Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency

With hands-on experience, dedicated mentoring and dynamic classroom instruction, our orthopedic residency gives you the specialized skills you need to provide the finest physical therapy for patients with orthopedic disorders and injuries.

You will gain proficiency in assessing, evaluating and treating injuries; expand the body of knowledge in orthopedic physical therapy by conducting and publishing clinical research; and make lasting contributions to your field through teaching and leadership.

Curriculum and Training

Our orthopedic residency curriculum uses a combination of formal and informal educational, clinical and academic activities, as well as mentored direct care of patients at one of our USC faculty practices or in a private outpatient orthopedic clinic directed by USC adjunct faculty members.

In addition to 26–30 hours per week in the clinic, you will also serve as a teaching assistant for physical therapy courses at USC and publish original research.

An orthopedic resident’s typical week includes:

  • 4 hours of mentored clinical physical therapy practice with patients
  • 4 hours of mentoring with physicians in clinic
  • 5–10 hours per week as a teaching assistant in the entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy courses (or additional clinical hours)

In addition, several hours each week will be spent on coursework and literature review sessions.

Our program provides three times the minimum instructional hours and one-third more physical therapy mentoring hours than the American Physical Therapy Association’s minimum requirements.

The one-year residency begins in late July.

Admissions Requirements

To qualify for the USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy’s orthopedic residency, you must be a graduate of an APTA-accredited program in physical therapy and eligible for licensure as a physical therapist in California.

In residency candidates, we are looking for leadership potential; a desire to advance clinical knowledge, skills and abilities; demonstrated clinical aptitude; strong communication skills; and initiative and responsibility.

Costs

One-year residency tuition is $2,500, which can be paid in one or two installments over the course of the year.

Residents are paid for 20–30 hours per week of clinical time, with salaries varying by clinic. Four hours per week of mentored physical therapy patient care and four hours per week of physician mentoring are not paid.

You will also receive pay for any hours served as a teaching assistant in physical therapy courses at USC; teaching is optional.

You will be responsible for your living expenses and transportation to clinical facilities. Because of limited public transportation in Los Angeles, a car may be necessary. Upon request, we can provide suggestions for where and how to find housing. You will also be responsible for purchase of personal tablets or laptops, textbooks, scrubs and supplies.

While a resident, you may be able to defer any student loans; check with your individual lender(s) on their requirements.

Apply

To apply for the orthopedic residency, visit the Residency and Fellowship Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (RF-PTCAS), create a login and indicate that you are applying for the USC orthopedic physical therapy residency.

We require:

  • transcripts
  • three letters of recommendation
  • a career statement
  • a CV/résumé
  • a formal in-person interview

The application and other documents are due February 1. You will be notified of the admissions committee’s decision by the second week of February. You will then have 48 hours to accept or decline an invitation to interview in-person in March on the USC Health Sciences Campus.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact Erica Sigman, PT, DPT, OCS, orthopedic residency program director, at esigman@usc.edu.