This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The Effects of Physical Therapy Clinical Experiences on Post-Professional Orthopaedic Knowledge




Houser, Jeremy

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology

Restriction Status


Restriction Type


Date Available



While it is the case that physical therapists who complete an orthopaedic residency program are more likely to pass the orthopaedic specialist examination, it is unclear if these programs provide those students with more knowledge than students who passed the exam without completing a residency program. In other words, without detailed knowledge of the specific scores on the exams, it is difficult to determine how much more knowledge is obtained in a residency program. The purpose of this dissertation was to determine if post-professional orthopaedic residency programs provide knowledge specific to musculoskeletal medicine above and beyond what can be obtained through other types of experiences or studies. Licensed physical therapists who passed the board certification examination for orthopaedic physical therapy specialists in 2018 were invited to participate in this study. Participants completed the Freedman and Bernstein tests to assess their knowledge on musculoskeletal medicine, and results were analyzed. Examination scores on the board certification examination were also analyzed. Descriptive statistics analysis, paired sample t-test, independent sample t-test, one-way ANOVA, and Pearson correlation analysis were conducted to address the objectives of this study. There were no significant differences between the groups. Limited sample size, self-reported data, and generalizability were limitations for this study.