Skip to Content

Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program

Welcome to scenic Portland, Oregon! The Portland VA Orthopedic Residency Program in Physical Therapy (VAPORHCS) offers a yearlong Credentialed Orthopedic Residency program. We offer comprehensive, evidence-based curriculum and treatment strategies for the management of patients with orthopedic conditions. Our mentors are highly experienced specialist clinicians, who have the goal of advancing the level of practice of our residents and providing excellent care to our Veterans. We also have faculty with specialties, such as vestibular therapy and cardiology who supplement the curriculum.

Portland Sunrise

VAPORHCS is accredited by the American Board of Physical Therapy and Residency Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE).

Mission/Vision Statement

Mission Statement:

The VA Portland Health Care System’s Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program is devoted to the future of orthopedic physical therapy while providing exceptional care to our nation’s Veterans. We strive to create expert orthopedic physical therapists through a blend of evidence-informed education, research review, and mentors with advanced clinical skills; all in service to the Veteran.

Vision Statement:

We strive to provide exceptional health care as part our commitment to the mission of the VA, placing the health and well-being of the Veteran at the center of our care. Residents are trained to be advanced practitioners and master collaborators within an integrated team environment. By training outstanding clinicians, we fulfill a need for efficient orthopedic physical therapy care to allow more widespread delivery of health care services for those who served our Nation.


Residents will receive 150+ hours of 1:1 mentoring with designated patients and 300+ Hours of Education with mentors and faculty. The curriculum is broken up into modules that vary from 2-6 weeks per topic.  We also offer a teaching-assistant opportunity with Pacific University's Orthopedic Manual Therapy Lab.
Topics include:

Advanced Orthopedic PT Examination and interventions

  • TMJ
  • Cervical
  • Shoulder
  • Thoracic Spine/Ribs
  • Lumbar Spine
  • Pelvis/SI/Coccyx/Abdomen
  • Hip
  • Knee
  • Leg/Ankle/Foot
  • Elbow/wrist and hand

Pediatric Considerations
Geriatric Care
Chronic Pain
Musculoskeletal Screening/Pharmacology


AOPT Residency Curriculum:

  • Current Concepts of Orthopedic Physical Therapy, 4th Edition
  • Postoperative Management of Orthopedic Surgeries
  • Pharmacology
  • Frontiers in Orthopedic Science
  • Basic Research Methods for Understanding PT Literature
  • Screening for Orthopedics


  • Coursework and Literature Reviews on Specific topics, such as Pediatric Orthopedics

Residency Experiences

The resident will be exposed to varied clinical scenarios. This will be accomplished by working with colleagues and shadowing in the resident’s choice of clinics which include:

  • Primary Care PT
  • Amputee Clinic
  • Pain Clinic
  • Injection Clinic
  • Orthopedic Clinic/Surgery observation
  • Cast Clinic
  • Whole Health Clinic opportunities/Chronic Pain
  • Teaching a class in Active movement, Teaching a Chronic Pain class
  • Inpatient Treatment (Orthopedics)

Leader of Journal Club gaining presentation experience, with possibility of presenting to a national VA PT audience

MedBridge Education Subscription

Graduation Requirements

✓ Complete 1800 total program hours
✓ Pass Fall and Spring Written Examinations
✓ Pass Fall and Spring Live-Patient Examinations
✓ Participation and successful presentation of scholarly work
✓ Active moderator for Journal Club
✓ Complete all clinical reasoning assignments, critical appraisal of literature, and self-reflection activities.

Resident Employment Benefits

Physical therapy residents are employed by the VA Portland Health Care System in a not-to-exceed 365 days hire position. As such they are entitled to the following benefits:

  • Stipend is annually set by VA Central Office and subject to change.
    • Recent salary range around $57,000
  • 13 Vacation days
  • 13 Sick days which are separate from vacation days.
  • 11 paid Federal Holidays
  • Health Insurance
  • Personal workstation
  • Access to online library services
  • Access to continuing education.
  • Streamlined hiring and hiring events dedicated to recruiting Resident trainees into Federal Government Careers
  • Please note, parking is not provided and you will be responsible for your own transportation.

Admission Process

Minimum Standards

  • U.S. Citizens
  • English language proficiency
  • Current, full, active, and unrestricted license to practice PT in a state, territory of
  • Commonwealth of the United States, or in the District of Columbia
  • OR a current doctoral student from a CAPTE-accredited physical therapy program who graduates and obtains licensure prior to the start of the residency.
  • Ability to comply with PVAMC application and employment requirements including completion of required federal forms.

Application Procedures

  • Interested applicants must apply through the Residency and Fellowship Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (RF-PTCAS).
  • DPT students are eligible to apply, provided they are licensed prior to the tentative start date.
  • A completed application package is required to be selected for interview by the Residency Committee
  • The interview process will be conducted in January and February
  • Candidate Selection: Early March
  • A waitlist will be compiled.
  • The top candidate has 1 week to make decision, otherwise, the program will advance the wait list to the next most qualified candidate until a signed resident application is received.
  • Upon selection, the candidate must meet all criteria for federal employment as a VA postdoctoral student.
  • Start date will be mid – July.

Non-Discrimination/Reasonable Accommodations Notice

  • The United States Government does not discriminate in employment based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, age, membership in an employee organization, or other non-merit factor.
  • Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Program Outcomes

Initial Accreditation: 5/2023
1/1 participants successfully graduated from residency.
Our Initial resident has taken the OCS exam.  We are awaiting results.



Dr. Ethelbert Yap PT, DPT, OCS - Dr. Yap is one of our core mentors in the program, providing education, as well as mentoring sessions throughout the resident’s tenure. EB received his BSPT in the Philippines and gained his DPT at Shenandoah University in 2014. He has dedicated his career to working in outpatient orthopedics. He has gained specialized certifications in McKenzie Treatment and Chronic Pain Certification, as well as his OCS.

Dr. Logan Richardson PT, DPT, OCS - Dr. Richardson gained his BS in Exercise and Sport Science form Oregon State University and his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Chapman University. Logan is an outpatient provider in Salem, Oregon, focusing on orthopedics, neurological patients and treating vestibular patients. His specialized areas of interests include functional strength training research, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization and telemedicine technology and virtual healthcare. Outside of work he enjoys family time, strength training and board games.

Duncan Bremner PT OCS – Duncan has been a clinician for 27 years and has been with the orthopedic residency program since inception. He received his Physical Therapy Master’s at the University of Maryland in 1996. He works as both an Orthopedic Physical Therapist Specialist and treatment of Neuro patients at the Vancouver, WA Branch of the Portland VA Health Care System.

Dr. Carla Guerrero PT, DPT, OCS – Carla graduated with her Master’s in Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California and received her DPT from Evidence in Motion. She also received her manual therapy certification form Evidence in Motion and Certification in Lymphedema treatment from Klose Training. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking and walks with family.


Lawrence (Jerry) St. Amand, OTR/L, CHT - Jerry received his BS in Occupational Therapy and an MS in Exercise Science. He has been working for 19+ years as an Occupational Therapist with 16 of those years as a Hand Therapist. He has been employed at the VA and on Active Duty and the Army reserves. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with family/friends, especially when doing activities like camping, hiking, various forms of exercise (running, lifting weights, endurance races (triathlon) and watching action or historical movies.

Dr. Elizabeth O’Donnell – Dr. O’Donnell received her DPT form the University of North Florida and her Neurologic Physical Therapy (NCS) Specialization in 2015. She is going to be teaching the Vestibular component of our program. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with family and gardening.

Dr. Hannah Burkhart – Dr. Burkhart received her Physical Therapy degree from George Fox University. She is the Director of the Amputee Rehabilitation Program at the Portland, VA Health Care System. She has special interests in Amputee Rehabilitation including return to running and Parkinson’s Disease Rehabilitation.

Dr. Gavin McBride – Dr. Mcbride received his degree from George Fox University and his MS degree from the University of Utah. He has also completed a residency in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy, earning his Board Certification as a Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Specialist and he also holds a Strength and Conditioning Specialist certification. In his spare time, he enjoys biking, skiing and research.

Contact information.
For additional questions or inquiries please contact:
Carla Guerrero PT, DPT
Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy
Orthopedic PT Residency Program Director