Jefferson Physical Therapy Orthopedic Residency

The Orthopedic Residency Program

The Jefferson Orthopedic Residency program is a post-professional clinical and didactic education program, designed to advance a physical therapist’s preparation as a practitioner of choice in the field of orthopedic physical therapy. The program combines opportunities for ongoing clinical mentoring with a scientific basis for advanced practice. At the end of the experience, the resident will be academically and clinically prepared to pass the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialist (ABPTS) Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist Examination.


  • Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.
  • Strong applicants will demonstrate an ongoing interest in orthopedic physical therapy, strong written and verbal communication skills, professionalism, leadership, and sound entry-level clinical reasoning skills.
  • Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited DPT program and be eligible for a license in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
  • Applications are due by March 30th and December 31st.
  • Interviews are conducted in January and April with applicants being notified of acceptance by February 1st and May 1st.
  • The residency program begins the Winter Cohort in March and the Summer Cohort in August.

* This program is no longer accepting applications for the next Academic year.

Graduates of the program will demonstrate:

  1. Advanced skills in clinical decision-making and demonstrates broad expertise and clinical excellence in all orthopaedic cases.
  2. Professional and interpersonal skills necessary to be an effective leader in orthopedic physical therapy and serves as resource for orthopedic professional community.
  3. Exemplary ethics, professionalism, communication, initiative, and accountability.
  4. The ability to discuss, debate, present, and/or publish contemporary knowledge and concepts in orthopedic physical therapy.
  5. Leadership in the orthopedic physical therapy clinic, association, and/or community through participation in mentorship, teaching, advocacy, and/or health and wellness promotion.
  6. Advanced integration of science and theory with clinical decision-making in order to provide comprehensive evidence-based physical therapy services.
  7. Knowledge to sit for specialist board certification in orthopaedic physical therapy

Residency Structure/Curriculum

  • 12 months program (to be completed by maximum of 52 weeks)
  • 36-40 hours / week of patient care and 10-12 hours / week of 1:1 mentorship and didactic education in orthopedics organized into upper quarter and lower quarter modules implementing regional interdependence to improve clinical reasoning and content knowledge in the clinic.
  • Anatomy cadaver Lab to explore neurodynamics, special tests, manual therapy and improve your foundational knowledge.
  • Clinical observation of different specialty areas in conservative and surgical orthopaedic medicine.
  • Opportunity for mentorship from a variety of therapists with diverse backgrounds and experience in orthopedics, such as Fellows of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapists, Board-Certified Clinical Specialists in Orthopaedics, McKenzie Diploma Therapists, and other specialists throughout the Philadelphia region.
  • Teaching opportunities within the musculoskeletal series, Pro Bono Clinic, and Orthopedic Journal Club at Jefferson to improve resident’s ability to demonstrate clinical leadership.
  • Opportunity for research collaboration within the Physical Therapy Department to help you reach for professional goals


  • 100% of residents have successfully completed the residency program
  • 90% of residency graduates have passed the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) Certification Examination in Orthopedics

Thomas Jefferson University &
Jefferson Health

Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health are partners in providing excellent clinical and compassionate care for our patients in the Philadelphia region, educating the health professionals of tomorrow in a variety of disciplines and discovering new knowledge that will define the future of clinical care.