Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many years of experience in the Physical Therapy field should I have before applying to the Orthopedic Residency Program?

    There is no minimum experience requirement to apply to the Program. We are able to tailor our Program to address the needs and experience level of each resident. Our past residents have ranged from new graduates to persons with 5+ years of experience and OCS credentials.

    When is the Application deadline?

    The Application deadline is February 1. Only one annual Application cycle with a Fall Semester start date is offered for the Orthopedic Residency Program.

    What is the size of an Orthopedic Residency Program class?

    A maximum of 8 residents may be accepted

    Will I be prepared to take the Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS) exam after I graduate?

    Yes. The Orthopedic Residency Program Curriculum is credentialed by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and is structured around the Orthopedic Physical Therapy Description of Specialty Practice assessment readiness guidelines, emphasizing the concepts and knowledge required for the OCS examination.

    What degree should I hold to apply to the Orthopedic Residency Program?

    A Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from an accredited physical therapy program is needed to apply to the Orthopedic Residency Program.

    How long is the program?

    The Orthopedic Residency Program begins in mid-August and runs for a period of one year. Work at the clinical site typically begins in early August.

    Can student loans be deferred while enrolled in the Program?

    Previous residents have been able to defer their student loans while in the Orthopedic Residency Program. However, individual lenders may have different requirements. Please check with your lender to confirm this information for your specific situation.

    Is an interview a required part of the Application process?

    Yes. A personal interview with Orthopedic Residency faculty members is a component t of the application process. Not all applicants who apply will be invited for an interview

    What are the requirements for successful completion of the residency?

    Requirements for successful completion include successfully passing written, oral and practical exams, examinations with patients. In addition each Resident must complete a case study suitable for submission for publication or participatein a qualified research project

    Must I be licensed to practice Physical Therapy in the State of California, USA?

    Yes. All Program residents must have a California state license prior to beginning the residency in August.

    Can I apply for the OCS exam while in the Program?

    Residents are eligible to apply for the Orthopedic Specialist Certification (OCS) exam while in the Program. Those currently holding the OCS designation may be eligible to use completion of the Program to fulfill re-certification requirements.

    Where will I practice if I am accepted to the residency program?

    Currently residents practice at one of our faculty practice sites or affiliated clinics.

    How does the USC Orthopedic Residency Program differ from many other residency programs?

    USC’s Orthopedic Residency Program is unique in that it is a university-based program that provides teaching opportunities as well as expert mentorship from Physical Therapist clinicians who focus on differential diagnosis and facilitate teamwork and cross education. USC residents also work with physicians each week as they see their patients. In addition to clinical practice, our residents are trained with a focus on education, research, and leadership. The Program’s university setting also makes tremendous resources including people, equipment, and facilities available to residents.

    Who is a typical USC Residency graduate?

    Our residents have an outstanding track record for achieving excellence in clinical practice, education, publication, and leadership. Our graduates can be found in private practice, running practices, starting clinics, working in a variety of settings, teaching at universities, enrolled in continuing education courses, publishing articles, and becoming involved in research and patient/profession advocacy. All graduates state that the networking and skills developed during their Orthopedic Residency Program have been and are integral to their success. Their Program experiences assisted them in developing their careers much more rapidly than their peers who did not complete USC’s Orthopedic Residency Program.

    Who are the regular faculty and mentors for the Orthopedic Residency Program?

    Regular faculty and mentors include:


    Annie Austin, DPT, OCS
    Jason Cozby, DPT, OCS
    Dan Farwell, DPT, OCS
    Erin Hayden, DPT, OCS
    Larry Ho, DPT, OCS
    Sally Ho, DPT
    Sean Johnson DPT, OCS
    Dan Kirages, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
    Rebecca Kern, DPT, OCS
    Kornelia Kulig, PhD, PT, FFAAOMPT
    Robert Landel, DPT, OCS
    Bernard Li, DPT, OCS
    Erin McDermott, DPT, OCS
    Eric Ordorica, DPT, OCS
    Steve Paulseth, DPT, SCS
    Susan Mais-Requejo, DPT
    Leslie Rudzinoki, DPT, OCS
    Yogi Matharu, DPT, OCS
    John Meyer, DPT, OCS
    Elizabeth Poppert, DPT, OCS
    Steve Reischl, DPT, OCS
    Erica Sigman, DPT, OCS
    Jonathan Sum, DPT, OCS, SCS
    Gary Souza, DPT, OCS
    Liz Souza, DPT, OCS, CHT

    Timothy Charleton, MD 
    Richard Hatch, MD
    John Itamura, MD
    Eric Millstein, MD
    James Tibone, MD
    David Thordarson, MD
    Thomas Vangsness, MD
    Michael Wang, MD
    Hugh Watts, MD 


    Who are the guest faculty for the Orthopedic Residency Program?

    The guest faculty varies, but in recent years has included: 


    William G. Boissonnault, PT, DHSc, FAAOMPT
    Richard Erhard, PT, DC
    Olaf Evjenth, PT
    Chukuka Enwemeka, PT, PhD, FACSM


    Timothy Flynn, PT, PhD, FAAOMPT
    Peter Gibbons DO, DM-SMed, MHsc
    Laurie Hartman, DO
    Phillip Tehan, DO, Dip, Physiotherapy, MHSc

    Who can I contact for more information or to get an application?

    For additional information about the Orthopedic Residency Program, please contact the Program Director, Erica Sigman PT, DPT, OCS, at or 323-865-1200.

    For an Orthopedic Residency Program Application, click here or contact Virginia Orcasitas at 323-442-2890 or