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Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency Program

The Physical Therapy Service at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center offers licensed physical therapists a year-long advanced practice residency in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy in partnership with Mount St. Joseph University.

Our residency program is accredited by the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE) as a postprofessional program for physical therapists in Orthopaedics and is funded by the Office of Academic Affiliations.  Residents will enjoy full-time employment while completing 150+ hours of 1:1 mentoring with Orthopaedic Clinical Specialists across a variety of settings.  Collaborative, interprofessional practice opportunities occur in the Emergency Department, Primary Care, PAVE Clinic that addresses preventative strategies for Veterans with high risk for amputation, MOVE! Wellness Program for weight management, Pain Management, Amputee Clinic, and Orthopedics.  Residents will manage a 32-hour patient caseload and have 8 hours to dedicate to self-study and a robust didactic curriculum that will be supplemented with a subscription to MedBridge during their time in the residency.  Our Program currently supports 1 resident annually.  Residents who successfully complete the program are eligible to sit for the Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS) exam.  This is a funded position with benefits.

Our mission is to prepare physical therapy residents for advanced specialty practice.  The Program will cultivate high-level physical therapists who integrate the teacher-scholar model into their clinical practice.  Through orthopedic clinical experiences under the mentorship of master clinicians, along with didactic learning in orthopedics, including observations, hands-on specialty care, teaching, service learning, and research, the Program will create consistently exceptional physical therapy practitioners who will be able to care for the whole patient embodying the spirit of “cura personalis”.

  • Prepare physical therapists to become advanced practice practitioners of Orthopedic Physical Therapy.
  • Develop and deliver an experiential curriculum that integrates the teacher-scholar model.
  • Contribute to an expanding body of knowledge in Orthopedic Physical Therapy.
  • Serve as a resource within professional, academic, and social communities.
  • Graduate physical therapists who demonstrate professional excellence/virtue and who are prepared to pursue American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) certification as a Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS).
  • Maintain American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE) accreditation.

As of 2021 the data includes 4/4 residents who are eligible to sit for examination in 2022:

100% graduation rate

No information on specialty board pass rate

3/4 or 75% employed in the VHA Healthcare System

Our core curriculum is composed of paced modules reflective of areas of importance in the care of the individual with orthopedic dysfunction.  The modules are comprised of independent readings, 1:1 didactic instruction, and integrated learning projects with opportunities for teaching, research and community service, along with supplemental online materials.  These modules and online training compliment weekly mentored advanced clinical practice in the area of orthopedic physical therapy across settings.

  • Professionalism
  • Education
  • Research
  • Telehealth
  • Veteran Health Issues
  • Leadership Development
  • Pharmacology
  • Differential Diagnosis
  • Healing & Tissue Regeneration
  • Injury Prevention
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Movement Analysis
  • Orthopedic Management of the Upper Quarter
  • Orthopedic Management of the Lower Quarter
  • Chronic Disease
  • Chronic Pain
  • Orthopedic Surgery
  • Amputation
  • Upper Extremity Orthotics
  • Lower Extremity Orthotics
  • Musculoskeletal Ultrasounds
  • Return to Work & Industrial Rehab

It is the intention of the Program to support APTA Clinical Instructor credentialing and attendance at the APTA Combined Sections Meeting within the residency unless in the case of unforeseen circumstances.

  • Acute Care/ICU
  • Outpatient
  • Emergency Room
  • Primary Care
  • Pediatric Observations at Cincinnati Children’s
  • Wellness Programs
  • University Engagement
  • US Citizenship
  • Graduation from a CAPTE accredited program
  • English language proficiency
  • Unrestricted State Licensure to practice physical therapy in a State, Territory or Commonwealth of the US or the District of Columbia, or demonstrated plan to achieve licensure before the start date of the residency
  • APTA and Section membership
  • Completion of Professional Portfolio and Compass
  • Completion of Personal Development Plan
  • Online Reflection Tool
  • 3 Formal Presentations to University Programs
  • Lab Assistant
  • MOVE! Instructor
  • Submission of Research Proposal
  • 2 Written reflections on application of research
  • Completion of PT Month Project
  • 2 Formal Case Studies
  • 5 In-service presentations addressing best evidence on relevant topic
  • Community Service project
  • 3 Quarterly Peer Reviews
  • 2 Written Exams
  • 5 Live Patient Evaluations
  • 2 Self-Assessment Tool submissions
  • 3 Resident Competency Evaluation Instrument submissions
  • Completion of all program requirements within a 12-month time frame
  • $45,496 stipend
  • Health insurance
  • Paid leave days: 13 vacation; 13 sick; 10 federal holidays
  • Personal workspace / laptop
  • Office supplies/support personnel
  • Scrubs/Lab Coat
  • Medical Media services
  • Medical Library access
  • Free parking
  • Teaching experience

Application Procedures:

A completed package through the APTA Residency/Fellowship Physical Therapist Centralized application Service (RF-PTCAS).

Application Acceptance:                 October – March

Interview:  Onsite/Virtual:             January – April

Notification of Acceptance:          No later than April 30

Program Begins:                               After July 4

Should you have any questions, please contact Alice Holder at alice.holder@va.gov

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