Featured Fellow: Dr. Charles Rainey PT, DSc, DPT, MS, OCS, SCS, FAAOMPT

Dr. Charles Rainey received two doctorate degrees by completing a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) from Southwest Baptist University and a Doctor of Science (DSc) in Physical Therapy from Andrews University. He is dual board certified in both Orthopaedics and Sports Physical Therapy from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He completed post-professional training in clinical electroneuromyography (EMG/NCV) from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions and a post-doctoral fellowship in orthopedic manual therapy from Regis University and has received his designation as a Fellow in the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (FAAOMPT).

Dr. Rainey is a physical therapist and commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) and was previously in the U.S. Navy serving in garrison, operational and deployed settings. He is the USPHS Representative for the Federal section of the APTA, serving as the liaison between the Federal Section and the USPHS.

Dr. Rainey is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), including the Orthopedic, Sports, and Federal sections, and the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists. He is the vice-chair of the APTA Sports Section’s Tactical Athlete Special Interest Group and serves on the editorial board for the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. He serves as the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Liaison and Upper Extremity Module Director for the U.S. Military Musculoskeletal Residency Program advancing DoD, USPHS, and VA physical therapists toward board certification.

Dr. Rainey has been published in multiple books and peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, Physical Therapy in Sport, and textbook Orthopaedic Rehabilitation of the Athlete: Getting Back in the Game. He was awarded the APTA Sports Physical Therapy Section’s 2016 New Horizon Award and 2014 Achievement of Distinction Best Case Report Manuscript Award.


What Inspired you to pursue Fellowship training?

As a former physical therapist in the U.S. Navy (now U.S. Public Health Service), I wanted to be at the top of my game. I was inspired to pursue fellowship training, as it is in my opinion, the top echelon a physical therapist can pursue. The longer I practiced, the more I discovered how little I knew with regards to the “why’s” and “how’s” of physical therapy and rehabilitative science. I further pursued fellowship training to provide my patients with the best orthopaedic manual physical therapy care possible. It is through completing a fellowship program, I believe I obtained a high-level of competency in both evaluation and treatment skills within orthopaedic physical therapy.


What fellowship program did you attend and why?

I attend Regis’s University Manual Therapy Fellowship Program in Denver, Colorado. There was numerous reason why I chose this particular fellowship program. First off, there was a world-class faculty in place to include Joshua Cleland, Tom McPoil, Cameron MacDonald, Paul Mintken, etc. Secondly, they had a hybrid-learning platform that consisted of both on-line and live classroom formats that worked well with my military working environment. Lastly, I thoroughly enjoyed the manual therapy philosophy and curriculum that did not focus on any one manual therapy approach, but used the best of all approaches using the best evidence possible. This was a breath of fresh air, as many manual therapy curriculums have a history of doctrine that fail to account for this.


What did your fellowship program entail (as far as specific training, etc.)?

Regis University’s Manual Therapy Fellowship Program combines both online orthopaedic management coursework with weekend intensive lab sessions held in beautiful Denver, Colorado. Like stated earlier, I found this to be very flexible with both my work schedule and my geographical location. The Fellowship Program also consisted of online virtual rounds and structured mentoring time with a FAAOMPT mentor. Emphasis was greatly placed on advanced clinical decision-making, development of hands-on manual therapy skills including manipulative interventions, outcomes assessment and independent patient management.


Are you trained in any specific areas of manual therapy (e.g., Maitland, McKenzie, etc.)? If so, why did you choose that area?

No. The reason I selected Regis University’s Manual Therapy Fellowship was that they took the best in many manual therapy philosophies and combined them using the best (in terms of practice and research) from each approach. This allowed the greatest amount of evidence-based learning possible. I pride myself in knowing and using various manual therapy approaches and philosophies within my current practice. This has allowed me to be the best well-rounded practitioner I can be.


What advice would you give to new grads aspiring to pursue residency/fellowship training?

Look for a fellowship that both align with your professional goals and gives you the best work-life balance. In order to be successful in any academic pursue, such as a demanding fellowship program, you need to set short- and long-term goals and follow through with them. In order to reach your goals, you need to surround yourself with family, friends, colleagues/peers and mentors that raise you up and encourage you to reach those goals that you’ve set out to accomplish. Good luck future fellows!

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