Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program
This residency program is a postprofessional curriculum designed to elevate the clinical skills and knowledge from a general practitioner to that of a clinical specialist in orthopedic physical therapy. Upon completion of the residency program the resident will be prepared to take the Orthopedic Board Certification exam with the American Physical Therapy Association and practice patient-centered, evidence-based orthopedic physical therapy at the competence level of an orthopedic clinical specialist.
Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency program curriculum overview
The curriculum delivery is blended with online resources, directed learning activities, clinical mentoring, and laboratory practical course work. The program has been developed to accommodate the full time working individual who is currently seeing patients in an out patient clinical setting. The program is 12 months in duration, and will be delivered in eight learning modules.
Each module will include content from the “Orthopedic Physical Therapy Description of Specialty Practice” on examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, intervention, and treatment outcomes for common musculoskeletal conditions. Developing patient centered evidence-based practice will be the focus of each module.
- Continuing education courses included in tuition
- Skill development sessions with core residency faculty
- Case study webinars on resident’s patients
- Clinical expert shadowing
Following our residency program all of our graduates have continued with their professional development. They are all educators in their clinical practice, some have gone on to formal adjunct faculty positions in academics, and are instructors in continuing education courses. Several graduates have opened their own clinical practices and have gone on to fellowship training. Many of graduates have taken the board exam and have become certified clinical specialist. Our current pass rate is 83%. We have 34 alumni from our 10 years of providing residency education and promoting excellence in the clinical specialty practice of Orthopedic physical therapy.
- Resident must be employed in an approved physical therapy clinical setting in Arizona with a wide variety of patients with orthopedic musculoskeletal conditions.
- Resident must have an APTA orthopedic certified specialist provide 2.5 hours of one-on-one mentoring in patient care per week. Mentoring for each resident is an organized collaboration between the “site mentor” and core University faculty.
- Submit primary application through RF-PTCAS at https://rfptcas.liaisoncas.com. Application opens Oct. 1, one year prior to anticipated enrollment.
- The deadline to apply through RF-PTCAS is May 1st of the year of anticipated enrollment.
- Applicants are encouraged to apply early.
Items required of applicants in the RF-PTCAS primary application:
- Complete RF-PTCAS application:
- Official transcripts from every PT U.S. college and university attended;
- Correct RF-PTCAS application fee
- 3 received electronic Evaluations
Program specific supplemental requirements:
- Supplemental fee of $70;
- Additional information detailing clinical site and mentor;
- Interview with Residency Program Director or faculty.
**Program does not require additional Evaluations aside from those included in the RF-PTCAS primary application.
Qualities desired for Residency applicants
- Strong desire to advance clinical skills and knowledge;
- Strong communication skills;
- Evidence of self-initiative and self-responsibility;
- Commitment to patient-centered practice.
PT 851 - Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency 1+
5 credit hours
This course will begin by developing a framework to assist the resident in thinking about and discussing clinical reasoning during the orthopedic physical therapy residency. The framework for clinical reasoning will then be used to discuss the management of patients with orthopedic conditions of the following body regions: lumbo-pelvic, cervical thoracic, and shoulder. Current evidence supporting the management of patients with these conditions will be presented. Topics for each body region will include examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, interventions, and outcomes.
PT 852 - Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency 2+
5 credit hours
The framework for clinical reasoning will be used to discuss the management of patients with orthopedic conditions of the following boy regions: hip, knee, foot and ankle, elbow, wrist, and hand. Current evidence supporting the management of patients with these conditions will be presented. Topics for each body region will include examination, evaluation, diagnosis, prognosis, interventions, and outcomes. This course will also review the foundational knowledge and application of musculoskeletal imaging to orthopedic physical therapy. This course will also include a clinical education unit.
Review tuition and fees for the Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency program. Please note tuition and fees are subject to change.
Director, Physical Therapy Orthopedic Residency Program
Dr. Manton is an assistant professor in physical therapy. Dr. Manton received his doctor of physical therapy degree from A.T. Still University School of Health Sciences in 2001. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University in exercise science. Dr. Manton has over 15 years of physical therapy experience in the outpatient orthopedic setting. His teaching areas include musculoskeletal conditions and therapeutic exercise. Dr. Manton’s research interests include physical therapy management of patients with musculoskeletal conditions, and physical therapy education.
Dr. Hodges is the program director of the physical therapy orthopedic residency program and is an associate professor of physical therapy for the residential program. Dr. Hodges received her entry level physical therapy degree from Northern Arizona University and continued on to the University of South Australia for her masters degree in manipulative therapy. From there she received her doctorate at A.T. Still University of Health Sciences. She has over 30 years of clinical experience in orthopedic physical therapist and has been teaching in the entry-level program at ATSU since 2008. Dr. Hodges’ research interests are in the lumbo-pelvic region.
Timothy Fearon received his PT degree from The Ohio State University in 1978. He completed the Musculoskeletal Sequence graduate program at Northwestern University. He completed his Doctorate in Physical Therapy at Northern Arizona University. While doing extensive long term study with the Folsom Physical Therapy group he founded Phoenix Manual Therapy, which initially offered courses, based on the Nordic System of orthopaedic manual therapy. Phoenix Manual Therapy progressed to offering a long-term course frame for study of the Australian approach to orthopedic manual therapy and integration of Norwegian techniques. The course has been running over the last 23 years. He has participated as both a student and instructor through out those years. He earned his Full Fellowship status in the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Therapy by the challenge process in 1999. He has been specializing in orthopedic manual therapy and spinal rehabilitation for the last 25 years. Dr. Fearon is currently adjunct faculty at A. T. Still University where he teaches manual therapy of the spine and extremities. He has been a guest instructor for NAU, Arizona School of Health Sciences, Langston University, and North Georgia College. He has taught manual therapy courses over the last 15 years, spoken at numerous meetings for the Arizona Physical Therapy Association, and for the APTA.
Christina Cuka is an assistant professor at A.T. Still University in the physical therapy program. Dr. Cuka earned her master’s degree in physical therapy from Regis University, a doctoral degree from the Ola Grimsby Institute and a doctor of science in physical therapy from Andrews University.Additionally, Dr. Cuka is a board certified clinical specialist through the American Physical Therapy association and a fellow in the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy.She has been a practicing clinician for over 17 years in outpatient orthopedics.For the last decade, she has operated a private practice and functioned as affiliate faculty in Regis University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program.Her specialties and research interests include anatomy, manual therapy, spine and scoliosis. Dr. Cuka joined ATSU’s physical therapy faculty in 2018.
Carrie Robinson is an assistant professor at A.T. Still University in the physical therapy program. She received her doctor of physical therapy degree from Northern Arizona University in 2012 and bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Brigham Young University in 2009. She completed the orthopedic residency at Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions and is a Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist. Dr. Robinson’s primary clinical practice has focused on outpatient orthopedics, and she has functioned as a clinical instructor, lab instructor, and term faculty at Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions. Her professional interests and research include bio-mechanics, therapeutic exercise, working with young athletes and dancers, treating orthopedic populations through the life span, and physical therapy education. Dr. Robinson joined ATSU’s faculty in 2019.
Dr. Ann Lee Burch is the dean of A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS). Dr. Burch received her doctor of education from Columbia University, Teachers College in 2005. She received her masters of public health from Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health in 2002 and her masters of physical therapy from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1989. She was a postdoctoral fellow with the Research Group on Health Disparities at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her BA is in psychology from the University of Rochester.
Prior to her appointment as dean, Dr. Burch served as vice dean for ATSU-ASHS. She served as the chair of the Physical Therapy Department from 2008-January 2012. Prior to ATSU, Dr. Burch was the director of physical therapy at the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She has held administrative and/or faculty positions at the International Center for the Disabled in NY, NY, Mercy College in NY, and Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY.
Dr. Burch’s area of scholarly interest and application of that interest is in knowledge, attitudes, and self-efficacy of health care providers and healthcare professional students towards underrepresented patient/client groups.
Dr. Burch is the author of a Guide to Physical Therapy (Vault Publishers) which was written to increase information access about physical therapy to both high school graduates and re-entry adults. She was a co-investigator on an NIH grant at the University of Puerto Rico exploring the feasibility of an exercise program for breast cancer survivors living in San Juan. Dr. Burch has lived in Symi, Greece, Taipei, Taiwan, Ahmdebad, India and San Juan, Puerto Rico, and is committed to research, teaching and service that further the understanding of the impact of socioeconomic and cultural variables on health.
She was a member of the class of 2014 cohort of Women in Educational Leadership at Harvard Graduate School of Education. In 2017 she was the co-PI on a Centers for Disease Control, Association for Prevention and Teaching grant exploring a population health case study format for teaching and communicating the impact of social determinants of health on health disparities. She was recently appointed a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission.
Dr. Salas-Provance, is professor and vice dean of A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS). Dr. Salas-Provance received her doctorate in speech science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She received her masters of health administration from the University of Missouri School of Medicine-Columbia. She holds both a bachelors and masters in Speech Pathology from New Mexico State University.
Prior to her appointment as vice dean, Dr. Salas-Provance served as associate dean of academic and student affairs for the School of Health Professions at the University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston. She served as assistant dean and chair in the College of Education, Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico and department chair in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Montevallo (AL). She held faculty positions at Fontbonne College and St. Louis University, in St. Louis, MO.
She has made extensive professional contributions to the American, Speech, Language & Hearing Association (ASHA), serving on the Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council, member of the Financial Planning Board, and the Multicultural Issues Board. She served as coordinator of ASHA’s Special Interest Group (SIG) 14, Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse populations and was a founding member and coordinator of SIG 17, Global Issues in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is an ASHA Fellow and received ASHA’s highest awards for “Special Recognition in Multicultural Affairs” and “Outstanding Contributions in International Achievement.”
Dr.Salas-Provance has served as a clinical educator throughout her academic career, especially related to children with cleft lip and palate. She is a member of an international medical team with Rotaplast International and has traveled worldwide for over 15 years to provide clinical services to children with cleft palate. She implemented a program for graduate students in speech pathology to provide clinical services in Spanish to children with cleft palate in Lima, Peru. In addition to Lima, Peru she has provided clinical services in China, Bangladesh, Philippines, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Venezuela.
Dr. Salas-Provance is coauthor of the textbook Culturally Responsive Practices in Speech-Language and Hearing Science (Plural Publishing, 2019) which meets the needs for training students in healthcare professions regarding practice with individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse populations. Her research is focused on attitudes towards disability by diverse populations and addressing the use of language interpreters during healthcare and educational encounters.
Over the past ten years she has lectured extensively to international audiences, both in English and Spanish, including as invited speaker for the Congreso Internacional en Trastornos de la Comunicacion at Escuela de Fonoaudiologia (Speech Language Pathology / Audiology) de la Universidad de Talca, Chile and for the Department of Otolaryngology, Hospital Nacional Arzobispo Loayza, Lima, Peru, Endoscopic Evaluation of Velopharyngeal Dysfunction. She was invited keynote speaker for the First International Congress in Speech-Language Pathology and Orthodontics in the area of cleft lip and palate in Lima, Peru.
Dr. Salas-Provance was selected for the American Council on Education (ACE) Women’s Leadership Program and attended the National Women’s Leadership Forum in Washington DC (2017) for advancing female executives in higher education.
Review the University Catalog to learn more about the Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency program. Also read detailed course descriptions and dissertation specifications for the Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency program and find answers to many of your questions regarding application information and tuition.
Orthopedic physical therapy residency faculty
Outcome Data +
Year Admitted Graduated 2020-2021 6 6 2019-2020 6 6 2018-2019 6 6 2017-2018 4 4 2016-2017 3 3 2015-2016 5 5 2014-2015 2 2 2013-2014 4 4 2012-2013 4 4 2011-2012 3 3 2010-2011 3 3
Orthopedic Clinical Specialist Examination Pass Rate
Year First Time Pass Rate Overall Pass Rate 2021 100% (5/5) 85.7% (30/35) 2020 100% (5/5) 83.3% (25/30) 2019 66% (2/3) 80% (20/25) 2018 100% (3/3) 81.8% (18/22) 2017 50% (2/4) 78.9% (15/19) 2016 50% (1/2) 86.6% (13/15) 2015 100% (5/5) 92.3% (12/13) 2014 100% (5/5) 87.5% (7/8) 2013 100% (1/1) 66.6% (2/3) 2012 50% (1/2) 50% (1/2)
Clinical sites +
Current Clinical Sites
Approved Annual Residency Opportunities will be on a rolling admissions basis. Once applicant has been offered acceptance into the Residency by the program director they may contact one of the pre-approved facilities below. Applicants may also submit a clinic of their choice as it meets the residency guidelines and requirements for mentorship.
One Accord Physical Therapy - Casa Grande
Mentor: Kyle Cherney
580 N Camino Mercado #25, Casa Grande, AZ 85122
OrthoArizona - Queen Creek
Mentor: Gabriel Brooks
40601 N Gantzel Rd Ste. 103, San Tan Valley, AZ 85140
R|O|C Physical Therapy - North Mesa
Mentor: Blake Scoresby
2036 N. Gilbert Rd. Ste 7 Mesa, AZ 85203
Total Body Rehab - Mesa
Mentor: J.A. Graves
8419 E Baseline Rd Ste 105, Mesa, AZ 85209
Benefits of mentorship +
As a mentor in the A.T. Still University Orthopedic Residency Program, you will benefit from:
- Recruitment and retention of physical therapists through the opportunity to participate in the Orthopedic Residency at your clinic and presence on the A.T. Still University Orthopedic Residency website as a clinical partner;
- Access to the ATSU extensive medical library resources including prestigious online peer reviewed journals, search engines in national databases and Rehabilitation Reference Guide;
- Status as adjunct faculty with A.T. Still University;
- Free weekend continuing education courses sponsored by the Orthopedic Residency Program;
- Current concepts copies are included with your title as a mentor;
- Weekly webinars emphasizing the latest evidence based research concepts;
- The opportunity to provide one to one mentoring and clinical knowledge to the next generation of physical therapists;
- Elevating your clinic and your profession through incorporating evidence based practice and outcome measures;
- Contributing to elevation of the profession and the future of physical therapy.
Requirements of a Mentor
As a mentor in the A.T. Still University Orthopedic Residency Program, you will be required to:
- Mentor the resident one-on-one for an average of 2.5 hours per week in the clinical practice;
- Implement evidence-based practice;
- Have completed the Clinical Instructor Education & Credentialing Course sponsored by the APTA. If you have not, there is an opportunity to do so as part of the Residency Program.
Contact us to discuss your future mentoring opportunities:
We look forward to speaking with you.
Continuing education +
Elevating the profession of physical therapy through quality continuing education opportunities. Continuing education courses are sponsored by A.T. Still University’s Physical Therapy Department. Individuals can choose to attend any of the courses listed on the PT Continuing Education site and receive CEU hours at the completion of the course. Nationally recognized physical therapists often present at these courses, as detailed below. Some of the courses are specifically sponsored by our Orthopedic Residency and Neurologic Residency.
TBA for 2020-21
Date Course Title Course Instructor February 12, 2022 Rehabilitation of the Shoulder: Current Concepts in Evaluation, Shoulder Stiffness, and Stabilization Todd Ellenbecker, PT, DPT, MS, SCS, OCS, CSCS Register
All weekend courses are open to physical therapists and provide CEU hours. Learn more about our continuing education courses.
Frequently asked questions +
How is A.T. Still University’s Orthopedic Residency Program unique from other residency programs?
The A.T. Still Orthopedic Residency is a multi-site program with strong clinical affiliations in Arizona. Our program has experienced faculty, both as educators and as clinical specialists. In addition to the core ATSU faculty, we have partnered with expert clinicians in a variety of clinical specialties who have a wealth of knowledge and clinical experience, which serves as a unique opportunity for our residents.
As part of our curriculum, we sponsor several weekend courses with nationally recognized speakers that integrate didactic concepts and the development of new skills that can be immediately applied in the clinic. Our curriculum is also unique in that we include extensive training in dry needling techniques. Our Residency Program is built on a foundation of strong clinical reasoning in physical therapy practice. Our residency curriculum includes a focus on clinical reasoning in practice, education, and evidence-based practice. The Program’s University setting also provides tremendous resources to the resident, including the A.T. Still Memorial Library with a magnitude of online resources, support staff, equipment, and excellent lab facilities, which are designed to promote an optimal learning experience.
What is the curriculum like?
Supervised clinical mentorship and clinical reasoning skill are key components of A.T. Still University’s Orthopedic Residency Program. Each week will include a minimum of 2.5 hours with their clinical mentor working with the resident’s patients. In addition, core faculty from A.T. Still University also provide mentorship in clinical practice. The didactic component of the residency curriculum is centered on the “Current Concept of Orthopedic Physical Therapy,” a course with 12 monographs published by the orthopedic section of the APTA. There are assigned learning activities to include educational program development. The resident has the opportunity to be a clinical instructor for an entry-level DPT student as part of the 12-month program. Weekly webinars are held where the residents and core faculty have discussions and share case studies. The Program has 7 clinical experts for consultation and shadowing in clinical practice. There are multiple weekend courses with nationally recognized speakers, in addition to lab sessions to develop and practice clinical skills. There are two written and two live patient exams for assessment of clinical skills and theoretical knowledge.
How many years of clinical experience in the Physical Therapy profession should I have before applying to the Orthopedic Residency Program?
There is no minimum experience requirement to apply to the Program. We are able to tailor our Program to address the needs and experience level of each individual resident. We welcome and encourage new graduates to apply to the Program.
When is the application deadline and Program start date?
Completed applications are due to ATSU through RF-PTCAS by May 1st of each year. Following the application review including an interview, applicants will be notified of acceptance decisions. The 12-month Program will start the late September or early October. The applicant may apply before having secured an approved clinical site and mentor. Applicants must have a license to practice physical therapy in Arizona by the Program start date, and have employment secured in a pre-approved clinical site with a pre-approved clinical mentor. The director of the Residency Program must approve these requirements before matriculation.
How do I secure employment in a pre-approved clinical site with a mentor?
Our residency website includes a list of pre-approved clinical sites with mentors. Once applicants have been accepted into the residency program, the program director will contact the pre-approved clinical sites providing them with the accepted resident’s application information. The resident applicant can also propose a clinical site with a mentor in Arizona for the program director to consider as a potential site for the residency program.
How much time should I expect to work on the residency each week?
We estimate an average of 10 hours per week in addition to employment responsibilities should be directed toward the Residency Program.
How many hours of clinical practice per week and what are the benefits of employment?
Residents are required to be employed in a non-physician owned clinic in Arizona that has a wide variety of a patient population with musculoskeletal conditions. We recommend the resident works approximately 40-hours per week. The details of hours of patient care, salary, and benefits, are negotiated between the resident and the employer.
Who will be my mentor and what are the requirements of the mentor?
Clinical mentors will provide mentorship to the resident one-on-one for 2.5 hours in the clinical environment the resident practices each week. It is preferred the mentor hold a certification as an orthopedic specialist however; the minimum requirement for the mentor is 3-years of clinical practice in orthopedics. The clinical mentor must be pre-approved by the program director. The core faculty at ATSU will also provide mentorship to the resident in the clinic throughout the program.
What are some of the benefits to the mentors?
The mentors are given the title and privileges of Adjunct Faculty of A.T. Still University. This includes access to the extensive resources of the university’s library and online services. The clinical mentor will have the opportunity to participate in the Clinical Instructor Education and Credentialing course sponsored by the APTA as part of the resident program. The mentors are also encouraged to participate in all weekend courses (no registration fee), and to participate in the webinars and other learning.
How many residents participate in the Orthopedic Residency Program?
Four to seven residents are accepted into the Program each year.
What license should I hold to apply to the Orthopedic Residency Program?
The applicant must have an Arizona license to practice Physical Therapy at the time of matriculation.
Can student loans be deferred while enrolled in the Program?
Residency Programs may qualify for deferment of student loans while enrolled in the Program. However, individual lenders have different requirements. Please check with lender to confirm this information for your specific situation.
Is an interview required as part of the Application process?
Yes, in person or video-conference interview via Zoom is required.