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.