Fellowship Corner: Duke University Health System Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship

Program Directors

Michael Schmidt, PT, DPT, MHA

Marissa Carvalho, PT, DPT

Preston Roundy, PT, DPT

Fellows in Training

Description of the fellowship program.

The mission of the Duke Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship is to develop and graduate practitioners, who by virtue of their critical thinking ability, clinical skills, diagnostic competence, and ethical standards are committed to promoting the optimum health and function of their clients, and who will serve the larger society and profession through teaching, administration and/or research. The clinical fellowship program’s goals and objectives are directed toward an in-depth experience in the management of our patients across the lifespan and are based on Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Description of Advanced Specialty Practice (AAOMPT).

The goals of our Fellowship Program include:

  • Advancement of the profession of physical therapy, specifically the practice of orthopaedic manual physical therapy
  • Improvement of access for patients to qualified orthopaedic manual physical therapists
  • Development of professional behaviors of our fellows, specifically in terms of lifelong learning, participating in the development and use of evidence to support our practice, and thoughtful application of manual therapy principles

In this program, fellows-in-training have weekly didactic sessions and engage 1:1 with a mentor who is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists. They may also have opportunities to collaborate with the Duke Doctor of Physical Therapy program and participate as a Teaching Assistant within Musculoskeletal courses. Additional learning experiences fellows-in training may have include: interprofessional shadowing, journal and book club discussions, DEI grand rounds, Academic grand rounds, community presentations and research collaborations.

What makes your fellowship program unique compared to other programs?

One aspect of this fellowship that is unique is the opportunity to develop teaching skills through assisting in the Duke Doctor of Physical Therapy Program Musculoskeletal Management and Manual Therapy elective courses.

What would you consider the strengths of your program to be?

One of the strengths of our program is the diversity of the faculty. They have different clinical interests and backgrounds, which allows for exposure to different skill sets and clinical reasoning. Since the program is small, the faculty is able to adjust the program based on each individual’s interests and goals.

What makes focused learning within a fellowship worth pursuing?

The opportunity for formal mentorship is invaluable. It allows for development of clinical skills, improved clinical reasoning, and enhanced confidence. This allows you to grow as a clinician, as a professional and as a leader.

What advice would you give to students that are seriously interested in pursuing fellowship training?

Have a clear vision of what you would like to achieve with the fellowship. There are numerous opportunities and you can tailor these to your interests and goals.

What additional opportunities do your fellows in training pursue after completing their training?

After completion of training, many of the Fellows have become involved as faculty in Residency and Fellowship programs. Some past Fellows have continued their education at the PhD level and are involved with research and/or teaching. Other past Fellows have pursued advanced leadership training and administrative roles. Additionally, Fellows have worked towards improved care delivery through development of unique care models.

What do you look for in a quality candidate for your fellowship program?

We look for individuals who are passionate about and have demonstrated a commitment to serving society and the profession through teaching, administration and/or research. This may include participation in the following: professional organizations, research/publications, presentations, continuing education, and volunteer work.  We also look for individuals who have strong communication skills.

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