Women’s Health Residency in Physical Therapy

The Michigan Medicine Women’s Health Residency Program offers physical therapists an opportunity to develop advanced practice expertise through clinical experience and postgraduate level coursework. Therapists accepted to the residency complete an Advanced Practicum where they receive one-on-one mentoring from specialists in Women’s Health physical therapy. 

Residents will rotate through outpatient practice settings focused on female and male pelvic health, bowel management, gender affirmation, obstetrics, pediatric pelvic floor dysfunction, oncology and osteoporosis within the University of Michigan-Michigan Medicine, an award-winning health care system and premier academic Level 1 medical center. In addition to clinical hours, residents will have dedicated time to complete didactic curriculum, meeting or exceeding topics covered in the APTA Description of Specialty Practice (DSP) and the ABPTRFE Description of Residency Practice (DRP). This program utilizes a multi -paradigm approach to learning, based on current scientific evidence available, with didactic and clinical training sessions. We work in collaboration with our referring providers offering opportunities for shadowing and observing diagnostic testing. Residents also have the opportunity to teach/educate others at various times throughout the residency.

Mission Statement

The University of Michigan- Michigan Medicine Women's Health Residency program mission is to prepare physical therapists to become board-certified Women's Health Specialists and advanced care clinicians. This program integrates a scientific approach, evidence-based clinical practice and research in order to prepare residents to become independent specialists. Residents will gain experience with a diverse patient population at a nationally recognized pelvic health care program serving male and female clients across the lifespan. 

Residency training is 12 months, beginning in fall. The resident is scheduled for at least 30 hours per week of clinical practice with direct patient care featuring a diverse and complex clientele. In addition, resident receives a minimum of 150 hours of individualized mentoring with experienced staff that are all board certified. A minimum of 300 hours are dedicated toward

Curriculum Outline

Will meet or exceed the following

  • 300 hours of classroom/lab instruction 
  • 150 hours of 1:1 mentored clinical patient care

Program Outcomes

As of December 2023

2023-24 Cohort size: 1

Fill Rate for 2023-24: 100%

Number of Program Graduates: in process with first resident

Percentage of Program Graduates who pass the WCS Exam: NA

Percentage of Program Graduates working in Women’s Health after graduation: NA

Application Process

To apply for admission to the residency program:

All applications can be accessed through the APTA residency website:


Application Selection Process

The applicants will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. Academic Education
  2. Clinical Education and Mentoring Experiences
  3. Clinical Experience in Women’s Health Physical Therapy
  4. 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 Pelvic Health Section are required prior to start date.
  • Completion of Course Levels 1 and 2 through either APTA and/or Herman and Wallace
  • Comply with the Michigan Medicine employment requirements.

For questions regarding the Women’s Health Residency Program, requirements and application procedure, please contact the Director of the Michigan Medicine Women’s Health Residency Program:

Jen Shifferd, PT, MSPT, CLT, WCS

Pelvic Floor Program Team Clinical Specialist and Co-Lead

Residency Director

Michigan Medicine Women’s Health Residency


Comprehensive Musculoskeletal Center

Brighton Center for Specialty Care

7500 Challis Road

Brighton, Mi 48116-9416


Additional Resources

Residency and Fellowship Financial Fact Sheet 10.30.2023 (002).docx  

Accreditation Status

Residency is currently in candidate phase with ABPTRFE.

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.