Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency

The Mizzou Therapy Services Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency Program provides post-professional clinical and didactic education.

Photo of physical therapy


Through ongoing clinical supervision and mentoring with a theoretical basis for advanced practice and scientific inquiry, you will improve your clinical practice and decision-making. The program stresses the acquisition of current best-evidence as well as leading-edge psychomotor skills to make you a specialist in the area of orthopaedics.


Our program goal is to help you:

  • Grow as a practitioner skilled in orthopaedic physical therapy.
  • Become a skilled practitioner who can care for patients with musculoskeletal conditions.
  • Gain a strong base of knowledge of evidence-based practice, orthopaedic manual therapy techniques, advanced medical screening and radiology.
  • Be positioned to achieve the Orthopaedic Certified Specialist (OCS) certification from the ABPTS and to be a leader in the orthopaedic physical therapy field.

Training sites

Residents train at the Mizzou Therapy Services-Forum location in Columbia, Missouri. The program is part of University of Missouri Health Care, the region’s only academic health center. Among the benefits of being part of Missouri Orthopaedic Institute and MU Health Care:

  • Monthly therapist-directed sports medicine meetings
  • Bi-weekly physician directed sports medicine meetings
  • Opportunity to be involved in research with physical therapy faculty
  • Orthopedic grand rounds
  • Physician shadowing
  • Surgery observation
  • Advanced technology such as blood flow restriction therapy, Dartfish video motion capture and more

Clinic structure

  • Thirty-six (36) direct patient care hours
  • Four (4) hours per week to work on residency coursework during work hours
  • Example schedule: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 2:15 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday
  • Patients are scheduled every 45 minutes. Evaluations are 45 minutes. Average patient load per day is 8-12.

Education structure

  • One hundred fifty (150) hours of direct 1:1 clinical mentorship
  • Fifty (50) hours of direct observation of clinical mentor evaluating and treating or 1:1 education
  • One hundred (100) hours of resident leading patient care with clinical mentor
  • One hundred (100) completed FOTO discharges
  • Clinical mentor evaluations at 20, 50, 100, and 150 hours
  • Two live patient initial evaluation examinations (1 spine, 1 extremity)
  • Online learning (See Evidence In Motion for details)
  • Weekend intensives
  • Four (4) weekend courses spread out through residency coordinated with management courses for upper, lower extremity, lumbopelvic and cervical/thoracic courses
  • Mizzou Therapy Services does not provide funds for travel or hotel costs for these courses.

See Evidence In Motion for a full list of core coursework, topic coursework and mentioned clinical practice.

How to apply

The first step to apply to the Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency is to apply for a resident position at MU Health Care. If you are interested, you can find application information here:


The resident position receives the normal entry level physical therapist salary minus the cost of tuition ($13,500). The resident position has full benefits, including vacation and health insurance. Learn more.

Start dates: Second Monday in July (summer cohort) or second Monday in September (fall cohort)

After you are accepted into the resident position, we will assist you in applying for the residency program through Evidence In Motion.

EIM admission requirements

  1. All applicants must have successfully completed a CAPTE-accredited professional physical therapy curriculum or have had a state physical therapy board approve the applicant’s first postprofessional physical therapy program as “equivalent” to a U.S. CAPTE-accredited physical therapy program.
  2. All applicants must provide a copy of a current and valid license to practice physical therapy in one of the 50 United States, Canada, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or U.S. Virgin Islands. This license must be in good standing.
  3. All residents must carry professional liability insurance. This can be a personal policy or company policy.
  4. If English is not the applicant’s native/first language, specified language proficiency requirements must be met.
  5. All residents must be active members of the APTA.
  6. All residents must have current CPR certification.
Take the First Step