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About the Program

The Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program begins each September and lasts for 12 months.

During the year, you’ll participate in 300 hours of educational content, at least 150 hours of direct collaborative learning with your supervising mentor, and at least 1,500 hours of direct patient care.

As an employee of UT Southwestern Medical Center, you’ll see patients under the supervision of your mentor and Residency Program faculty members. You’ll maintain a patient load of 30-32 hours per week.

You’ll spend the remaining 8-10 hours a week on additional learning opportunities, including journal club participation, academic teaching in the undergraduate DPT program, in-service presentation, research development, physician rounds and conferences, poster/platform presentation at a state or national meeting, and attendance at four weekend didactic courses.

Expectations

The Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program is an active learning process that requires you to participate in independent learning activities and complete assignments on time. There are multiple reviews, as well as mid-term and final written and practical examinations (including live patients) to ensure that you understand the material and attain specific skills.

We’ll expect you to conduct or contribute to a research project that culminates in a poster or platform presentation at a national or state meeting. We’ll also expect you to sit for the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties' orthopedic clinical specialist certification exam within 6 months of completing the Residency.

The residency functions in full compliance with all UTSW policies. We maintain a strict attendance policy and may end your residency if you cancel or fail to attend required shifts or courses. When circumstances warrant it, and an absence is unavoidable, the Residency Director and Residency Advisory Committee may provide make-up activities and opportunities.

Objectives

The goal of the Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program is to provide a comprehensive continuing education experience that enhances your ability to examine, assess, and treat orthopedic patients. At the end of your residency, you’ll be fully prepared to sit for the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties' orthopedic clinical specialist certification exam and continue your training with a fellowship in a specific area of orthopedic practice if desired.

At the conclusion of the Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program, successful residents will be able to:

  • Explain the clinical reasoning skills needed to prioritize examination, assessment, and treatment techniques
  • Continue to monitor personal clinical skill levels
  • Conduct an effective and comprehensive subjective examination that enables development of a working clinical hypothesis of the primary problem before performing an objective examination
  • List hypothesis categories for each patient and identify the relative information associated with each category, using patient demonstrations and case studies
  • Perform an integrated physical examination—including differential diagnosis—for the craniofacial, cervicothoracic spine, lumbopelvic girdle, upper extremity, and lower extremity regions
  • Perform passive joint mobilization and manipulation techniques using the grades of movement for all areas, and integrate these techniques into a treatment plan
  • Perform specific soft tissue assessment and treatment techniques for all areas and integrate these techniques into the treatment plan
  • Create appropriate specific clinic and home therapeutic exercise program techniques related to all areas of examination, and integrate these techniques into the treatment plan
  • Critically analyze current scientific literature and conduct clinical research projects

Credentialing

The American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education has credentialed the Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program through December 31, 2025. If you have a question about accreditation, please contact the ABTRFE directly, in care of the American Board of Physical Therapy.

American Board of Physical Therapy
1111 North Fairfax Street
Arlington, Virginia 22314
Phone: 800-999-2782, ext 8552
www.abptrfe.org