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Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency

Prisma Health’s orthopedic physical therapy residency is a clinical residency program. The program, which is administered by Physical Therapy Specialists, includes a multi-site clinic where the majority of the clinicians have advanced training in physical, occupational and speech therapy.

Cultivating excellence and advanced clinical skills

Our residency is a 12-month program with 30 hours of clinical practice and 10 hours of didactic learning experiences including lectures, labs, one-on-one training, self-paced learning modules and instruction at the University of South Carolina’s physical therapy program. Residents are paid as full-time team members of Prisma Health and are eligible for benefits provided to all team members. The residency is accredited by the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE).

What is a clinical residency?

According to the ABPTRFE a clinical residency is defined as the following:

“Residency programs are post-professional programs that occur after the graduate physical therapist has obtained their license to practice. Residency programs in physical therapy may be clinical programs that advance a physical therapist’s knowledge and skills in patient/client management or nonclinical focusing on advancing a physical therapist's career outside of their clinical duties.”

What are the benefits of a residency program?

The benefits of a residency program are:

  • Completion of an ABPTRFE accredited residency program is one of the ways an individual can qualify to sit for the specialist certification exam.
  • Those who participate in a clinical residency program have a 20–40% higher chance of passing the specialty exam the first time versus those who did not complete a residency.
  • Participants receive one-on-one mentoring from a board certified orthopedic physical therapy clinical specialist and fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy (AAOMPT).
  • Participants improve their marketability as a clinician.
  • Participants learn advanced and innovative clinical skills, improve clinical reasoning and analysis and become a leader in the field of orthopedic physical therapy.
Why choose Prisma Health’s residency program?

The mission of the Prisma Health’s Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency program is to cultivate excellence in residents by imparting advanced clinical skills and training through the utilization of didactic learning and by modeling clinical expertise, advanced clinical decision-making, integration of evidence and the use of innovative interventions that provide patients with superior care and outcomes.

The residency is offered by Physical Therapy Specialists, a hospital-based outpatient clinic with multiple sites that are part of Prisma Health. The clinic offers:

  • Physical, occupational and speech therapy services.
  • Nine specialty programs including neuroscience, post-concussion, women’s health, fall prevention and cancer rehabilitation. 
  • Five orthopedic, three geriatric and one neurological clinical specialist, in addition to five AAOMPT fellows.
  • Two full-time professors and four associated instructional/adjunct faculty members with the University of South Carolina Physical Therapy Program.

The residency program offers a comprehensive curriculum, which meets the minimum required hours of 1,800 total program hours, including 300 educational/instructional hours, 1,500 patient care/clinic hours that includes 150 hours of one-on-one mentoring throughout the course of the program.

Program application process

Application process opens: April 1 

Application process closes: June 30

Residency start date: Oct. 1

Residency end date: Sept. 30 of the following year

Applicants must submit all required admission information as instructed on the Residency and Fellowship Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (RF-PTCAS) application.

Access Application   

For additional information about our program or the application process, contact Forest Dutton, PT, at

View our program brochure (PDF)

Program evaluation tools

Prisma Health’s orthopedic physical therapy residency uses the ABPTRFE Orthopedic Description of Specialty Practice (DSP) as a guide to determine content areas that the resident is competent in. This instrument is completed after 50, 100 and 150 hours of mentoring is completed during the program. Other evaluative tools include:

  • Two teaching evaluations assessing teaching ability to DPT students or peers/colleagues.
  • A written mid-term and final exam based on course work taught in the residency.
  • Two live patient exams to evaluate clinical reasoning and orthopedic evaluation skills.
  • Completed case series and abstract write up for publication.

Program outcomes

  • 100% program graduation rate
  • 100% OCS exam first time pass rate