Residency in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy
The Physical Therapy Program of Mercer University is proud to offer a postprofessional residency in orthopaedic physical therapy. This 13-month postprofessional program, credentialed by the APTA, is based upon the criteria set forth for credentialing by the American Physical Therapy Association and the Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Description of Specialty Practice. To learn about the principles that guide Mercer’s orthopaedic physical therapy residency program, please review our mission, program goals, and objectives.
The clinical residency program enables the physical therapist to accelerate their expertise in evaluation, examination, diagnosis, prognosis, intervention, and management of patients with orthopaedic dysfunction. Developed for new professionals and physical therapists with one or more years of practice, who are interested in significantly advancing their preparation as a provider of orthopaedic patient care, this program combines contemporary, evidence-based coursework with highly individualized, advanced clinical mentoring under the supervision of experienced clinicians. Frequently asked questions.
The residency begins in August of each year and runs for 13 consecutive months. A maximum of 12 residents are accepted to participate in the program each year. The residency in orthopedic physical therapy provides advanced clinical education training in the areas of management of patients with neuromusculoskeletal conditions of the following regions: spine (cervical, thoracic, and lumbar/sacroiliac) craniomandibular and extremities (shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, hip, knee, ankle, foot). Required coursework includes: curriculum.
The resident will also engage in 90 hours of Self-directed learning, 30 hours of Teaching and 30 hours of Service-learning. Residents will also be required to engage in a research project, case study or case series or other scholarly pursuits to add to the body of physical therapy knowledge. The expected outcome of the program is an advanced-practice clinician with knowledge and clinical reasoning skills advantageous for improved care with optimum outcomes for individuals with neuromusculoskeletal dysfunctions and movement impairments resulting in activity or participation restrictions. The curriculum of this residency is also designed to prepare physical therapists for the Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Specialty Certification Examination.
There are two ways you can obtain a residency position in the program:
- 1. If accepted become an employee of Mercer University’s Department of Physical Therapy. We have developed relationships with clinics in metro Atlanta and Columbus, Georgia. These clinics are our clinical partners where you will provide your clinical services.
All residents who are Mercer employees have appointments as Visiting Clinical Instructors. The resident provides patient care and receives mentoring in the clinical partner’s facility that is matched with the resident. Residents that become Mercer Employees are paid a competitive salary and have a 45-hour clinic schedule which includes 3 hours of 1:1 clinical mentoring. However, the fee for the program is waived. Benefits include Health Insurance, Life insurance, ten paid days off and five conference/service-learning days.
- 2. As an employee of a clinical facility in a non-physician owned practice. This employment status can be obtained independently or through the Residency Program. See the admissions page for Clinical Facility and Clinical Mentor requirements.
Residents employed or seeking employment by a clinical site are responsible for negotiating a competitive salary and benefits. The minimum benefit must include health insurance. The cost of the entire program is $8,500.00, which includes Current Concepts in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy, 3rd Edition from the Orthopaedic Section, APTA. Other books and materials are not included in this fee. Fees can be paid in 4 installments (August 15; November 15; April 15 and July 15).
Orthopaedic Residency Admissions
Applicants must submit all required admission information as instructed on the RF-PTCAS (Residency and Fellowship Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service) application. The application deadline for the Mercer University Residency in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy is March 1st.
This, in part, includes the following:
- Complete RF-PTCAS web-based application
- Correct RF-PTCAS application fee
- Official transcripts from every U.S. physical therapy college or university attended sent directly to RF-PTCAS. Official transcripts should not to be sent directly to Mercer University. RF-PTCAS does not accept student-issued transcripts or faxed copies.
- Three electronic letters of recommendation (eLOR's) sent directly to RF-PTCAS on standard form provided in the application. Two references at a minimum must be professional references. One reference may be a personal reference.
- Address the three essay questions that are part of the RF-PTCAS application. Mercer University does not require additional essays beyond those specified in the RF-PTCAS application.
- A resume or curriculum vitae is required and should be uploaded to RF-PTCAS. Do not send your resume or CV directly to Mercer University.
- Failure to submit all required materials as instructed may jeopardize eligibility for admission consideration.
RF-PTCAS P.O. Box 9128 Watertown, MA 02471 617-612-2875
Clinical Facility Requirements
Participation in the residency requires employment in a non-physician owned clinical environment in the state of Georgia that has a diverse population of patients with musculoskeletal dysfunctions. Employment is arranged by the resident and must be maintained for the completion of the program. A description of the clinical environment where you will be working must be provided. Include information about the patient population as it related to orthopaedic specialization. This information should be provided upon request.
Clinical Mentor Requirements
Licensed physical therapist with five years experience in a musculoskeletal setting or certified clinical specialist in orthopaedics. Graduates from an orthopaedic residency program can also serve as a clinical mentor. The mentor must be able to provide 3 hours of 1:1 clinical mentoring per week (150 hours total) for the resident. Your mentor’s resume/CV should be provided upon request.
Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee consisting of the Director of Post-Professional Education, Administrators, Adjunct Faculty, Clinical Faculty and Directors of each of the facilities.
Applications will be evaluated on the following criteria:
1. Academic education.
2. Written communication skills.
3. Clinical education and mentoring experiences.
4. Clinical experience in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy.
5. Community service.
6. Research experience.
Minimal eligibility requirements for acceptance into the program include:
2. A minimum GPA of 3.0 in Graduate or Undergraduate education.
Desirable applicants include those who:
1. Possess superior verbal and written communication skills.
2. Possess strong fundamentals in the principles of patient centered care, life-long learning, social responsibility and professionalism.
3. Possess fundamentals in clinical reasoning, manual examination and treatment procedures.
The application deadline is March 1st each year. Applications received after this date will not be considered. Superior candidates will be selected for an interview and evaluation of basic competencies with members of the selection committee.
For additional information regarding the Residency in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy program please contact: