Dr. Moyo Tillery is an Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Education in the Department of Physical Therapy Education at Elon University. She received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Duke University in 2011 and has been practicing as a physical therapist for 11 years. She is a board-certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist and a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists. She serves on the Diversity Network Committee of AAOMPT and serves as the Vice Chair of Public Relations for the Occupational Health Special Interest Group of the Academy of Orthopedics. She is also an active member of the Academy of Education, the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy, and the National Association of Black Physical Therapists. She serves locally on the APTA North Carolina as the Chair of the Student Scholarship Committee and as a member of the Communications Committee of the APTA North Carolina and the Carolina Clinical Education Consortium. In her spare time, Dr. Tillery enjoys traveling, art, photography, running, and spending time with her family and her Yorkie, Sky!
What inspired you to pursue fellowship training?
My career started early at Concentra Medical Center, first as a student physical therapist and ultimately as a full-time clinic director. As a student, my clinical instructor was manual-therapy trained and her colleague was fellowship-trained. Working so closely with both therapists in a setting that was unique regarding the exposure to acute, musculoskeletal injuries combined with the early intervention model at Concentra, it was clear to me that there was more to learn and more advanced skills to be developed even after my DPT was conferred. It was incredible to recognize how much more could be done for patients at this crucial point of their injury care journey. I knew without question that I would be pursuing advanced training in OMPT.
What fellowship program did you attend and why?
I am a proud graduate of The Manual Therapy Institute (MTI), and I attended MTI due to the
partnership they had with Concentra, with whom I worked at the time. I also already had
the knowledge of the quality of training that I knew I would receive from MTI based on my time at
Concentra as a student.
What did your fellowship program entail (as far as specific training, etc.)?
The Fellowship training program required completion of the didactic curriculum of 2.5 to 3 years of evidence-based courses that build upon itself both didactically and clinically. 440 supervised clinical hours were required, in which at least 400 were spent in the clinic with a mentoring fellow or fellows. What resonated with me the most from fellowship training through MTI was the emphasis not just on amazing manipulations and mobilization techniques, but on higher-level clinical reasoning and decision-making. Yes – effective intervention selection is important and was most certainly emphasized, but also emphasized was identifying “the cause of the cause” as well as quality patient education.
Are you training in any specific areas of manual therapy? If so, why did you choose that area?
No – I am currently not training in any specific areas of manual therapy. My clinical practice required the application of all OMPT techniques due to the diversity of patient diagnoses and presentations.
What advice would you give to new grads aspiring to pursue residency/fellowship training?
It was certainly one of the best decisions I made along my career journey. What advanced training such as residency/fellowship training does in addition to sharpening entry-level skills is a number of things: improves patient outcomes, improves your confidence in your skills as a clinician, prevents burnout and frustration from failed treatments, and connects you with an amazing network of like-minded clinicians and a fantastic community of practice!