Fellow: Jonathan Bray PT, DPT, FAAOMPT, EdD, MS

Bio: Jonathan received his Master of Physical Therapy degree from Quinnipiac University and his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Utica College. He completed his Fellowship in Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy with the Manual Therapy Institute. Jonathan completed his Doctorate in Education with a concentration in organizational leadership from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. Jonathan is the Assistant Program Director and an Assistant Professor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences Miami campus. Prior to joining the university, he was a multi-site area director in an occupational medicine setting. He was an officer in the United States Army Reserve for over eight years as a member of the Army Medical Specialist Corps. Jonathan continues to treat in outpatient clinics in southern Florida with a focus on performing artists and athletes. He is an active member of the Florida Physical Therapy Association currently serving as the Southeast District Regional Director. 

What inspired you to pursue fellowship training? 

My inspiration started when I was a graduate student at Quinnipiac University. I had amazing professors who beyond my degree afforded the opportunity to audit advanced orthopaedic courses which allowed me to see the world beyond a master’s degree. A few years later, the chance to participate in a fellowship program became a reality and I enrolled. 

What fellowship program did you attend and why? 

I attended the Manual Therapy Institute (MTI). The short answer is that MTI was offered as continuing education through my employer. With that said, as I explored the program, I felt that the program was extremely comprehensive in teaching the OMT approach, which is why I chose to enroll. 

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

MTI consists of 17 course weekends spread over 2.5 years, 5 home study courses, and 440 clinical hours. What is great about this design is that you would attend a course and then be able to take the materials back and implement them immediately in the clinic. By the time the next course came around you had 2 months’ worth of practice to prepare for the new material in the next course. Spending 12 weeks in a clinic with a mentor completely changed me and my practice. Having 400 hours in clinic with a mentor is what I believe is one of the greatest strengths of the MTI program. 

Are you training in any specific areas of manual therapy? If so, why did you choose that area? 

I continue to refine my OMT approach with a focus on my clinical reasoning and psychomotor skills. The AAOMPT Conference is always a great way to do this and learn new things. I have started to go back to the basics and improve my anatomical knowledge. At this time, the focus is on the foot and ankle based on the patient population that I am currently working with. This focus on improving myself is not just for the patients that I treat, but also for in my role as an educator in an entry level DPT program and fellowship program. Educating/Mentoring is a different skillset than being a clinician.  

What career opportunities do you feel you have been given due to completion of a fellowship program that you otherwise don’t feel you would have had the opportunity to be a part of? 

There have been so many doors that have been opened because of being a fellow. The chance to travel and teach in Kenya. The opportunity to mentor and teach for the MTI fellowship program. The ability to help treat collegiate and professional athletes. Getting to work with dancers and actors in the performing arts. The fellowship was one of the key reasons why I was considered for my current role as an Assistant Professor at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. Above all, the greatest opportunity the fellowship has provided is the ability to better serve my patients through an OMT approach. That in itself has made the entire experience worthwhile. 

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

  1. Take the leap for you and for your patients!  
  1. Do your homework. Programs are designed differently. Explore all of them and find the program that aligns with your interests and is logistically feasible for you to complete. 
  1. When a patient does not progress the way you expect…Check your ego and self-reflect.  Is your clinical reasoning off or were you not effective in the application of your treatment? It is easy to blame the patient…. 
  1. Surround yourself with people who are smarter and better than you. Then be a sponge. Best part about that, is those folks typically hang around with people smarter and better than them. This creates an environment of lifelong learning, mentorship, and collaboration. 
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