Careers at UW Health

Programs and Units

Programs and Units

Transcurricular Units

Unit Title
Unit I: Examination – Patient Communications/Medical Screening
Unit II: Examination – Screening
Clinical Reasoning
Evidence-Based Practice
Extremity Mobilization Review

Spine-Focused Units

Unit Title
Lower Spine/Pelvis McKenzie Module
Upper Spine

Lower Extremity-Focused Units

Unit Title
Ankle and Foot
Biomechanics, Gait

Upper Extremity-Focused Units

Unit Title

Special Populations Units

Unit Title
Adolescent Patients
Balance/Vestibular Disorders
Chronic Pain Patients
Elderly Patients
Performing Arts Patients
Obstetric Patients
Worker’s Comp Injury Patients

Program Outcomes

(Information reflects data through Dec. 31, 2023)

The UW Hospitals and Clinics and UnityPoint Health – Meriter Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency matriculate orthopedic physical therapists who have contributed to the profession through clinical excellence, becoming educators, pursuing research and becoming leaders.

Program in Numbers

  • Graduation rate: 100%
  • Program graduates: 84
  • First-time OCS pass rate: 96%

Application Materials and Eligibility Requirements

Qualified candidates for the Orthopedic Physical Therapist Residency Program should submit a formal employment application. Go to the Careers home page, select “Search jobs” under Careers with UW Hospitals and Clinics. After selecting if you are a current employee, the job opening can be found by searching for keywords “Orthopedic Physical Therapy Resident.”

Application Availability

This online application will be available in October.

Other Application Materals

All other application materials should be submitted through the Residency and Fellowship Physical Therapy Computerized Application Service (RFPT-CAS).

The RFPT-CAS application materials will be available Oct. 1. All application materials must be received by Jan. 5 for consideration. Interviews for selected candidates will occur in March, and offers will be made by mid-April. The UW Hospitals and Clinics and UnityPoint Health – Meriter Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program is scheduled to begin approximately July 1.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the Orthopedic Physical Therapist Residency Program you must be:

  • Be a graduate of a CAPTE accredited physical therapy program
  • Be eligible for licensure as a Physical Therapist in the State of Wisconsin
  • Must obtain NPI number prior to starting the residency program

New graduates with a demonstrated interest in orthopedic physical therapy are encouraged to apply.

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

Stipends, Benefits and Fees

The UW Hospitals and Clinics and UnityPoint Health – Meriter Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency offers the following stipend and benefits:

  • The Orthopedic 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 eight personal days, nine holidays and five professional days
  • Full access to the University of Wisconsin recreation, education and cultural facilities.
  • General professional liability coverage that the hospital purchases for all hospital employees.

Salary, benefits and fees for residents who are not employees of the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics are negotiated with the owners of the private practices that make up the residency’s “Affiliated Clinics.” All Affiliated Clinics offer general malpractice/liability coverage to their employees.


There are no program fees.

For more information, please contact UW Health Recruitment at or (608) 263-6500.

Program Mission and Leadership

UW Hospitals and Clinics and UnityPoint Health – Meriter are dedicated to providing excellence in patient care, teaching, research and community service. In accordance with that mission, the physical therapy departments have collaborated to create a post-professional clinical residency program in orthopedic physical therapy.

The mission of the UW Hospitals and Clinics and UnityPoint Health – Meriter Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program is to provide post-professional training that will facilitate and accelerate the attainment of advanced clinical abilities in orthopaedic physical therapy. The program emphasizes a learning approach that is patient-centered and evidence-based.

The resident will be prepared to function as an interdependent practitioner in a collaborative medical model through patient care experience, mentoring, didactic instruction, laboratory exploration and independent study. The resident will engage in critical analysis of scientific literature and application to physical therapy practice. The resident will participate in classroom education of professional physical therapy students.

Program Leadership

Program Director: Carrie Schwoerer, PT, OCS,

Director of Curricular Integration and Oversight: Joe Tupta, PT, OCS,

Program Coordinator: Liz Wahl, PT, OCS,

Director of Mentoring: Kristi Hallisy, PT, OCS,

UW Hospitals and Clinics and UnityPoint Health – Meriter Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency

The Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency at UW Hospitals and Clinics and UnityPoint Health – Meriter is a full-time, one-year program that begins in July and continues through June of the following year. The program accepts three residents per year at UW Hospitals and Clinics/Meriter, and as many as three additional residents at private physical therapy clinics in Wisconsin. The clinics include:

About the Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency

Residents provide patient care 28 hours per week, including four hours per week co-treating with a faculty mentor. Twelve hours per week are dedicated to receiving didactic instruction, serving as a teaching assistant for musculoskeletal lab courses in the PT professional program, and observing in specialty clinics.

Residents are compensated for the hours spent providing patient care. In addition, residents receive a benefit package that includes health insurance. 

Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Curriculum

The curriculum is based on the Orthopedic Physical Therapy Description of Specialty Practice and The Guide to Physical Therapist Practice. Residents will benefit from the wealth of clinical resources available at UW Hospitals and Clinics and UnityPoint Health – Meriter, 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 on the University of Wisconsin campus allow for independent study. The program is accredited by the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education and was one of the first orthopedic residencies in the nation to achieve this status.

Contact Information

Carrie A. Schwoerer, PT, OCS
Program Director
(608) 265-8364

Recruitment Center
UW Health Human Resources
(608) 263-6500
Contact Human Resources