practice physical therapy in a State, Territory or Commonwealth of the United States, or in the District of Columbia.
  • Licensure. Individuals hold a full, current, and unrestricted license to practice physical therapy in a State, Territory or Commonwealth of the United States, or in the District of Columbia. English Language Proficiency. Individuals appointed under authority of 38 U.S.C. chapters 73 or 74, to serve in a direct patient-care capacity in VHA must be proficient in written and spoken English. See Chapter 2, section D, paragraph 5a, this part.
May qualify based on being covered by the Grandfathering Provision as described in the VA Qualification Standard for this occupation (only applicable to current VHA employees who are in this occupation and meet the criteria).

Grade Determinations:
GS-13 Physical Therapist (Clinical Specialist):

Experience. In addition to meeting the basic requirements, one year of progressively complex experience equivalent to the GS-12 grade level and one of the following:
1. Evidence of a minimum of 2,000 hours of clinical practice directly in the specialty area. This time must be between the past two and five years; or
2. Board Certification in the specialty area recognized by the ABPTS; or
3. Completion of a fellowship program; or
4. An additional advanced degree in a related field.

Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the all following KSAs.
1. Advanced knowledge and expert skill in a range of specialized interventions and treatment modalities used in a specialized treatment area of physical therapy.
2. Ability to serve as a consultant and subject matter expert for health care providers regarding the delivery of care within a specialized content area of physical therapy (see paragraph 2i).
3. Ability to teach and mentor medical center staff in a specialized content area of physical therapy.
4. Ability to guide the work of a multi-disciplinary team in a specialized content area of physical therapy.
5. Advanced knowledge and expert skill to perform and interpret specialized procedures and tests in evaluating the treatment outcomes in the assigned specialty content area.

Assignment. For all assignments above the full performance level, the higher-level duties must consist of significant scope, complexity (difficulty), and variety. Clinical Specialists spend at least 25% or greater of their time working with specialized population(s) within their department. Physical therapists at this level perform assignments in specialty areas such as geriatrics, neurology, cardiopulmonary, orthopedics, spinal cord injury, amputee, wound care, chronic pain, electromyography, women's health or pelvic health, polytrauma, brain injury, lymphedema, vestibular, assistive technology, seating and mobility. The individual is assigned responsibility for serving as the subject matter expert in the content specialty area and as a consultant to physical therapy and other medical center staff in evaluating and treating patients in the specialty area. Clinical Specialists have advanced knowledge and demonstrate expert clinical practice skills in providing assessment and treatment interventions across the continuum of care. He/she utilizes advanced knowledge and expertise to modify treatment plans and to identify therapeutic activity interventions based on the changing needs, goals and performance of patients. Clinical Specialists have advanced training in specialized technology related to their area of practice. He/she establishes and maintains contact with other health care providers involved in patient care via written, telephone, and personal communication on a regular basis. He/she exercises expert professional judgment to establish appropriate discharge planning recommendations to ensure safe discharge from inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation programs. If the medical center has a PT residency program, the clinical specialist may be on faculty for the program.

References: VA Handbook 5005/99 Part II Appendix G12 Dated February 7, 2018

The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-13. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is GS-13.

Physical Requirements:The Physical Therapist/GCS will meet and maintain physical and drug test program requirements for the position as required. Heavy lifting, 45 pounds and over, moderate carrying, 15-44 pounds, straight pulling, pulling hand over hand, reaching above shoulder, use of fingers, both hands required, walking, standing, repeated bending, both legs required, ability to distinguish basic colors, hearing (aid permitted), far vision correctable in one eye to 20/50 and to 20/100 in the other, emotional and mental stability.


IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.

Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: . If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit: .

Additional information

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status.

VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply. The health-related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority.

Pursuant to VHA Directive 1193.01, VHA health care personnel (HCP) are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 subject to such accommodations as required by law (i.e., medical, religious or pregnancy). VHA HCPs do not include remote workers who only infrequently enter VHA locations. If selected, you will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination before your start date. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request a legally required accommodation from this requirement using the reasonable accommodation process.

If you are unable to apply online or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application .