Athletic Training Residency Program granted initial accreditation

Date: Wednesday, November 1, 2023

The Athletic Training Residency Program, part of the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine’s Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, was granted its first accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). Fewer than 20 post-professional programs, including residency and fellowship training programs, have earned this accreditation. 

The recent CAATE accreditation of our Athletic Training Residency Program reflects our commitment to emphasizing quality outcomes, continuous improvement, and educational excellence,” says JL Marsh, MD, Carroll B. Larson Chair and department executive officer. “These accreditations, along with our commitment to patient care and innovation, demonstrate our pursuit of developing the next generation of athletic training leaders.”

Taylor Russo, a resident physician in the athletic training program, works with a patient.

The 12-month athletic training residency is designed to deliver advanced didactic and clinical training in orthopedics to post-professional athletic trainers, expanding upon the foundational knowledge from entry-level education in the discipline. The program aims to equip athletic trainers with the latest expertise in musculoskeletal injuries and treatment and enhance collaboration with orthopedic surgeons, sports medicine providers, physical therapists, and other members of the care team. 

Accreditation through CAATE is a voluntary peer review process initiated by the institution seeking accreditation in order to recognize exceptional standards in athletic training education, as well as a commitment to innovation and mentorship. The accreditation is valid for three years. 

The program’s director, Tony Pennuto, MS, LAT, BCS-Oshares a bit more about this achievement below. 

Portrait of Tony Pennuto
Tony Pennuto, MS, LAT, BCS-O

What was the review process like?

The accreditation review process was thorough and, admittedly, demanding. It involved a comprehensive assessment of our curriculum, faculty qualifications, facilities, and the overall experiences we offer our residents. We had to provide detailed documentation and participate in numerous interviews. While the journey was intense, it was also incredibly enlightening. It pushed us to critically assess every facet of our program, ensuring we are delivering the best possible training to our residents. This process also reaffirmed our commitment to excellence and validated the hard work and dedication of our entire team. 

How did you feel when you got the news?

When I first received the news about our accreditation, I was overwhelmed with a mixture of relief, pride, and gratitude. As an alumnus of the athletic training program at Iowa, this accomplishment holds deep personal significance. It means the world to me to have achieved this accreditation for our institution, not just as a testament to our present efforts but also as a continuation of the legacy and traditions of those who once taught and guided me. I felt immense pride for our team's dedication and the exceptional program we have built. I’m filled with gratitude for all the support we've received from the institution, our partners, and most importantly, our residents. This achievement is more than just a mark of excellence; it's a bridge connecting the past, present, and future, and I'm incredibly honored to be a part of this journey. 

What's next?

Our recent achievement of initial accreditation is both an affirmation of our program's quality and a steppingstone for our future aspirations. As we move forward, our primary goal is to continuously elevate the educational experience for our residents, ensuring they are well-prepared for the dynamic demands of the athletic training profession. We are also looking to foster more collaborations with additional institutions. This will not only enhance our program's offerings but will also provide our residents with unparalleled opportunities to learn, grow, and make meaningful contributions to the field.