What is an Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency?
The Residency program is designed to help new clinicians develop their skills and knowledge base and prepare for the OCS exam. Successful Resident graduates will leave the program with more advanced skills and increased ability to treat patients with musculoskeletal conditions than their non-Resident peers. Residents will learn evidence-based practice, orthopaedic techniques, and how to apply those skills in the clinic.
How is the Residency program different from the Fellowship program?
The Fellowship program is for more experienced clinicians who want to build upon their Manual Physical Therapy skills. It is a much more narrow program focused on developing additional skill sets, such as professional leadership, teaching, clinical instruction/mentoring, and research.
*In March of 2000, the APTA Board of Directors approved the following definitions in an attempt to clarify the different clinical experiences available to physical therapists:
Residency: A planned program of postprofessional clinical and didactic education for physical therapists that is designed to advance significantly the physical therapist's preparation as a provider of patient care services in a defined area of clinical practice.
Fellowship: A post-professional, funded, and planned learning experience in a focused area of clinical practice, education, or research (not infrequently post-doctoral or for post-residency prepared, or board-certified therapists).
What is the difference between a residency and a fellowship?
A clinical residency is designed to substantially advance a resident's expertise in examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, intervention, and management of patients in a defined area of clinical practice (specialty). This focus may also include community service, patient education, research, and supervision of other health care providers (professional and paraprofessional). Often, the residency experience prepares an individual to become a board-certified clinical specialist.
A fellowship is designed for the graduate of a residency or board-certified therapist to focus on a subspecialty area of clinical practice, education, or research.
*APTA website/education/clinical residency & fellowship credentialing
Is your program credentialed?
Yes, we are credentialed by the APTA.
Do I have to move to a USA campus (St. Augustine/San Marcos/Austin) to complete a Residency?
No, the Residency program can be completed from anywhere in the United States. Any clinic with an eligible mentor can become a clinical site for the program.
Where are the available clinical sites?
This varies each term. You can find out our current sites by calling us at (800)241-1027 or (904)826-0084, by visiting our website at www.usa.edu, visiting our Facebook page, or sending a tweet to @uofstaug.
Do I have to find my own mentor/clinic?
Our program can be set up two ways:
1. If you already have a mentor or a clinic willing to provide a mentor, we can set up the Residency site in that clinic specifically for you.
2. If you don't have a site, we can place you at one of our sites located around the country.
Where can I find the application?
Go to www.usa.edu and click on Admissions. There you will find the application for the Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Clinical Residency on the Apply for Admissions tab.
What other items do you need with my application?
You will need to submit a photo of yourself, your current resume, two letters of reference, an essay, and transcripts from all of your post-secondary schools.
How can my clinic become a Residency site?
Call us at (904)826-0084 or send an email to email@example.com and we will send you all the information you need in order to become a clinical site.
Who is eligible to participate?
The program is designed for both new graduates who have their PT licenses and those physical therapists who want to strengthen their background in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy.
What are the prerequisites?
You must have a PT license, plus a strong interest in Orthopaedics.
Do I have to have a PT license?
Yes, you will need to be licensed in the state where your Residency clinic is located. However, you can apply to the program before obtaining your license.
How long is the program?
Residency can be designed to last anywhere from 12-36 months, depending on the amount of time the Resident wants to dedicate to the program, and the availability of his/her mentor. While most Residents complete the program in one year, we do allow flexibility up to 36 months.
Do I have to interview to get into the program?
Typically, a phone interview with the USA administration is required for the admissions process. If you are being placed in a clinic, an interview in person, or via phone or web cam, will be required with the clinical site to ensure the best “fit” for the mentor and resident.
What is the application due date?
You can apply to the program at any time. We generally start 3 cohorts per year.
When does the program start?
We begin three (3) cohorts per year, in January, May, and August. We can adjust start dates as needed to accommodate relocations and/or test dates.
How many applicants are accepted?
We accept as many qualified applicants as we have qualified placements available.
USA offers more flexibility than other most other programs. It can be completed anywhere in the country, in any clinic with a qualified mentor. We also offer students a wide time frame in which to complete the program, from 12 months to 36 months. USA is a well-respected institution in the field, and having USA on your resume will garner respect with potential employers.
What are the benefits of completing the program?
The experience you will gain through mentoring is priceless and will prepare you for the OCS exam like no study guide or book can. You will learn not only advanced techniques in orthopaedics, but how to apply those skills in the clinic. You will also gain a strong knowledge base in evidence-informed practice. The end result is a more experienced and knowledgeable clinician. Additionally, completion of a Residency qualifies the graduate to participate in a Fellowship program, in most cases.
How many clinical hours will I have to complete?
A total of 1030 clinical hours are required, which includes 160 mentored hours.
How many mentored hours will I have to complete?
A total of 160 mentored hours are required. A breakdown of the mentored hours is below.
|Type of Mentoring
||Example of Mentoring
|Resident Primary care provider
||Resident treats patient while Mentor provides feedback
|Mentor Primary care provider
||Resident observes Mentor treating patient and gives feedback on techniques used
|Discussion of Patient management primary
||Mentor reviews and practices techniques used in mentor session at the end of the day
* - A minimum of 115 Resident primary hours must be completed; a maximum of 16 mentor primary and 29 discussion primary may be counted towards the 160 hour total.
How will I keep track of my hours?
You will keep track of your patients and hours on the Body Regions Log, as well as on monthly timesheets and your Mentored Learning Experience forms.
Will I get paid? How much? Are there benefits?
Your salary and benefits package will be determined by the employing clinic. USA does not take part in any contract negotiations between the clinic and the Resident. Typically, Residents will earn less money than other PTs, but the experience that you gain through mentorship is priceless.
Can I defer my student loans while I am in the program?
It depends on what type of loan you have. Some lenders will permit deferral, some will not. You will need to check with your lender.
How much does the program cost/what is the tuition?
While costs may vary each year, you can expect to spend $3,600.00.
If I am doing the t-DPT through USA, can I use my class credits for both t-DPT and the Residency?
Yes. You can also use the Residency in place of your final Capstone Project.
What classes will I have to take?
There are five (5) APTA Orthopaedic Section monolith courses that you will take, as well as a skills lab. Additionally, you will take the APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor course.
What other requirements besides clinical hours and classes will I have to complete?
Residents must participate in monthly Journal Clubs (12) and Case Rounds (12), three formal Case Presentations, and complete six 2-hour healthcare observations. Additionally, Residents must also attend a professional conference, such as APTA, APTA-CSM, State APTA, or AAOMPT.
Will I have to travel anywhere? Will I be reimbursed for travel?
You may need to travel to attend to attend seminar(s) or a professional conference. These costs are not reimbursable. If the employing clinic requires you to travel, any reimbursement should be worked out between the Resident and the clinic in your employment contract.
Will I be eligible to get my OCS upon completion?
You will be eligible to sit for the ABPTS OCS examination upon successful completion of
the Residency program.
What if I already have my OCS?
You can still participate in the Residency program; you can even use it as a refresher course to prepare for re-certification. After all, clinical execution of Orthopaedic skills and results from a written exam can be hard to compare. You might also consider enrolling in our Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship program, instead, if you have completed all of the prerequisites for that program.
Is Orthopaedics the only specialty you offer?
At this time we only offer a Residency in Orthopaedics. However, we are currently developing other Residency programs.
Who is eligible to be a mentor?
Mentors must have at least one year of clinical experience and proof of excellence in orthopaedics, evaluated through resume/CV.
Does my mentor have to be a graduate of USA?
No, not being a USA alum will not exclude a potential mentor from eligibility.
What type of contracts are involved?
The Resident will have a contract with USA, as well as a separate contract with the clinical site. USA has a contract with the clinical sites.
When I finish the program, can I become a mentor?
Yes! We are always looking for residency sites and qualified mentors.
Can I discuss the program and outcomes with a graduate of the USA residency program?
Yes. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help set this up for you.