Careers at UW Health

Program outcomes

Program outcomes

UW Health physical therapy clinics have a long-standing tradition of mentoring students from local, state and national programs.

Program success is based on:

  • 100% graduation rate
  • 100% employment rate within 3 months graduation
  • 100% of our residents recommend our acute care physical therapy residency to colleagues, peers, and fellow physical therapy students following graduation.
  • 100% of our residents indicate they are prepared to practice as a physical therapist in any acute care setting in the United States following graduation.

Stipends and benefits

The Acute Care Physical Therapist Resident will receive:

  • An annual stipend, paid on a bi-weekly basis.
  • Comprehensive health insurance coverage including basic dental and vision.
  • Employee Reimbursement Account: Pre-tax deductions made for reimbursement of approved medical and dependent care expenses.
  • Additional benefits include life insurance, tax-sheltered annuity, and deferred compensation.
  • Paid leave time to include 11.5 personal days (which includes vacation, continuing education, and sick time) as well as eight holidays.
  • Access to UW Health learning and development opportunities and employee well-being.

Frequently asked questions

Q: Will the resident rotate through all the areas of practice?

A: Yes. The resident will rotate through all major practice areas and treat a variety of patients from general care to intensive care.

Q: What will a typical week look like?

A: Each week includes clinical hours, designated mentoring, and didactic educational hours.

Q: How will mentoring be addressed?

A: Mentors are assigned by specialty area and will provide structured mentoring for an average of 4 hours each week. 

Q: How will didactic coursework be covered?

A: Didactic course work will be covered through independent readings, clinical education content, and lectures. Residents will be expected to complete some of the didactic course work outside of their work hours.

Q: Will the fellow be required to work on weekends?

A: The resident will be a part of a non-holiday weekend rotation and be responsible for covering on holiday and accompanying holiday weekend annually.

Q: Are there research opportunities?

A: The resident will be given an opportunity to complete quality improvement projects, based on the interest of the resident.

Q: Is there is a preference for instate students and/or applicants?

A: UW Health provides an equal opportunity to all acute care physical therapy resident applicants regardless of their place of residence at the time of application.

Q: How many residents do you accept each year?

A: We currently accept one acute care physical therapist resident annually.  UW Health offers many career development opportunities.

Q: Is there tuition for the fellowship?

A: No.  There are no fees or tuition.

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for the Acute Care Physical Therapist Residency Program, candidates must:

  • Be a graduate of a CAPTE-accredited physical therapy program.
  • Be eligible for licensure as a physical therapist in the State of Wisconsin.
  • Obtain NPI number prior to starting the residency.
  • New graduates are welcome to apply and must take the NPTE no later than April to be eligible to start the program in June.


To obtain information on licensing, contact the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services

Application process

  • Current resume/CV
  • Cover letter that addresses the following:
    • What do you hope to gain through the Acute Care Physical Therapist Residency? 
    • Why did you choose to apply to the UW Hospitals and Clinics Acute Care PT Residency Program?
    • What aspects of your background and professional experience make you a strong candidate? 
    • What are your future career goals? 
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Submit all required materials

Application deadline

  • Jan. 15, 2024

Program mission

Our mission

The mission of the UW Health Acute Care Physical Therapist Residency is to provide an advanced, evidence-based curriculum to physical therapists in acute care through evidence-based practice, research, and service to develop specialists. 

This postgraduate professional residency program provides an enriched learning environment across multiple hospitals to encompass ensure the medically complex needs of our patients and families at an academic medical center. 

We seek to elevate acute care physical therapist practice with an emphasis on our core values to provide remarkable health care to our patients and the community. The residency program is dedicated to continuous improvement and strategic initiatives.

Clinic rotations/areas of focus

Residents will rotate between clinical specialty areas at University Hospital and East Madison Hospital, which are both located in Madison, Wis.

University Hospital
This is the primary academic hospital of UW Health which offers quaternary care including:

East Madison Hospital
84 bed surgical and medical center including:

  • Orthopedics
  • Bariatric surgery
  • General surgery
  • Hernia repair surgery
  • Neuro spine surgery
  • Plastic and reconstructive surgery

Areas of focus

  • General care, intermediate care (IMC), and critical care (ICU) levels across all specialty areas except maternity care
  • Emergency Department for early access to physical therapist services
  • Post-acute care unit (PACU) immediately after surgery
  • Operating room (OR) for burn-related physical therapist services

Acute Care Physical Therapist Residency

The Acute Care Physical Therapist Residency at UW Health is a full-time, 12-month program that begins in June and continues through the end of June the following year. The program accepts one applicant per year. 

About our program

This is a one-on-one mentoring program for physical therapists who aspire to be leaders in the field of acute care physical therapy.

You will gain advanced clinical skills, learn collaborative evaluation and participate in didactic learning modules.


The curriculum is based on the ABPTRFE-approved analysis of practice for acute care physical therapy.  The program’s curriculum ensures congruency between didactic and clinical components for each practice unit.  Residents benefit from a wealth of clinical resources at UW Health and work closely with talented and highly proficient medical providers. 


ABPTRFE has granted University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Acute Care PT Residency candidacy status. Candidacy status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation. Achieving candidacy status is not an indication that ABPTRFE will grant initial accreditation. Participants who graduate from a program in candidacy status are not deemed to have completed an accredited program.

Contact information

Megan Litsheim
Program Coordinator
(608) 622-8987

Recruitment Center
(608) 263-6500