Course Description

The courses PHTH 9085/9086 – Mentorship I & II are a two course series that forms the clinical component and additional didactic components of the Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency program.  The Residency Program curriculum is composed of four courses:


Musculoskeletal Management I  (DPT 8581)

Musculoskeletal Management II (DPT 8582)

Mentorship I  (DPT 9085)

Mentorship II (DPT 9086)


The total combined clinical and didactic hours for the Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency is a minimum of 1500.  The Residency Program is targeted to physical therapists pursuing post graduate specialization in Orthopedic Physical Therapy.  The courses are designed to allow the physical therapist to continue full time employment during the Orthopaedic Residency by making use of distance based learning.  The Mentorship Courses primarily consist of clinical mentorship by physical therapists that are certified as an orthopedic clinical specialist (OCS).  Additional requirements of the Mentorship Courses include completion of independent learning modules, submission of monthly outcome tracking reports, submission of monthly clinical hours tracking reports, submission of an abstract and completion of at least a poster presentation to a professional physical therapy conference, experience presenting and teaching, engaging in collaborative consultations with physicians or other healthcare providers, and participation in on-line patient rounds.

Learner Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course students will be able to:

  1. Perform skilled, comprehensive management of patients with musculoskeletal disorders, within a framework of Evidence Based Practice, as described by the American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA) Orthopedic Physical Therapy Description of Specialty Practice (DSP). 

  2. Screen patients for conditions and diagnoses which would require referral to and or consultation with another healthcare provider.

  3. Correctly perform physical examination tests and measures with an emphasis on reliable and accurate tests according to the most recent literature.

  4. Efficiently synthesize examination information to form an intervention plan across the continuum of care, utilizing best evidence, patient values, and clinical expertise to resolve the current chief complaint as well as to prevent future recurrences.

  5. Competently perform manual therapy interventions utilizing advanced clinical reasoning and the current, best evidence for patients with musculoskeletal disorders. 

  6. Integrate patient-related instruction, therapeutic exercise, and functional training in self-care, and use of adjunctive devices and equipment into the plan of care based on the current, best evidence.

  7. Understand and apply classification schemes to assist with matching the plan of care to the patients’ specific impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions.

  8. Measure impairment, function, disability, and health related quality of life outcomes for patients with musculoskeletal disorders utilizing standardized outcome measures and applying concepts of regional interdependence.

  9. Develop and deliver a professional presentation related to physical therapy management for patients with musculoskeletal disorders.

  10. Participate in peer and self-reflective assessment to establish a pattern of life-long learning, professional development, and continuous improvement.

  11. Participate in activities that educate consumers and other medical professionals on the evidence that supports physical therapy interventions and promote the profession as the first line of care for musculoskeletal disorders.  


  • Access to an approved physical therapist mentor who is an Orthopaedic Certified Specialist (OCS)
  • Current full time practice as a physical therapist treating patients with musculoskeletal disorders.
  • Active License to Practice as a Physical Therapist
  • A Doctoral degree (DPT)
  • Concurrent enrollment or past completion of the Musculoskeletal Management Courses 8581/8582
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