What inspired you to pursue fellowship training?
At the time I began my fellowship training I was working with and being informally mentored by Laurie Devaney who was an AAOMPT Fellow. I was inspired by her clinical reasoning process and phenomenal patient outcomes. Given how closely we worked together, I knew that I had an opportunity that most physical therapists do not have with a fellow working along side them every day.
What fellowship program did you attend and why?
I attended the University of St. Augustine for Health Science’s distance fellowship program. I had already been working towards my t-DPT through St. Augustine at the time. My mentor was also a St. Augustine graduate. The school had recently developed their distance program that would allow me to complete my fellowship while continuing to work and receive my mentorship hours in Connecticut and travel to St. Augustine periodically for onsite coursework, take didactic courses online and communicate with other fellows-in-training virtually. I am not certain that it would have been realistic for me to complete a fellowship had this hybrid program not been available to me.
What did your fellowship program entail (as far as specific training, etc.)?
My fellowship training included the completion of my Manual Therapy Certification (through St. Augustine), a number of didactic courses in research, medical screening, clinical reasoning, imaging, pharmacology, educational theory and foundational orthopedics. I attended courses and other activities onsite on multiple occasions. I participated in group case rounds virtually on a monthly basis and presented three longer form case presentations on interesting patient cases. I also had to develop and teach one musculoskeletal class. My mentorship hours included reviewing each patient’s case ahead of time with my mentor and providing her a case summary prior to our visits and then a follow up discussion on each patient, specifically aimed at improving my clinical reasoning and decision making for that particular patient.
Are you trained in any specific areas of manual therapy (e.g., Maitland, McKenzie, etc.)? If so, why did you choose that area?
Since I went through the St. Augustine program from my tDPT, manual therapy certification and fellowship, I most closely identify my practice with Paris’ philosophies. I have pursued other educational opportunities in Mulligan Concept and my entry level education was primarily Maitland based, so I would call my approach eclectic.
What advice would you give to new grads aspiring to pursue residency/fellowship training?
As a faculty member in a professional DPT program, I often recommend to my students that they pursue residency and fellowship training. I recommend that students who already know they want to pursue residency or fellowship should look for ways to help them stand out to potential post-professional programs. This can be through volunteer opportunities, professional engagement and leadership. Residencies and Fellowship programs are training the next generation of experts and leaders within our field. Demonstrating an early commitment to the profession, seeking out learning, leadership and growth opportunities outside of the classroom while excelling in the DPT classroom is a great way to show potential programs that you are going to be one of the next leaders within the PT profession.