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ASHS launches first residency program

In August, the ATSU-ASHS Physical Therapy program launched Arizona’s first university-based PT Orthopaedic Residency program.

The program is ATSU-ASHS’ first residency program, and is one of only 10 university-based orthopaedic residency program models in the country.

According to Cheri Hodges, D.P.T., OCS, MAppSc, FAAOMPT, PT Orthopaedic Residency program coordinator, the program is a post-professional curriculum designed to elevate the clinical skills and knowledge from a general practitioner to a clinical specialist in orthopaedic physical therapy.

“Post-graduate residency programs are a growing trend within the physical therapy profession and are highly regarded by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA),” said Dr. Hodges.

According to the APTA, by 2020, all physical therapists will have an entry-level D.P.T. education, and residency programs are part of the vision of the “path to excellence” in the PT career path. There are currently about 84 credentialed PT residency programs in the United States, and about 25 percent of these programs are orthopaedic programs.

The ATSU-ASHS program is geared toward improving clinical expertise in the area of orthopaedics so that graduates will be able to sit for national exams to be credentialed as board-certified orthopaedic specialists. ATSU-ASHS currently graduates students with a doctor of physical therapy (D.P.T.) degree, which prepares them to be qualified and competent in general physical therapy patient/client management.

ATSU-ASHS hopes to expand the residency program in the future to include other sub-specialty residencies in pediatrics, neurology, and geriatrics.

The PT Orthopaedic Residency program, a blended program of online education, onsite clinical mentoring, and weekend classes on the ATSU campus, is an 18-month program.

















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