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Joseph Godges, DPT, MA, OCS


Clinical Professor of Physical Therapy


1540 Alcazar St., CHP 155,
Los Angeles, CA 90089-9006


Joe Godges serves in a part-time capacity at the division. His primary focus is to support clinical residency and fellowship programs and the professional development of clinical instructors through high quality continuing education. Dr. Godges coordinates the efforts of USC to provide the didactic instruction to support the expanding number of clinical residency and fellowship programs across the nation, and the world, as well as to meet the needs of physical therapists seeking cutting edge post-graduate clinical education. This instruction is currently provided for clinicians using both weekend format as well as modular, consecutive day formats.

USC also co-sponsors the didactic component of orthopaedic physical therapy residency education and continuing education seminars with Professional Physical Therapy in New York City and Agile PT in the San Francisco Bay area – where he teaches the seminars alongside clinical faculty of clinical residency and fellowships programs at Professional PT and Agile PT.

Dr. Godges is the curriculum coordinator of the USC Internship, Residency, and Fellowship Programs at Intech Rehabilitation affiliated clinics in Beijing, Tongi University School of Medicine affiliated clinics in Shanghai, and Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine affiliated clinics in Fuzhou, China. In these programs, USC clinical faculty provide classroom/lab training and direct clinical supervision to US-trained, licensed physical therapists and DPT student interns alongside their professional colleagues trained in China.

Previously, he was the clinical coordinator of the physical therapy clinical residency and fellowship programs for Kaiser Permanente in Southern California. His physical therapy career began in the US Army as a physical therapist in the Army Medical Specialist Corps.

From 2006 to 2017, Dr. Godges was the coordinator and editor of the ICF-based Clinical Practice Guidelines for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy and the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy. He has also served terms on the Orthopaedic Specialty Council of the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties, on the APTA’s Committee on Clinical Residency and Fellowship Credentialing, and on the American Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy and JOSPT Board of Directors. Dr. Godges was among the first group of 26 clinical specialists in orthopaedic physical therapy, originally certified in 1989. He attained his third OCS recertification in 2019.

  • Doctor of Physical Therapy, Loma Linda University
  • Master of Arts, Counseling Psychology, Loyola Marymount University
  • Master of Science, Physical Therapy, U.S. Army-Baylor University
  • Bachelor of Science, Sports Medicine, Pepperdine University
  • Cunningham S, Jackson R, Herbal K, Godges J. “The development of a reliable assessment tool to measure clinical performance of orthopaedic physical therapy residents during patient management.” J Phys Ther Educ. 2019;33:31-39.
  • Yung E, Asavasopon S, Godges JJ. “Screening for head, neck, and shoulder pathology in patients with upper extremity signs and symptoms.” J Hand Ther. 2010;23:173–186
  • Jones S, Bellah C, Godges JJ. “A comparison of professional development and leadership activities between graduates and non-graduates of physical therapist clinical residency programs.” J Phys Ther Educ. 2008:22:85-88.
  • Childs JD, Cleland JA, Elliott JM, Teyhen DS, Wainner RS, Whitman JM, Sopky BJ, Godges JJ, Flynn TW. “Neck pain: a clinical practice guideline linked to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health from the Orthopaedic Section of the American Physical Therapy Association.” J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2008;38(10): A1-A39
  • Godges JJ, Anger MA, Zimmerman G, Delitto A. The effects of education on return-to-work status for patients with fear-avoidance beliefs and acute low back pain. Phys Ther. 2008;88:231–239.
  • Johnson A, Godges JJ, Zimmerman G. “The effect of anterior versus posterior glide joint mobilization on external rotation range of motion of patients with shoulder adhesive capsulitis. pain.” J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2007;37:88-99.
  • Asavasopon S, Jankoski J, Godges JJ, “Clinical diagnosis of vertebrobasilar insufficiency: resident’s case problem.” J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2005;35:645-650.
  • Pho C, Godges JJ. “Management of whiplash-associated disorders addressing thoracic spine impairments: a case report.” J Ortho Sports Phys Ther. 2004;34:511-523.


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