Jun 23, 2024  
2018-19 ATSU University Catalog 
2018-19 ATSU University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency

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Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program

This residency program is a post-professional curriculum designed to elevate the clinical skills and knowledge from a general practitioner to that of a clinical specialist in orthopedic physical therapy. Upon completion of the residency program the resident will be prepared to take the Orthopedic Board Certification exam with the American Physical Therapy Association and practice patient-centered evidence-based orthopedic physical therapy at the competence level of an orthopedic clinical specialist.

Program Mission

The mission of the A.T. Still University Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program is to graduate advanced practitioners of orthopedic physical therapy. These graduates will be ready to demonstrate excellence in the clinical practice of orthopedics, participate in continuing education courses and train other practitioners who will provide services to their local and professional community. Residents completing the orthopedic residency will be prepared to take the Orthopedic Clinical Specialist Exam (OCS) given by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. Graduates of the program will represent A.T. Still University’s values, including devotion to lifelong learning and excellence in education with clinical practice.

Length of Program

The 10 credit hour residency program can be completed in one year.


Tuition is due two weeks before the start of class. For programs that have payment per program, payment in full is due prior to the start of the program or per their admissions agreement on a quarterly payment schedule.  Delinquent tuition penalties accrue at 1.5% per month, which is 18% per year.



Application Process

ASHS’ Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency program participates in a centralized application processing service called the Residency/Fellowship Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (RF-PTCAS). Applications may be obtained through RF-PTCAS at https://rfptcas.liaisoncas.com/applicant-ux/#/login. Questions regarding the RF-PTCAS account may be directed to RF-PTCAS at 617.612.2086 or by email at rfptcasinfo@rfptcas.org. All other questions should be sent to Admissions at admissions@atsu.edu or 866.626.2878 ext. 2237.

Application Deadline

Application opens September 1, one year prior to the applicant’s anticipated enrollment. The deadline to apply through RF-PTCAS is July 15 of the year of anticipated enrollment.

Admission Requirements

Applicants for admission to the Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency program must meet the following requirements prior to matriculation.

Minimal eligibility requirements for acceptance into the program include:

  • Graduation from a CAPTE (Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education) physical therapy program
  • License to practice physical therapy in Arizona upon acceptance, prior to matriculation.
  • Employment in an approved clinical practice in Arizona with an approved clinical mentor
  • Personal malpractice liability coverage required upon acceptance, prior to matriculation.

Clinical Requirements

  • Resident must be employed in an approved physical therapy clinical setting in Arizona with a wide variety of patients with orthopedic musculoskeletal conditions
  • Resident must have an APTA orthopedic certified specialist provide 2.5 hours of one-on-one mentoring in patient care per week. Mentoring for each resident is an organized collaboration between the “site mentor” and core University faculty.

Application Requirements

  1. Submit primary application through RF-PTCAS at www.abptrfe.org.
    1. Items required of applicants in the RF-PTCAS primary application:
      1. Complete RF-PTCAS application and fee
  2. Program specific supplemental requirement:
    1. Supplemental fee of $70
    2. Additional information detailing clinical site and mentor
    3. Interview with residency program director and/or faculty
  3. All students are required to demonstrate proficiency in English when applying to the Arizona School of Health Sciences, A.T Still University. See the ASHS English Proficiency  section for more details.
  4. Applicants are expected to be computer literate and experienced in word processing. All curricula require extensive computer usage. Accepted applicants are required to have a laptop computer prior to the first day of class.
    1. See the Minimum Technology Specifications  under the General Admission Requirements section.

ASHS is looking for the following qualities in applicants to the residency program:

  • A Strong desire to advance clinical skills and knowledge
  • Strong communication in clinical reasoning skills
  • Evidence of self-initiative and self-responsibility
  • Commitment to patient-centered practice


The curriculum delivery is blended with online resources, directed learning activities, clinical mentoring, and laboratory practical course work.  The program has been developed to accommodate the full time working individual who is currently seeing patients in an outpatient clinical setting.  The program is 12 months in duration, and will be delivered in learning modules.

Each module will include content from the “Orthopedic Physical Therapy Description of Specialty Practice” on examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, intervention, and treatment outcomes for common musculoskeletal conditions.  Developing patient centered evidence-based practice will be the focus of each module.


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