Top of Page
Skip main navigation

Orthopedic Residency Program Overview

The Department of Physical Therapy is proud to announce the official start of the Nova Southeastern University (NSU) Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program.  This clinical residency program in physical therapy is a post-professional learning experience in a focused area of clinical practice. The NSU Orthopedic PT Residency Program is designed to advance the physical therapist's knowledge, skills, and attributes in orthopedic clinical practice. The program combines opportunities for one-on-one clinical mentoring and didactic coursework based on the American Physical Therapy Association’s Description of Specialty Practice in Orthopedics.  Learning experiences include collaborative patient care experiences, didactic courses focused on contemporary management of people affected by orthopedic disorders, scientific inquiry, evidence-based projects, and integration of principles of teaching/learning in physical therapy.  It is a 12 month program, in which residents are physical therapy employees and are actively involved in teaching/lab assisting in the professional DPT curriculum.  The program offers residency positions in both Fort Lauderdale and Tampa Bay locations.

The program has achieved candidate status for accreditation through APTA. Though achievement of candidate status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be accredited.


The 12-month residency program will begin in July/August. The resident must successfully complete all residency requirements to be eligible to apply for the ABPTS Orthopedic Specialist exam. The resident will apply for the specialty exam during the last month of the residency program and will sit for the exam in the following March. 

Academic Coursework: Coursework is provided in a self-directed, continuing education format with courses delivered predominately online using Canvas. The resident will complete a total of 7 courses focusing on content based on the Description of Specialty Practice (DSP) in Orthopedics.  Courses are between 16 and 35 weeks long, and the resident will take 2-4 courses per trimester. Residents can expect to spend an average of approximately 6 hours per week on didactic coursework for a total of at least 315 hours during the 12-month residency. See below for an outline of the didactic curriculum. Additional didactic experiences will be assigned on an individual basis as needed.

  • PTCE 0125   Orthopedic Specialist Practice 1 (4 CEUs)
  • PTCE 0126   Orthopedic Specialist Practice 2 (4 CEUs)
  • PTCE 0127   Contemporary Management 1: Upper Quarter (8 CEUs)
  • PTCE 0128   Contemporary Management 2: Lower Quarter (8 CEUs)
  • PTCE 0062   Professional Roles in Expert Practice (2 CEUs)
  • PTCE 0051   Evidence-Based Practice and Outcome Measurement in Expert Practice (3 CEUs)
  • PTCE 0072   Independent Study: Research Project (4.5 CEUs)

Clinical Practice: The Orthopedic Residency has two clinical locations. Residents will be employed 32 hours per week at NSU’s Physical Therapy Clinic in Ft Lauderdale or OPPT in Palm Harbor.  Residents are expected to carry a full patient caseload consisting of patients with orthopedic conditions. Clinical mentorship is provided by residency program faculty, at least 3 hours per week. Clinical mentoring may include collaborative patient care and discussion of patient cases between mentor and resident.  

  • 32 hours per week independent clinical practice of which 3 are mentored hours
  • Minimum of 1500 clinical practice hours over 12 months of which 150 are mentored hours

Teaching/Scholarship:  As part of the Residency, residents are expected to participate in teaching/instruction of basic orthopedic skills for entry-level physical therapy students at their respective NSU campus. Residents are also responsible for providing physical therapy related education to peers and staff at the clinic sites.

  • Total of 150 hours of teaching responsibilities over 12 months


Scholarship: Residents will complete a scholarly project such as a pilot research study, clinical case report, or faculty driven research project in the area of orthopedic physical therapy which may be presented and/or published in a peer reviewed format.

Evaluation of Learning

Resident learning will be evaluated using a variety of methods including:

  • Multiple choice tests/quizzes
  • Completion of case studies
  • Research article critique/analysis
  • Skills checks to evaluate clinical skills
  • Live patient examinations
  • Completion of a scholarly project
  • Feedback from clinical mentors

Requirements for Successful Completion of the Program

Requirements for successful completion of the Orthopedic Residency Program include:

  • The resident will consistently meet or exceed standards required for employment at the NSU Physical Therapy Clinic/ OPPT Palm Harbor during the residency program.
  • Resident must complete a minimum of 1,500 hours in direct patient care with patients with orthopedic diagnoses including 150 mentored hours
  • Resident must successfully complete all courses with an 80% or better, including written, practical skills, and live patient examinations
  • Resident must complete a scholarly project

Minimum requirements for eligibility:

  • Currently hold or be eligible for physical therapy licensure in the state of Florida1
  • Graduated from a CAPTE accredited physical therapy program2
  • Must be eligible for employment at program clinic sites
  • Submit a complete application by published deadline
  • Participate in an interview with admissions committee (for selected candidates)
  • Must have access to a computer which will support required components of Canvas (ie. Javascript, cookies, Java Runtime Environment)

1Prospective residents who will be new graduates at the start of the residency program may apply for acceptance to the orthopedic residency program pending sitting for the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE); however, continued participation in the residency program will be contingent on passing the licensure exam.

2New graduates (defined as a physical therapists practicing in the clinic for less than 1 year) applying to the orthopedic residency program will need to provide transcripts to demonstrate a high level of academic achievement. A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.2 or above in entry-level PT coursework is preferred.

Preferred attributes include:

  • Current member of the APTA and Academy of Orthopedic Physical Therapy
  • Completion of at least 1 clinical internship in a primarily orthopedic setting
  • Exhibit leadership qualities, evidence of motivation, accountability, and self-directed behavior
  • Display strong written and oral communication skills
  • Effective use of critical thinking in clinical situations using sound rationale for choices
  • Have experience conducting research (ie. case report, faculty guided research, data collection, data analysis, etc.)
  • Evidence of high academic achievement (for new graduates) 
Graduation Rate 
Ultimate OCS Board Pass Rate 
2020-2021 100% Pending 
2019-2020 100% Pending 

2021-2022 Residency Cycle 


 Michael DiSimone, PT, DPT

Originally from New Jersey, Michael graduated from the University of Miami with his Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Michael is currently an Orthopedic Resident at Nova Southeastern’s Physical Therapy Program at the Tampa Bay Campus. Michael did two of his clinical rotations with the University of Miami’s baseball team. He was able to lead the University of Miami’s baseball annual pre-season assessment screening and provide data analysis for each player. He provides a comprehensive approach to a thorough individualized program which focuses on getting each patient back to what is most important and necessary for success. He enjoys working with shoulder and knee patients of all ages to help them through their recovery and ensure they return to the activities they love most. Outside of work, Michael likes to be active through working out, hiking, playing recreational baseball, enjoying the beach, and keeping up to date with evidence-based practice.

Amy Harcourt, PT, DPT

Residency Coordinator 

Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy Certification in Orthopedic Manual Therapy
Certification in Integrative Dry Needling
Professional Bio 
Jennifer Canbek, PT, PHD, ncs didactic faculty (fort lauderdale)   Amanda Pipkin, PT, dpt, scsDidactic faculty (Tampa)                         
            Lance Cherry, pt, edd, ocs       mentor (tampa)              Nicholas smith, PT, DPT, ocs, cscsmentor (fort lauderdale) 
        Robin Galley, pt, dpt, ocs             mentor (tampa)          Brian Russ, pt, dpt, ocs, faaompt, comtmentor (fort Lauderdale)didactic faculty                 
       Kelby Kaplan, pt, dpt, ocs, comtmentor (fort lauderdale)didactic faculty       Morey Kolber, pt,  phd, ocs, mdt, cscsdidactic faculty (fort lauderdale)  
       Ovidio Olivencia, pt, dpt, ocs        mentor (fort lauderdale)didactic faculty    
                     Joy Moulton                                 mentor (tampa) 



2020-2021 Graduates


Bryan Sterling, PT, DPT


Madison Disson, PT, DPT



Keri Davis, DPT

2019-2020 Alumni

Apply Now!!

Nova Southeastern University Post-Professional Physical Therapy Residency Programs comply with applicable federal, state, and local regulations including non-discrimination, privacy, confidentiality policies, and equal opportunity and affirmative action laws, orders, and regulations. NSU admits residents of any race, color, religion or creed, sex, pregnancy, national or ethnic origin, nondisqualifying disability, age, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, military service, veteran status, political beliefs or affiliations. 

Visit the Residency and Fellowship Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service (RFPTCAS) to apply.

*Note: Admissions and enrollment decisions are made on a rolling basis.   


Return to top of page