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Orthopaedic Residency

  • What is residency? The American Physical Therapy Association defines residency as "a planned program of post-professional clinical and didactic education for physical therapists that is designed to significantly advance the physical therapist resident's preparation as a provider of patient care services in a defined area of clinical practice. It combines opportunities for ongoing clinical supervision and mentoring with a theoretical basis for advanced practice and scientific inquiry."

    Residency programs are a minimum of nine months in duration and consist of at least 1,500 hours of clinical experience and education. As of January 2015, there are 82 Orthopaedic Residency Programs credentialed by the APTA.

    The KORT Orthopaedic Residency Program is a one-year, full-time intensive program that is designed to maximize the learning opportunities for the resident. The program’s mission has three primary goals:

    • Provide an educational experience that creates physical therapists who are clinical experts in 
      all realms of orthopaedic physical therapy practice

    • Produce physical therapists who are leaders and change agents within the profession and 

    • Prepare physical therapists with the understanding of fundamental physical therapy business 
      principles in order to navigate the ever-changing care-delivery environments

    To achieve these goals, the residency program is built around a unique model where one learns at his or her clinic, engaging his or her patient’s – not the residency mentor’s patients. The program strives to maintain a 2:1 faculty-to-resident ratio and incorporates >160 hours of 1:1 mentoring. This is combined with hundreds of hours of didactic work that combines self-study, in-person coursework/labs, and online technology.  Additionally, residents selected for the program interact with other healthcare professionals, engage in community service work, and create a case presentation. In keeping with our mission of high quality education and mentoring experiences, the program requires application and rigorous vetting of candidates for the valuable residency slots.  One will not find this model in residencies that are primarily online or in traditional settings – the KORT Orthopaedic Residency Program revolves around the resident’s practice life. 


    As residents are full-time employees of KORT, they maintain full salary and benefits over the duration of the program and their patient care schedules are accommodated for residency training. The resident does not pay for the program, but commits to working full-time with KORT for a pre-determined period of time after successfully graduating from residency.

  • Testimonials

    • "Working through the residency has really opened my eyes to the difference between acceptable and exceptional therapy. It gave me a chance to learn from leading clinicians, which not only let me build my skills while in the program but highlighted areas for me to continue to work on going forward. It was an excellent preparation for the OCS exam but more importantly provides a solid basis for clinical practice." Jon Beougher, Resident 2011
    • "The KORT Orthopaedic Residency has profoundly influenced my clinical skills in a number of ways. As a new graduate, I lacked confidence when evaluating and developing a plan of care for my more complex patients. My evaluation process was scattered. I had a tool box full of manual therapy skills and exercises that I didn't really know how to implement during treatment. Now, as a result of Residency training, I can complete a detailed, thorough and efficient evaluation and develop a focused and effective care plan for my patients. My manual therapy skills have also grown exponentially, both with variety and technique. During PT school I learned how to find research articles, but during the residency was shown how to incorporate current best evidence into patient care. The Residency was also great preparation for the OCS exam, which I took and passed at the first attempt." Laura Bandy, Resident 2011
    • “The obvious benefit of furthering education with the KORT Residency Program was the sharpening of my manual therapy skills, exercise prescription, and critical thinking. The surprising benefit was the improved communication and trust I’ve developed with my patients. By establishing this connection, I’m getting more detailed histories and life stories that lead me to improved PT diagnoses and treatments. The residency showed me that it’s extremely important to fine tune our skills as Physical Therapists, but not to forget that connecting with our patients can change everything,” Elliot Mattingly, Resident 2014