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URMC / Orthopaedics & Physical Performance / Education & Training Programs / Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency


Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency

UR Medicine's Sports and Spine Rehabilitation is an outpatient sports medicine clinic that is in the Department of Orthopaedics & Physical Performance at the University of Rochester Medical Center. The University of Rochester Medical Center was founded in 1921 by Abraham Flexner, Rush Rhees, and George Eastman with the affirmation that the Medical Center would practice "Medicine of the Highest Order." A few years later in 1925, the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry opened with the support of Rush Rhees to make the school "unquestionably of the first class." Although the Medical Center and School of Medicine and Dentistry were founded many years ago, the original principles have endured and continue to influence the individuals who work at the University today.

UR Medicine's Sports and Spine Rehabilitation was founded in 1990, by Dr. Kenneth DeHaven. Dr. DeHaven recognized that athletes required specialized rehabilitation and a team of sports medicine professionals to achieve optimal results. The sports medicine team, as defined by Dr. DeHaven, consisted of physicians, physical therapists, and athletic trainers working together to provide injury prevention, on-field injury recognition rehabilitation, and performance enhancement for the benefit of the athletic population. With Dr. DeHaven's guidance and the influence of the founding principles of the Medical Center, the Mission of USM was developed. The Mission of USM is to be a premier facility for patient care, education, and research related to injuries and conditions that affect the ability of individuals to successfully participate in sports, performing art, and/or an active lifestyle.

Overview of the Orthopaedic Residency Program

The Orthopaedic Residency Program is designed to provide residents with a year-long intensive study of orthopaedic physical therapy, preparing them to sit for the Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist Exam offered by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. The resident is expected to work 45 - 50 hours/week. Approximately 70% of the time (30 hours) is spent providing patient care to an outpatient orthopaedic population and 30% of the time is reserved for educational experiences including didactic coursework, manual therapy skills training, Orthopaedic Rounds, clinical observation, and independent study and research. Our teaching faculty includes physicians, physical therapists and athletic trainers with advanced training and subspecialty certification. Residents are also exposed to teaching and instruction at Nazareth College - a collaborative partner of the residency program. Board certified physician specialists in orthopedic surgery, sports medicine, hand injuries, neurosurgery, radiology, and pain management provide clinical instruction in their areas of specialty, further enhancing the clinical and didactic education provided.

Mission of the Orthopaedic Residency Program

Develop Board Certified Clinical Specialists in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy who excel as members of a collaborative healthcare team, demonstrate advanced clinical reasoning, and effective teaching strategies for the population in their community.

The goals of the Orthopaedic Residency Program are to educate physical therapists to:

  • Meet the needs of their community population by becoming advanced practitioners of orthopaedic physical therapy.
  • Utilize critical inquiry and evidence based practice to incorporate appropriate advanced techniques and knowledge into practice.
  • Become competent instructors of orthopedic physical therapy practice.
  • Utilize clinical and practical reasoning skills to effectively manage patients.
  • Demonstrate the highest standards of professionalism and ethical practice.
  • Employ foundational and clinical sciences in the development of plans of care.

UR Medicine Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency Program Outcomes

Graduation Rate: 100%
ABPTS Specialty Exam Pass Rate: 100%

Orthopaedic Residency Program Information

Credentialing: The residency program is credentialed by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

Program Dates:
Length of Study: 12 Months
Start Date: January 1st
End Date: December 31st

UR Medicine's Sports and Spine Rehabilitation
Department of Orthopaedics & Physical Performance
University of Rochester Medical Center
4901 Lac De Ville Blvd
Building D, Suite 110
Rochester, New York 14618

Salary: Residents will receive a salary reflective of their time spent performing independent patient care (70% of full time salary). Residents do not maintain a full case load secondary to time being allocated for didactic coursework, presentation, and projects. Download the Financial Fact Sheet.

Benefits: Residents are eligible for benefits through the University of Rochester Medical Center. This includes employer supported health and dental insurance, long-term disability, pension plan, life insurance and paid time off. This benefit list is not all-inclusive, and applicants are directed to the human resources department at URMC for a complete description of benefits.


The applicant must be a graduate of a CAPTE (Commission for Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education) accredited physical therapy program and hold a current license to practice physical therapy in the state of New York.

Acceptance will be based on interest, ability and aptitude for a career as a physical therapist in an orthopaedic setting.

The strongest applicants may possess the following:

  • Completed an extended internship or externship under the direct supervision of a Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy
  • Superior verbal and written communication skills
  • Have experience with data collection, analysis and publication
  • Strong understanding of the principles of clinical reasoning
  • Strong understanding of the examination and treatment procedures related to the practice of physical therapy
  • Exhibit high standards of professional behavior

Residents will be selected by the Admissions Committee and the superior candidates will be given an interview, which is conducted by members of the admissions committee. Candidates will be assessed in the areas of commitment, knowledge of the purpose of the program, interests and personality. Superior candidates will possess the qualities of flexibility, team building, leadership, professionalism and desire to learn.

Disability Requirements

A candidate requesting disability accommodations must request the required accommodation(s) in writing to the program director.

Typical Weekly Schedule


Application Process

Application Deadline: August 31st

All Applications must be submitted via the Residency and Fellowship Common Application Service (RF-PTCAS)

Apply Now

Please visit ABPTRFE website for more information.

For questions or more information, please contact Christopher McConnell at

UR Medicine's Sports and Spine Rehabilitation, and the University of Rochester reserves the right not to process any application that is incomplete.

Acceptance into the orthopaedic residency program is provisional pending the candidate meeting all the conditions of employment of the University of Rochester.

Christopher McConnell PT, DPT, EdD, OCS, CSCS
Orthopedic Residency Director