Athletic Training Residency Program Testimonials


Lynette Carlson, MS, ATC
The OTRF internship program for athletic trainers was challenging and taught me to efficiently and effectively work with a team of sports medicine professionals in a clinic setting. The experience I gained has assisted me in my past and present jobs. I am currently a sports medicine supervisor with ATI Physical Therapy and the OTRF training gives me the confidence to work with any physician and effectively communicate to patients and educate them in order to provide a seamless patient experience. Previously, I worked with the Chicago Sky professional basketball team. I highly recommend the OTRF internship program because it involves athletic trainers in all aspects of a sports medicine clinic—billing, dictating, DME, ordering imaging, patient education, history and physical exams, and presenting to a physician.

Anna DiDonna, ATC
Working in Dr. Chudik’s clinic as an Athletic Trainer expanded my knowledge of injuries, evaluation, treatment and skills that I might not have had the chance to see elsewhere in my career now as a high school athletic trainer and ACI for Lewis University’s athletic training program. The time in clinic with Dr. Chudik also prepared me to handle questions from injured athletes and their parents so I can tell them what to expect when they see an orthopaedist which eases their fears and provides some comfort during the stressful time of an injury. The skills, knowledge and professional relationships I developed during my time in Dr. Chudik’s clinic are invaluable and will benefit my athletes for years to come.

Ted Hirschfeld, MS, ATC, OTC
By working in clinic, I built a strong working relationships with the clinical staff and Dr. Chudik. The experience of guiding the patient through the orthopaedic process – history, X-rays/diagnostic testing, physician’s diagnosis, completing necessary paperwork, patient education and discussions with the patient to make sure he/she understands the treatment plan is so important to ensure a positive patient experience and outcome. The ATC is the last person the patient has contact with before they leave the exam room so it is important they know and understand their care plan. To know I made a different in the patient’s orthopaedic experience is life changing and the internship helped me decide that the orthopaedic/sports medicine clinic will be the next step in my career.

Matt Holt, ATC, MATC
Dr. Chudik’s OTRF Athletic Training Residency Program allowed me to learn and develop a diverse set of orthopaedic clinical and surgical skills that effortlessly and efficiently translated into my next employment opportunity. I highly recommend pursuing this opportunity for anyone looking to expand their skills, interact with health professionals of multiple disciplines, treat a more diverse patient population, and work with a fun and empowering clinical team.

Katy Martin, LAT, ATC
When I began Dr. Chudik’s residency program, I expected to learn a great deal, specifically in the area of surgery. However, I have learned and experienced even more than I could have anticipated, despite my years of experience in traditional athletic training. Regardless of one’s professional goals, I believe a residency of this nature is very worthwhile for athletic trainers. The repetition of patient evaluation, viewing of X-rays/MRIs/CT scans, not to mention the front-line experience of assisting in orthopaedic surgery, all combine to make this an invaluable program, particularly for athletic trainers interested in the physician extender role. As Dr. Chudik’s practice encompasses a wide variety of patient demographics and physical conditions, I have been able to follow the care of patients ranging from pediatric fractures all the way to total shoulder and knee arthroplasty in the arthritic patient. I highly encourage interested colleagues to apply!

Michael Osterman, MS, ATC, OTC, NREMT
I am very grateful to have spent a year working and learning alongside Dr. Chudik and his team. He and the OTRF foundation created this residency program that in my opinion is second to none with regards to the knowledge and experience you gain. As a vital piece to the very busy sports medicine team, Dr. Chudik relies on the resident athletic trainers to be able to function and create efficient clinic and surgical days. Dr. Chudik utilizes athletic trainers in their full capacity and provides a very hands on experience that is unlike any other residency program. After completing this residency, you will possess unique skills that will benefit any other orthopaedic physician looking to hire athletic trainers. My time during this residency was unforgettable and I highly recommend Dr. Chudik’s program if you are dedicated to becoming a clinical athletic trainer!

Danielle Parretti, ATC, OTC, OT-SC
To say I was a little nervous being selected as the first athletic trainer in OTRF’s residency program, would be an understatement. But once entrenched in the program I was so glad I was the one they chose. The opportunity to get hands on training so I could work alongside an orthopaedic surgeon in his practice and assist him in surgery changed my life professionally and even personally.

Since finishing my residency with Dr. Chudik, I put my news skills to work right away working for another orthopaedic surgeon until I relocated for personal reasons. My move didn’t impact my career as people in other occupations often find. I accepted an athletic training position in primary care sports medicine at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and transitioned to become the first athletic trainer to work with the Orthopaedic Surgery teams. My OTRF residency experience undoubtedly helped me land this position and transition smoothly. It also gave me the courage and desire to become a Certified Physician Builder for EPIC (the electronic medical records system) we use at Children’s. This allows me to custom-build templates for personalized documentation, preferences and overall look of the EMR to help with our efficiency. It also was a big milestone for me as most people who are certified are either physicians or advanced practice providers.

I often wonder how different my career would have been without the OTRF residency program opportunity and how thankful I am to Dr. Chudik and OTRF. I not only found exciting and rewarding career opportunities, but also met my husband while living in Illinois during the residency program so I think I can say OTRF and Dr. Chudik changed my life.

Allan Prasil, ATC
My confidence level and clinical evaluation skills in the outreach setting went to another level. I increased my knowledge and ability to communicate and educate the patient families, coaches, and athletic directors on patient injuries. Seeing a progression of patients from initial injury, through surgery, during rehab, and eventual return to sport was invaluable.

Kelley Riegner, ATC
The Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine Teaching and Research Foundation has allowed me to expand my knowledge as an athletic trainer in an Orthopaedic office setting. As a previous Division I athletic trainer for the Indiana Hoosiers, my strong desire to learn and grow within the field of sports medicine was what led me to apply to this program. The OTRF physician extender residency program has furthered my education in all aspects of sports medicine and has provided me with valuable experiences in a variety of clinical, surgical, research, and educational settings. The multifaceted learning experience provided to me in a world-class environment has enabled me to become a knowledgeable and professional physician extender with the skills to assist in the surgical setting as a certified orthopaedic technologist. Having the opportunity to participate in research and Grand Rounds lectures at Loyola University of Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine has fed my desire to immerse myself in new techniques and future trends in patient care and treatment. My time spent with Dr. Steven Chudik has been instrumental in helping me launch a successful career in this new and exciting avenue of athletic training.

Brecken Sigg, ATC
I am very grateful for the opportunity to have spent the year working with Dr. Chudik through the OTRF Athletic Training Residency Program. This program expanded my knowledge and skills in the orthopaedic clinical and surgical setting more than I ever thought possible. Following graduation from the University of Kansas in May 2018, I packed my bags and moved about 8 hours away from home to attend this program. Not only has the experience directed my professional life, but the friendships I have made with Dr. Chuik’s team are invaluable – the administrative team, Physician Assistants, surgical technologists, and fellow Athletic Trainers, everyone is willing to lend a helping hand and provide the residents with endless opportunities to learn. Dr. Chudik also allows his Athletic Trainers full hands on experience, not only in clinic, but also in the operating room. He allows and expects his ATs to make clinical decisions and puts full trust in our ability. I have grown so much as a clinician over the past year and am so appreciative of the knowledge and skills gained through the OTRF Athletic Training Residency and Dr. Chudik.

Larana Stropus, MS, ATC
US ODP Soccer Team. My most memorable experiences included assisting with a distal radius reduction in clinic, learning to cast and remove sutures, learning to interpret MRIs and X-rays, and observing a rotator cuff surgery. The experience built my self confidence in recognizing, assessing, managing and rehabbing athletes on and off the field, especially when having to travel internationally with high level athletes when language and medical treatment options are limited. It also enhanced my treatment skills and confidence in the physical therapy clinical setting. As an ATC working in a physical therapy clinic setting, the established close physician/athletic trainer relationship improved the success rate of patient rehabilitation and patient outcomes.

Sarah Swientek, ATC
I could have never imagined learning and being exposed to so much in just one year’s time. Dr. Chudik and his team always were willing to take the extra time to teach and all did it with a great amount of patience. Prior to this residency, I never thought I would have such a great professional relationship with an orthopaedic surgeon. My ability to efficiently take a detailed history, perform a physical exam, diagnose, and develop a treatment plan in the physician’s clinic wouldn’t be possible without this experience. I also gained extremely valuable skills in the surgical setting that I otherwise might not have ever had the opportunity to learn. This residency also does an outstanding job of preparing an Athletic Trainer for the OTC exam. Overall, the residency was a great experience that will have a great impact on my professional career moving forward. Dr. Chudik’s practice values Athletic Trainers and their orthopaedic knowledge in a way that will positively impact us as healthcare providers.

Sami Ung, ATC
Watching how Dr. Chudik interacts with the patients/families. Not a day went by that Dr. Chudik wouldn’t allow his already full schedule to be overbooked so that an emergency injury could be checked or a past patient could come in and get reassurance. Even with being overbooked, he spent time with each patient/family and made sure to answer each question. That’s how a surgeon/physician should be and it’s refreshing to be able to refer to him and know our patients are well taken care of. Having a patient every five minutes and walking into each exam room with a smile is a task on its own and he did this every day. He let his patients know they were more than just an injury or a paycheck…that they were real people with worries and concerns. If I ever get frustrated, I think back to this and am humbled to have been able to work with Dr. Chudik, Brian and Katie.