Feb 24, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog/Handbook (Fall) 
2023-2024 University Catalog/Handbook (Fall) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Clinical Orthopaedic Residency

The Clinical Orthopaedic Residency offers physical therapists the opportunity to enhance their clinical skills through post-professional training in examination, evaluation, clinical reasoning, manual therapy skills, and patient management based on the practice dimensions described in the “Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Description of Specialty Practice.”

Participants can also earn academic credit toward the tDPT or EdD programs at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences.

Program Basics

  • Length of residency: Minimum of 12 months; maximum of 36 months
  • Prerequisites: Licensed or eligible for licensure
  • Patient-care hours: 1,500
  • Mentored hours: 160 (1:1 hours)
  • Location: Any qualified clinic in the United States
  • Curriculum: Online and seminars
  • Start times: Terms and didactic coursework begin January, May, and September; clinical start time is flexible

Mission Statement

The mission of the Clinical Orthopaedic Residency program at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences is to graduate physical therapists who have achieved competency of skills in both clinical and didactic learning in orthopaedic physical therapy.

Program Learning Outcomes

At the completion of the Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Residency program, the graduate will demonstrate the ability to

  • apply skills of self-reflection and information literacy to the orthopaedic clinical practice;
  • consult with peers, colleagues, other healthcare professionals, community agencies, legislative, legal and/or regulatory organizations in a collaborative manner for orthopaedic patient/client management;
  • demonstrate advanced clinical competencies through the use of evidence-based practice relevant to patient client management in orthopaedic physical therapy;
  • demonstrate service as consultant, educator, clinical instructor and patient advocate for orthopaedic physical therapy;
  • demonstrate independent ethical and moral decision making in orthopaedic physical therapy practice which is in the best interest of the patient;
  • create a professional development plan for leadership to contribute to the advancement of the orthopaedic physical therapy profession as a healthcare leader through professional and community contributions;
  • demonstrate independent decision making through advanced clinical reasoning and critical thinking patient values and current evidence in orthopaedic physical therapy practice.

Admission Requirements

See Admissions, Records, and Registration 

Program Requirements

USAHS’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.


  • A minimum of 1,500 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 (over the duration of the residency) of one-on-one mentoring in the clinic with a qualified and approved mentor

Applicants may choose to pursue their Orthopaedic Residency in the clinic where 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 on six APTA Orthopaedic section monoliths. The curriculum covers examination, evaluation, and treatment of common orthopaedic conditions and is organized into three terms: Spine, Upper Extremity, and Lower Extremity.

Additional Requirements

  • 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 three formal case presentations
  • Attend three residency skills labs (one per term: Spine, Upper Extremity, Lower Extremity)
  • Attendance at one 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.

Program Tuition and Fees

  • RF-PTCAS application fee
  • Administrative fee: $10,000.00 for the duration of the program
  • Cost of APTA/Ortho Section membership dues
  • Cost of attendance and travel to the Clinical Instructor (CI) Credentialing Course and professional conference
  • Cost of travel to the three required residency skills labs on the St. Augustine, Florida, 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.