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Occupational and Physical Therapy Clinical Education


         Student Responsibilities     Students Approved for Clinical Education        Shadowing         Volunteer

Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program

For physical therapists looking to expand their skills and specialize in orthopedics, we offer a residency program that is comprised of faculty from the UNC Physical Therapy Division and Physical Therapists from UNC Hospitals. 

The Orthopedic Residency Program is an advanced, post-professional program for licensed physical therapists to expand their knowledge and skills in clinical orthopedics to the level of a specialist.  The program is one year in length and comprised of didactic study, mentored time with expert therapists, orthopedic clinic coverage and focused clinical experiences with other orthopedic health care providers.  Orthopedic clinic work is completed in the UNC Division of PT Faculty Clinic and UNC Hospitals PT Clinics. 

Student Training at UNC Hospitals

Educating occupational and physical therapists and assistants is one of our key missions. We welcome over 100 students in our clinical programs every year. UNC Health Care offers an incredible array of clinical affiliations and fieldwork opportunities from pediatrics to geriatrics and a host of specialty areas. The breadth and depth of experience among our clinical instructors and the variety of our patient populations lead to rich learning opportunities. 

UNC Health Care has educational agreements with about thirty OT and PT educational programs. We add contracts with new schools when feasible. Our Clinical Educator manages contracts, student scheduling and assignments. Academic clinical education/fieldwork coordinators may contact our Clinical Educator, at to discuss our program. 

Each year, we receive many requests from schools for clinical rotations. We review those and respond with the options we can offer each school. The ACCE or Academic Fieldwork Coordinator for each school is asked to confirm the rotations that they will use quickly so we can release any unused spaces to other schools. 


For students scheduled to come to UNC Hosptials:

First Day: All students should report to the OT/PT department located on the first floor of N.C. Memorial Hospital at 8:00 a.m.  The N.C. Memorial Hospital is located at 101 Manning Drive, Chapel Hill, NC  27514.

Directions within the hospital:

  • To find us once you are in the hospital, locate the escalator in the N.C. Memorial Hospital lobby (ground floor level) and go up one flight to the first floor.
  • Walk past the Chapel (on your left) and continue until you reach the next hallway.
  • Turn left at the first turn keep walking left around turn. The Rehabilitation Therapies office is on the left in this hallway.
  • Check in with the receptionist.

We frequently have several students starting at one time, and you are likely to meet students from other programs. After your orientation, we will then take you to your assigned area and introduce you to your clinical instructor.

Forms only for students already approved for clinical education through Shelley Sehorn.

Housing: You are expected to take full responsiblity for your living arrangements during your clinical.  We encourage you to make the appropriate contacts well in advance to your start date.  Since Chapel Hill is a university town, many apartments offer subleases.  The Chapel Hill News lists rooms for rent or apartments for sublet.  Enclosed in the student packet, which will be emailed to you, is a list of OT/PT staff who rent out rooms as well.  If you need this information prior to receiving the student packet, email Shelley Sehorn.

Transportation and Parking: Please visit the town of Chapel Hill for information regarding bus schedules and parking options.


Shadowing Opportunities:

For those interested in shadowing someone in the physical therapy or occupational therapy department, there are specific policies to follow.  As a shadow, there is no hands-on contact with the patient, even if you are an employee of another department at UNC where you are allowed to contact patients.  Also, shadowing is intended to give some insight as to what therapists do in various settings, but it is not set up to accumulate the amount of hours needed to apply to school.  For those needing a significant amount of hours, contact volunteer services to be a volunteer within our department.

You will need to choose an area in which to shadow, and you may NOT contact another area unless you hear back from the first contact area that they are NOT able to accommodate you. 

  • For OT psychiatry, contact
  • For outpatient OT or PT, contact
  • For pediatrics OT, contact
  • For pediatrics PT, contact
  • For inpatient rehab OT, contact
  • For inpatient rehab PT, contact
  • For acute care OT, contact
  • For acute care PT, contact

Once you have been assigned to a therapist, you will need to choose a start date with that therapist.  Most students come for a few half days over the course of a few weeks.  You can only shadow for one 6 week period in a calendar year.

Visit the Volunteer Services Shadowing page for forms, Shadow Student Policy, and to complete the required online information.

Then you are required to read the following policies. Once you have completed all of the above, email. They will send an email to Volunteer Services, and 24 hours afterwards, you may pick up your badge. Print and sign the confidentiality statement, and take it with you to pick up your badge from volunteer services, which is located on the ground floor of Memorial Hospital. Once you have finished and have your badge, you are ready to go!

Shadow Student Guidelines

Volunteer Opportunities:

For individuals interested in OT or PT as a career, The Volunteer Services Department sets up a scheduled plan that gives volunteers time within our OT and PT clinics. These hours can be used toward application for an academic program.

For more information, please see their website at






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