USAHS’ Clinical Orthopaedic Residency program is an opportunity for physical therapists to gain the expertise and clinical hours they need to specialize in orthopaedics. Through online coursework and extensive one-on-one mentorship, the program helps recent Doctor of Physical Therapy graduates—as well as working PTs who wish to change specialties—advance their skills and expand their knowledge base. Graduates are eligible to enter a Fellowship program and are prepared to sit for the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) Orthopaedics Specialist Certification (OSC) exam.
As a resident, you may complete your patient care hours at any qualified clinical site across the country. Guided by faculty and on-site (or virtual) mentors, you will study evidence-based orthopaedic concepts and techniques and apply them in the clinic. The Residency program is a chance to substantially advance your skills in examination, evaluation, clinical reasoning, critical thinking, intervention, and patient management. It’s designed to graduate clinicians with superior post-professional clinical skills, advanced knowledge of clinical practice, and the ability to serve as consultants, advocates, and educators.
graduation rate 10-year graduation rate, per USAHS internal data collection.
OCS Board Pass rate
graduate PT school in the U.S. Based on total DPT degrees conferred, as reported by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Data is captured by IPEDS through interrelated surveys conducted annually by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
delivery options tailored to you
Orthopaedic Residency Program at a Glance
Online coursework; in-person seminars and skills labs
1,030 hours of treating patients
160 hours of 1:1 mentorship
3–9 trimesters (1–3 years)
Location: Any qualified clinic in the U.S.
Sept., Jan. & May start dates
Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable.
How Our Residency Program Stands Apart
We bring the program to you: Students may pursue their Residency at any qualified site in the United States. You may start the program in January, May, or September—and begin your clinical hours when it’s convenient for you.
We’re online + hands-on.
You will complete most of your academic coursework online and earn your clinical hours at a qualified site. Residents attend three required skills labs on our campus in St. Augustine, Florida, and may choose to participate in a week of treating our PT faculty and staff.
We mentor you.
The program includes 160 hours of one-on-one mentorship with our distinguished faculty and your own on-site (or virtual) mentors. We enhance the development of our on-site mentors and maintain consistent standards for academic instruction and mentorship across our clinical sites.
Residency Requirements and Program Information
USA’s Clinical Orthopaedic Residency is a demanding clinical and didactic learning experience, designed to graduate physical therapists with competency of skills in orthopaedic physical therapy. The minimum length of our Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency is 12 months, and the maxmimum length is 36 months.
- A minimum of 1,030 patient care hours including treatment in the following body regions: Cervical Spine, Thoracic Spine, Lumbar Spine, Pelvis – SI, Craniomandibular, Hip, Knee, Ankle, Foot, Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist and Hand.
- 160 hours of one-on-one mentoring in the clinic with a qualified and approved mentor, over the duration of the residency.
- Applicants may choose to pursue their Residency in the clinic they currently work, or find a position within a qualified and approved clinic anywhere in the United States.
The didactic portion of the Orthopaedic Residency is based upon six (6) APTA Orthopaedic section monoliths. The curriculum covers examination, evaluation, and treatment of common orthopaedic conditions, and is organized into three (3) terms: Spine, Upper Extremity, and Lower Extremity.
- Participate in 12 Journal Clubs, lead 3 (online or in the clinic)
- Participate and lead 12 Case Rounds (online or in the clinic)
- Complete Healthcare Observations, Mentored Clinical Exams, and Clinical Skills Checklists
- Present 3 formal Case Presentations
- Attend 3 Residency Skills Labs (1 per term: Spine, Upper Extremity, Lower Extremity)
- Attendance at 1 professional conference
- Produce a scholarly product which is disseminated to the professional community, e.g poster and/or platform presentation, publication in peer reviewed journal
- Opportunity to teach and mentor entry level DPT students, depending on location and if desired
Instructional mediums will include individual study of curriculum, case scenarios, written and online examination, interactive web-based learning experiences, group discussions and review, and one weekend lab session each Term.X Close
Residency Admission Requirements
To be considered for admission, interested applicants must be licensed or eligible for licensure in the state of the clinic assignment. Current students may apply prior to graduation. You must display professional behaviors and enthusiasm in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy, and demonstrate motivation and commitment to the profession. Desired applicants must possess clinical reasoning skills for the application of examination and treatment procedures.
To apply, please visit RF-PTCAS. Applicants will be required to submit the following items to complete the application package:
- Three letters of reference
- PT license
- Current photo
Residency Tuition and Fees
Tuition & Fees
There will be an application fee when you apply through RF-PTCAS.
- Program Cost is $10,000.00
- Additional Fee of $500.00 for each year over 12 months (not to exceed 36 months)
- Cost of APTA/Ortho Section membership dues
- Tuition & fees and travel to the CI Credentialing Course and professional conference
- Cost of travel to the three (3) required Residency skills labs on our FL Campus
- Cost of malpractice insurance
Residents will be mentored in an outpatient orthopaedic clinic by a qualified mentor while completing didactic components. If applicable, mentor fees for clinical mentoring are negotiated between resident and mentor
The University offers an interest-free tuition payment plan administrated by Sallie Mae®. Contact us at [email protected] for more information.X Close
The Clinical Orthopaedic Residency program was accredited by the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency & Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE) in 2016.
The Clinical Orthopaedic Residency program is not subject to accreditation by CAPTE.
For more information visit our Accreditation page.X Close
- Apply skills for the examination of orthopaedic patient cases as per the Description of Specialty Practice (DSP) for Orthopaedic Physical Therapy.
- Demonstrate appropriate decision making for patient care.
- Analyze the outcomes of the patient examination to formulate an evaluation statement.
- Communicate effectively with patients, other clinicians, and administrative personnel.
- Apply and modify skills for intervention in orthopaedic patient cases.
- Identify their own strengths and weaknesses as practitioners through reflective thinking and appropriate communications.
- Utilize evidence-based information to guide patient management.
- Apply an ethical standard of clinical practice.
- Plan and implement physical therapy management strategies that consider aspects of patient psychosocial, medical, and functional needs.
- Become eligible to take the ABPTS OCS examination.
- Plan and implement physical therapy management strategies that relate directly to functional improvement.
Upcoming PT Events
ThursdayJanuary 27, 2022
MondayFebruary 7, 2022
WednesdayFebruary 9, 2022