Orthopedic Residency in Physical Therapy

The University of Michigan Health System Physical Therapy division through Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation takes pride in offering an orthopedic clinical residency program designed to provide entry level graduates and general physical therapists with advanced training in orthopedics.  Residents rotate through multiple sites within the U of M Health System which allows specialized training in spine and extremities, as well as high functioning sport related issues to postsurgical patients and a variety of age ranges. This program utilizes a rigorous multi-paradigm orthopedic approach, based on the most current scientific evidences available, with didactic, laboratory, and clinical training sessions. The curriculum also aims to prepare the resident for the APTA Orthopedic Clinical Specialist Certification Examination.

The University of Michigan Health System Residency Program is credentialed by the American Physical Therapy Association as a post professional residency program for physical therapists in Orthopedics. This residency is approximately 12 months in length, and residents are expected to spend 40 hours each week completing residency specific training as well direct patient care. Up to 5 residents are accepted to participate in the program each year. Once accepted, Allied Health Residents are paid a monthly stipend and are eligible for health benefits. 

Mission Statement:

The primary purpose of the University of Michigan Health System Orthopedic Residency Program is to prepare entry level or general physical therapists with advanced orthopedic knowledge and skills in physical therapy utilizing scientific inquiry and evidence based practice to be able to achieve the utmost functional abilities of every client.

Curriculum Outline (will meet or exceed the following):

  • 75 hours of classroom/lab instruction 
  • 150 hours of 1:1 supervision while treating patients


To apply for admission to the residency program:

 All applications can be accessed through the APTA residency website:


Application and Selection Process

The applicants will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

Academic Education
Clinical Education and Mentoring Experiences
Clinical Experience in Orthopedic Physical Therapy
Personal Vision and Development Plan

Minimal Eligibility Requirements:

Licensure in Physical Therapy by the Michigan Board of Physical Therapy and/or be able to attain a license prior to the initiation of residency.
Membership in the American Physical Therapy Association and Orthopedic Section are required prior to start date.
Comply with the University of Michigan Health System employment Requirements

For further questions about the program, requirements, and application procedure, please contact the director of the UMHS Orthopedic Clinical Residency Program:

Laura Fisher PT, DPT, OCS
Residency Director
UMHS PM&R Spine Program
325 E. Eisenhower Parkway
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108


Non-Discrimination Policy Notice

The University of Michigan, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The University of Michigan is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, sex*, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, or Vietnam-era veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions. Inquiries or complaints may be addressed to the Senior Director for Institutional Equity and Title IX/Section 504 Coordinator, Office for Institutional Equity, 2072 Administrative Services Building, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1432, 734-763-0235, TTY 734-647-1388.

*Includes discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression.