Fellowship Corner: Ola Grimsby Institute Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship

The Ola Grimsby Institute is a teaching institute for physical therapists with over a 40 year history of providing continuing education seminars, certification programs in manual therapy as well as exercise, Orthopedic Residency programs, Fellowship programs, and even a PhD program. The overall curriculum includes seminars in manual therapy, with a Norwegian origin and flavor, but a modern evidence-based approach to teaching and clinical practice. Additionally, the STEP (scientific, therapeutic, exercise progressions) curriculum, which is a progression of the Norwegian MET (medical exercise therapy), offers and advanced education in exercise design, dosage and progression. Our unique courses can be taken in series, leading to certifications, or as part of Residency and Fellowship programs. We offer a 1st year Orthopedic Residency program, a second year Manual Therapy Fellowship program and a 3rd year culminating PhD. Whether your interest are in acquiring a specific skill related to one course, or involve a true clinical education through our extensive manual therapy programs, we have the courses and instructors to meet fulfill your needs.

What makes your Fellowship program unique compared to other programs?

The Fellowship program presented by the Ola Grimsby Institute is the first of it’s kind in the US. It was established in 1990 and was a two year part time program referred to as Part II Manual Therapy. It was based on an initial two year residency program. When the APTA initiated the accreditation of residencies and fellowships, post secondary education was limited to a maximum of 3 years and the OGI restructured the curriculum to a one year residency, a one year fellowship and a third year of advance clinical competencies. Our 40 instructors are all international speakers with extensive clinical experience and a minimum of 3 years of post graduate training.

Our fellowship program is consequently based upon a solid residency curriculum preparing the students for the detailed didactic components necessary to master the clinical problem solving and therapeutic skills required for optimal outcome of a fellowship. In addition to the extensive prerequisite our fellowship is presenting complete text, illustrations, videos, quizzes and references on a data base. This organization of the material is a great advantage for the students and helps improve their studies and learning experiences. In addition we offer a hands on research component initiated in the residency program continued through the  fellowship and is offer you to earn a PhD after successful completion of the third year. Another special benefit of joining the “OGI family” is the fact that we offer the required 150 hours of clinical mentoring free of charge. This is a considerable saving and is delivered at about 30 locations throughout the US.


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

The strength of the program is in the clinical maturity of the instructors. Their experience, their extensive training (including pedagogy), and the organizati
on of the didactic and clinical material are exceptional qualities. The program is an eclectic curriculum from various schools of thought and represent the broads and most specific basis for patient rehabilitation.

What makes focused learning within a Fellowship worth pursuing?

Per definition a fellowship is a clinical internship where knowledge is practiced on patients under supervision of a specialist. With a residency program as a foundation the rational for clinical competencies; the “why” offers a better understanding of “how” and this is the basis for the best learning experiences. Under 1:1 clinical mentoring and class demonstrations on patients the knowledge is discussed and experienced as an optimal learning outcome.

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

My best advice to a student interested in pursuing fellowship training is to start with an accredited residency program. Secondly, make sure that the program is well established and talk with the past graduates about their experiences with curriculum, instructors, and material presented.

Those PTs seeking fellowship training should know that the commitment to continued education is a wonderful way to become a specialist within our field. The OGI fellowship program prepares students to thoroughly examine, assess, and treat patients from an orthopedic manual therapy perspective, emphasizing the importance of regional interdependence and individualized care. Across the country DPT programs do a great job of preparing new grads to work in a variety of settings and approach patient care safely. However, in order to best serve patients in a specific setting, it seems there is more work to be done. The OGI residency and fellowship programs are a beneficial next step, allowing PTs to hone their orthopedic manual skills and become musculoskeletal specialists within the healthcare system.

What additional opportunities do your Fellows pursue after completing their training?

The OGI fellowship program is meeting the standard of the highest education of accredited post secondary education in the US. However, we are offering our students opportunities beyond that level. A third year including advanced biomechanics, nutrition, radiology, electroneuro-myography, clinical psychology and advanced manipulative procedures are taught by our faculty members in addition we may add MD’s, Do’s, psychologists, chiropractors and radiologists to the faculty. Furthermore, we offer free mentoring and hands on completion of a research project with a completion of a dissertation where you may earn a full blown PhD. At this level you are welcome to add pedagogy to your competencies and become an instructor with the OGI. Our clinical teaching throughout the US, Europe and Asia is adding cultural and social qualities to your experiences and support your goal in becoming a world class clinician.

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