Fellowship Corner: University of Maryland School of Medicine Fellowship in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy

Program Director

Roy Film, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT

Fellows in Training

Description of the fellowship program.

The University of Maryland School of Medicine Fellowship in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy is a 12-month program based a few blocks from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor at the Warehouse at Camden Yards, pictured here. We have an eclectic set of influences and are not tied to any particular dogma, reflecting the evolution of the OMPT world in recent years. Our program is accredited by both ACOMPTE and ABPTRFE.

What makes your fellowship program unique compared to other programs?

We have over 600 hours of curricular content, far above the required amount. The University of Maryland has the full spectrum of orthopaedic PT education: a DPT program, and orthopaedic residency, and an OMPT fellowship program. This allowed us to create a highly intentional curricular arc across these programs. This also provides our FiTs with teaching opportunities in these other programs.

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

Strong and extensive curriculum.

Dedicated faculty who provide lots of feedback didactically as well as clinically.

Radiology training with a radiologist who is the director of our medical center’s musculoskeletal MRI fellowship.

TMD training with the University of Maryland School of Dentistry’s dental residency program.

Significant time spent training in DPT teaching. A small cohort allows for lots of interactive discussions during didactic sessions, allowing us to tie the content to the patients you just saw that morning.

What makes focused learning within a fellowship worth pursuing?

Hands down, it is the mentorship that strengthens the FiT’s level of clinical reasoning that is characteristic of all OMPT fellowship programs. Manual therapy fellowship programs don’t exist merely to teach manual therapy techniques – fellows are not technicians. Fellowship programs primarily exist to train clinical reasoning ability. Anyone can learn lots of techniques, but you won’t understand when to use them, why you should use them, and how to employ them for the greatest clinical impact. And when you should NOT use them as well.

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

Fellowship training is a big time commitment, so make sure you have the support of your loved ones since they’ll be making some sacrifices along with you. Talk to graduates of any program to which you’re thinking of applying.

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

Employment with us.

Becoming an adjunct faculty member in our DPT program.

Potentially becoming a mentor with our fellowship program.

Teaching continuing education courses with us.

Presenting posters at national conferences. Bringing manuscripts to publication.

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

The top thing we look for in a candidate is intellectual humility since we feel this is the essential prerequisite for cognitive growth and change.

Other traits:

Eagerness to pursue excellence

Reflective personality

Good communicator

Commitment to engagement

Trusting stance; values partnership

Internal locus of control Confident enough to try new clinical approaches

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