Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Would I get to rotate into each specialty clinic or just some?

A: The specialty clinics are the pillars of the curriculum and residents will get experience in each one – observation, then co-treating, then leading the visit. Related joints (i.e., shoulder with swim clinic) are covered in each specialty clinic via didactic and lab experiences that focus on biomechanics.

Q: Can I choose to spend more time emphasizing one clinic?

A: After rotating through each, there is usually time in the last couple of months where the resident can request to revisit and focus more on one specialty. This is arranged on a case-by-case basis.

Q: Is there a teaching component in your residency?

A: There are many opportunities to teach in the clinic and as part of the didactic aspects when combined with ortho residents. Because sports residencies are unique from others in having time spent in the training room and event coverage out of the clinic, there is less time to teach outside the clinic. However, our program does partner with the UW Athletic Training program each year where residents are encouraged to plan, organize, and teach a lab unit.

Q: What is the event coverage like?

A: Residents are assigned to one large local high school and provide both training room and event coverage there for the various varsity sports through the school year. There are also additional opportunities to cover events such as Ironman Wisconsin, Madison Marathon, club tournaments for ultimate frisbee, rugby, lacrosse, etc.

Q: What’s a typical schedule?

A: A typical schedule usually consists of 30 hours/wk in the clinic treating patients Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. The didactic component is largely on Thursdays (and some Fridays) with training room hours on Thursday afternoons. Events can occur on any weekday, but most often occur on Friday nights (especially with football) and some Saturday mornings or all-day Saturday tournaments periodically.

Q: How does your program schedule mentoring?

A: There are two main clinic locations and residents spend about half the program at each location. At each of these locations, there are 2-3 mentors who each usually mentor 1½-2 hours per week on the resident schedule, which often involves some pre-planning discussion, new and return patient visit and discussion afterward. In addition, monthly meetings are scheduled with mentors and residents for reflection and patient updates. Finally, a midterm meeting is scheduled to ensure consistency in mentoring while residents transition to their new clinic location.

Q: Is there a research component?

A: Given the difficulty in conducting research within the 14-month program, residents are offered the opportunity to use existing data sets from which to develop and answer their clinical question, or they may join a faculty member to push forward an existing idea. There is a structured timeline to follow with an expectation to have a completed project at the end of the residency which may be presented at CSM and/or submitted for publication.

Q: Which facilities will I be at?

A: The main clinic locations are UW Health at The American Center and the UW Health Research Park Clinic. Starting location is assigned prior to your arrival.

Q: Do we work with the UW athletes?

A: Much of the research is based on data from, and/or collecting data and measurements on, athletes at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. However, in terms of coverage and rehab, we generally do not work with the athletes because they have their own rehabilitation and athletic training staff on campus.

Q: What other opportunities exist?

A: Every year there are different opportunities including assisting on writing a book chapter, special research or other projects, educational presentation from traveling clinicians or professors, discounted fees at sports medicine conferences, etc.

Q: What have your graduates done after completing the residency?

A: We have hired five sports residency graduates to our permanent staff over the years either as full-time or in part-time roles. Two have gone on to PhD programs. Several others have returned nearer their home areas and work at sports rehab clinics. One continued on to an upper extremity fellowship and is now working in professional baseball.

Q: What are you looking for in a candidate / resident?

A: Strong candidates tend to have a high interest in sports either as an athlete, coach or researcher. We value the unique and diverse experiences that each candidate may bring to the program. Strong letters of recommendation are highly valued.

Q: Does it matter what school / state I’m from?

A: There is no preference to UW students, residents of Wisconsin or any particular PT program.

Q: Can I take the licensure exam in July?

A: If you are a new grad, you must take the exam in either April or January (if you graduate in December). You cannot start the program with a temporary license, thus you will not be able to take the exam in July.

Q: Do I need to have my EMR/EMT/ATC to apply?

A: You do not need any of these to apply. We do request that you have at least one of these certifications on entry to the program, however, as part of your qualifications in providing event coverage.

Program Outcomes

The Sports Physical Therapy Residency at University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics consistently produces practitioners of sports rehabilitation that graduate to become leaders, clinicians, and educators in a variety of sports settings across the country.

Overall, our program has a 100% graduation rate and 100% of our residents pass the SCS on their first attempt.

At the current time, we have three graduates who are in PhD programs continuing with research they started as residents or in a very similar area. One is working at Mayo Scottsdale, helping develop their sports rehab program. One was accepted to an Upper Extremity Fellowship and now is the Director of Minor League Rehabilitation for the Cleveland Indians. One is working at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado. Two are currently employed with us at UW Health Sports Rehabilitation and are increasing their involvement with the residency. Five others work at sports medicine clinics in Wisconsin, Michigan, Utah and Washington and either have started or added specialty clinic services at their clinic or are also doing some specialty work as fee-for-service. One of our current residents has been accepted to Duke’s Division I athlete Fellowship.

Units and Instructors

The Sports Physical Therapy Residency at University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics is a full-time, 14-month program. The following tables represent the Sports Physical Therapy Residency Program’s academic units/clinical offerings. 

Trans-Curricular Unit

Medical Screening
Sports Specific Screening
Clinical Reasoning
Evidence-Based Practice

Spine/Upper Extremity Unit

Lower Spine Pelvis
Upper Spine
Shoulder Girdle

Lower Extremity Unit


Sports-Specific Unit

Swimming Biomechanics Analysis and Treatment
Cycling Biomechanics Analysis and Treatment
Running Biomechanics Analysis and Treatment
Golf Biomechanics Analysis and Treatment
Throwing Biomechanics Analysis and Treatment
Functional Movement Screen Biomechanics Analysis and Training
Dance Movement Biomechanics analysis and Treatment
Concussion Management
On Field Management and Assessment and Taping
Pediatric Sports Rehab
Primary Care-Nutrition, Environment, Health Related

Stipends, Benefits and Fees

The Sports Physical Therapy Residency at University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics is a full-time, 14-month program.

Stipends and Benefits

The Sports 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 10 personal days (which includes vacation, continuing education and sick time) as well as nine holidays.
  • Full access to the University of Wisconsin-Madison recreation, education and cultural facilities.


A program fee of $2,000 will be required after being accepted into the program. This fee is used to fund a portion of the administrative expenses of the program and credentialing costs and is not used for the application for employment process. It is due no later than the first day of the program. For more information, please contact the Recruitment Center at or (608) 263-6500.

Application Materials

The Sports Physical Therapy Residency at University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics is a full-time, 14-month program. 

Application Materials

 Most residency programs are now part of the RF-PTCAS, an online application system that allows a candidate to apply to multiple programs with one application. Included in this are essay questions, letters of recommendation, and information from your resume/CV.

Application Dates

  • The application period will open approximately Oct. 1
  • The application deadline is Dec. 1
  • Interviews will occur in February
  • The expected offering date is March 1
  • The expected program start date is on or about July 1

Eligibility Requirements

The Sports Physical Therapy Residency at University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics is a full-time, 14-month program.


To be eligible for the Sports Physical Therapist Residency Program you 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 program
  • Possess one of the following prior to starting the program: A current ATC designation, a current license as an EMT or certification as an Emergency Responder

New graduates with a significant interest in sports physical therapy are eligible to apply.


To obtain information on licensing, contact the Wisconsin Department of Licensing.

Program Mission

The Sports Physical Therapy Residency at University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics is a full-time, 14-month program.

Our Mission

UW Hospitals and Clinics is dedicated to providing excellence in patient care, teaching, research and community service. In accordance with that mission, the Sports Rehabilitation department has created a post-professional clinical residency program in Sports physical therapy. 

The mission of the UW Health Sports Physical Therapy Residency Program is to foster and augment advanced development of superior practitioners of sports rehabilitation who are leaders, scholars, clinicians and future educators. This residency will focus on case-based learning, sport-specific biomechanics and return to play decision-making that is patient-centered and evidence-based. The program will prepare the resident by utilizing:

  • Experience in patient care
  • Mentoring
  • Didactic education, independent study, journal clubs
  • Analysis of applicable scientific and physical therapy literature
  • Observation of surgical procedures and physician clinics
  • Event coverage on-field or in training room
  • Presentations to staff and physical therapy interns 

Resident Preparation

The resident will be prepared to function as an interdependent practitioner in a collaborative medical model through patient care experience, mentoring, didactic instruction, specialty clinic training and independent study. The resident will engage in critical analysis of scientific literature and application to physical therapy practice.

Sports Physical Therapy Residency

Our sports physical therapy residency is accredited by the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education.

The Sports Physical Therapy Residency at University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics is a full-time, 14-month program that begins July 1 and continues through the end of August of the following year. The program accepts two residents per year at the current time. 

The Sports Physical Therapy Residency is accredited by the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education as a post-professional residency program for physical therapists in sports.

About the Sports Physical Therapy Residency

Residents provide patient care averaging approximately 30 hours per week, including 3-4 hours per week co-treating with a faculty mentor. Ten to 12 hours per week are dedicated to receiving didactic instruction, non-patient care learning and observing in specialty clinics (Runners ClinicSwimmers ClinicCyclists ClinicGolfers ClinicThrowers ClinicDancers ClinicPerformance SpectrumSports Concussion Clinic). 

Additionally, residencies involve event coverage hours at games, practices, and in the training room. These hours are in addition to the above clinic time.

Residents are compensated as part of a stipend package. This is approximately 70 percent of a full FTE salary. In addition, residents receive a benefit package that includes health insurance.

Sports Physical Therapy Residency Curriculum

The curriculum is based on the Sports Physical Therapy Description of Specialty Practice. Residents will benefit from the wealth of clinical resources available at UW Hospitals and Clinics and will have the opportunity to work closely with an excellent staff of medical practitioners, participate in teaching clinics and observe surgery.

Outstanding library facilities in-house and on the University of Wisconsin campus allow for independent study. 

Contact Information

Doug Grovergrys
Program Coordinator
(608) 261-1761

Recruitment Center
(608) 263-6500