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Future Resident FAQ

Finding a Residency

Should I do a single discipline (for example orthotics) residency or combined O&P residency?

This should be assessed on an individual basis.  Remember the goal of an NCOPE Residency Program is to create a real-world learning environment where competency can be achieved.  A residency program is not automatically marked complete when the minimum amount of time has passed.  The resident must demonstrate competence for all required interventions and meet all requirements.  The resident should also consider the following factors:

  • Patient populations at the patient care facility
  • Prior experiences in O&P
  • Their relative abilities at the time they graduated O&P school
  • Whether they wish to move to a state with licensing requirements that do not recognize dual-discipline residency (Ex: Florida)
How should I apply for a residency position?

Any residency program that gained their initial accreditation or renewed their accreditation on or after 7/1/2017 is required to accept applications using OPRESCAS.  The only exception is Hanger Clinic, who has a well-documented process listed on their National Residency Program page.

Is there anywhere I can go to learn more about OPRESCAS?

Yes.  The OPRESCAS Applicant Information Portal has additional resources including details about individual residency programs posted.

Is there a list of NCOPE accredited residency programs?

Yes.  Please visit the NCOPE Residency Program Directory page.  It is updated each morning at 5:00 AM EST.

Are all programs listed on the NCOPE Residency Program Directory taking residents this year?

No.  Residency programs are accredited for a period of 3 years and not required to host a resident each year.  To view which residency programs are actively seeking residents, please access OPRESCAS.

I have identified a patient care facility where I would like to potentially complete a residency, but they are not in the NCOPE directory. How do they become accredited?

We have created a brief informational brochure on hosting a residency program and listed the eligibility requirements on our website.  If the clinicians or administrators at the patient care facility would like to get in touch with the NCOPE staff directly, they may do so via phone or email.

Is there somewhere I can look to find O&P patient care facilities that could potentially host a residency program that are not yet accredited?

NCOPE requires that the patient care facility be accredited by either the American Board for Certification or Board of Certification.  Both organizations have directories that can be queried.

Does NCOPE ever host events to help find a residency position?

Yes.  NCOPE is pleased to host a Virtual Career Expo each Fall.  This online event allows future residents to network with multiple potential residency sites.  NCOPE also hosts a resident round table and networking event at the Academy Meeting each winter.  To view a list of all events NCOPE is participating in, continue to check the NCOPE website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  

Do state licensing laws affect the way a residency program is administered if the program is in a state with an O&P licensing act?

It depends on the state, but yes the state licensing laws can potentially affect the way a residency program operates including the resident’s supervision and autonomy.  Please visit ABC’s interactive state licensure map to identify each state’s licensing info and resources.  Currently, Florida is the only state that requires a resident to register prior to beginning an orthotic and/or prosthetic residency.  Prospective residents are encouraged to become familiar with state license requirements and their potential impact on their residency education.

Starting a Residency

How soon after I finish O&P school can I start my residency program?

The residency program start date can be as early as the day aftery a CAAHEP accredited education program diploma is dated.

When should I submit the Resident Registration Form?

For a 1st residency (single or dual-discipline), a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the start date.  

What transcripts / proof of education do I need to submit with my registration?

Official transcripts from the institution where the O&P master’s degree program was completed (including any consortium institutions, for example Century College/Concordia University) are required.  Undergraduate transcripts are not needed.  Information on how to submit electronic or hard copies of official transcripts is listed in the Residency Program Registration Form.  Electronic transcripts must be directed to and sealed official transcripts can be mailed to the contact address listed HERE.

Is payment due at the time the registration form is submitted?

Payment by credit card is due at the time of registration.  Payment by check/money order must be submitted prior to or at the time registration occurs.  

What forms of payment does NCOPE accept for registration fees?

Credit card and payment by check/money order are both accepted.  To make an immediate payment by Credit Card, please visit: Residency Services Payment Portal

Who is responsible for paying the residency registration fees?

This fee is often paid for by the employer, but not always. Discuss this with your future residency program director.  

May I fax in a copy of the registration form?

NCOPE only accepts online electronic submissions of the Residency Program Registration Form.  Scanned of faxed copies of the form will not be accepted.  

I was asked to sign a non-compete agreement, is that allowed?

NCOPE cannot regulate labor laws and their relevance/application depends on the specific location where they are held.  NCOPE fundamentally does not support non-compete agreements, but cannot forbid their use at that falls outside of our scope as an educational accreditor.  The NCOPE Residency Standards do require that if non-compete agreements is required for employment, it be provided at the initiation of the residency.  

If I am starting a residency in a licensure state, what must I do?

Residents are encouraged to review the state’s licensure requirements and identify what the state may require of you, in order to start your residency program.  Access ABC’s interactive state licensure map to review details about each state’s requirements. Note, for residents registering in the state of Florida, you must contact the Florida Board of Orthotists & Prosthetists before you start your residency to obtain a resident license before submitting the NCOPE resident registration form.