Dr. Jeff Moore received his doctorate of physical therapy degree with high honors from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences.  Dr. Moore has obtained a manual therapy certification (MTC) from St. Augustine and a certification in spinal manipulation (Cert-SMT) from the American Academy of Manipulative Therapy.  Most recently, Dr. Moore completed his Fellowship training in orthopedic manual therapy through Evidence In Motion.  Dr. Moore has spent the past seven years working exclusively in outpatient orthopedics.  He launched the Institute of Clinical Excellence in 2012 and became a faculty member with Evidence In Motion in 2015.  Between these two companies Dr. Moore regularly teaches manual therapy courses around the country.

What made you decide to pursue fellowship training?

Honestly, because I felt that my outcomes were mediocre. I was out of school a couple of years when we hired a therapist, Dr. Amy Pakula, who had previously completed the Kaiser Permanente Residency/Mentorship. Our plan was that since I had been out a bit longer I would “coach her up” to speed. It took me all of two weeks to realize that she had a significantly better handle on the entire process of patient management than I, and her outcomes were proportionately superior. I had quite a bit of manual training under my belt at that point and it was frustrating to be putting an hour of sweat equity into a session, mobilizing and manipulating my heart out, only to watch Dr. Pakula spend 40 minutes and significantly less perspiration with her patient to achieve better results. It became clear that there was more to it than manual therapy, it was the way she was thinking, organizing, and framing the patient case that was responsible for the separation between us. It was this realization, namely that while I had a lot of techniques at my disposal, I lacked an adequate framework to effectively use them in, which caused me to seek out fellowship training.

What fellowship program did you attend and why?

Evidence In Motion. I went to the first annual Manipalooza and was incredibly impressed with the enthusiasm of the EIM faculty. Although many of them had been practicing for decades, they maintained a hunger for improvement and passion for the profession that was palpable. At several down times during the conference I saw faculty members working on techniques with each other, trying to hone their skills through critical peer feedback. It was clear to me that this was a group I wanted to be a part of, it was one I felt at home with immediately. After the conference I spent a good deal of time investigating the different programs and felt that the EIM team had an all star faculty team on both teaching and research fronts. Furthermore, the reasoning model they were basing much of their clinical reasoning on was very in line with what I had seen Dr. Pakula and others using with great success in the clinic.

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

I had not done a residency previously, so for me the fellowship was a full three year program. The courses were a blend of online learning blocks with a live session included within each where techniques were practiced and testing was completed. Not sure how deep to go here as the requirements were extensive. During the three years I was required to pass the OCS exam, complete management courses first as a student and then repeated as a teaching assistant, pass a 7 hour comprehensive written exam, and submit an extensive scholarly project and live presentation work. My scholarly project was developing a Take Action Packet on dry needling for the APTA, which you all should see coming out early this year. To call the program rigorous would be a dramatic understatement, but fortunately the professional transformation that took place was equivalent or in excess of the effort put in.

Are you trained in any specific areas of manual therapy (i.e. Maitland, McKenzie, etc…), if so, why did you choose that area?

I am certified in spinal manipulative therapy (Cert-SMT) through the American Academy of Manipulative Therapy (AAMT). I chose this program based on recommendations from several colleagues who had taken classes and reported back that Dr. Dunning was exceptional. I certainly found that to be the case and the skill set I developed through that program has been a big part of my clinical and teaching success to this point. I also completed the Manual Therapy Certification (MTC) through the University of St. Augustine. The majority of that certification content I covered while still in the doctorate program, and only had to return to campus for the week of testing. St. Augustine gave me a great entry level manual therapy skill set, which served me very well as a young clinician; the testing week was a grind, which pushed me on a lot of levels, and I’m always happy to be pushed.

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

Take a really good look at the graduates of the different programs, in what ways did the program spring board them forward? Did it open up the same professional doors for them that you are knocking on? There are a good number of programs out there so deciding can be really challenging. Lots of choices can also be a good thing as there exists a better likelihood that one will fit your needs specifically. I would strongly recommend having a long conversation with the program director. Ask all the challenging questions, ask about the future of the program, why are they going the direction they are going? You are going to be a part of their brand, are you really excited about where they are heading, would you want to wear their logo as a faculty member? The director should also be someone you relate to well on a personal level, believe me you are going to be spending a lot of time in dialogue and in the physical presence of this individual, that should be something you are looking forward to. Finally, reach out to some folks who graduated the program, and try to talk to some strong proponents as well as some strong critics. There are two sides to every story and every program, it behooves you to know them both.

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