Physical Therapy

Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program

The region's leader in physical therapy and sports medicine offers a unique orthopedic residency for licensed physical therapists who have graduated from an accredited physical therapy program and who wish to attain advanced training in orthopedics. This program is offered in collaboration with Ithaca College, one of the nation's top schools for physical therapy.

The residency program is located in the Island Health Center in Ithaca, NY, a state-of-the-art facility on the water's edge at the southern end of Cayuga Lake. This is the heart of the Finger Lakes and home to Ithaca College and Cornell University.

Our teaching faculty includes physical therapists and athletic trainers with advanced training and subspecialty certification. Several residency faculty teach in the physical therapy program at Ithaca College.

Board certified physician specialists in orthopedic surgery, sports medicine, hand injuries, neurosurgery, radiology, and pain management provide clinical instruction in their areas of specialty.

We offer a planned program of post-professional clinical and didactic education, designed to significantly advance patient care services in the area of orthopedics. The program provides ongoing mentoring and clinical supervision by experienced, highly qualified clinicians. The curriculum prepares you for the Orthopedic Certified Specialist (OCS) examination. The current passing rate for our residency graduates is 100%.

To apply, please go to and complete the common application process. You may contact Dr. Costello for information about the program at The application deadline for the next cycle is August 28,2015.

We offer two options:

Full-time Internal Resident Position
We offer two positions each year for a resident to be employed full time at Cayuga Medical Center for a 12 month program that runs from January to December. These are paid positions at 75% of a normal full time salary, with full benefits including health insurance and paid time off. Residents are in supervised practice 30 hours each week, allowing sufficient time to complete mentoring, didactic course work, independent study and research, and clinical observation. Our internal residents also serve as lab assistants in the entry-level Physical Therapy Program at Ithaca College.

Part-time External Resident Position
In 2014, a hybrid distance learning model will be offered for those who would like to pursue a Residency, but do not want to move to Ithaca to do it. Residents may maintain their employment at their current facility, while taking didactic course work at Cayuga Medical Center's weekend courses. Course work will be augmented by online discussion with CMC faculty and other residents in the program. Clinical mentoring will take place both with our faculty, as well as with a "local" mentor who is an Orthopedic Certified Specialist (PT, OCS). External Residents will provide a series of in-services to teach the clinicians at their facility, thereby giving back to their employer who supports them through the program. The external residency program may be completed in 12 to 24 months. The 24 month option allows greater flexibility for the clinician who continues to carry a full case load or has other obligations throughout the program.

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