Dr. Ron Masri is a successful and highly-skilled physical therapist specializing in the treatment of various orthopedic injuries for 18 years. He is a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) by the NATA Board of Certification. He received a Bachelor’s in Sports Medicine and Athletic Training from the University of Virginia, a Master’s in Physical Therapy from Old Dominion University, and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) from the Medical College of Virginia. He is certified as an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS) and currently resides as the only practicing Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy (FAAOMPT) in the New River Valley area.

Dr. Masri is actively involved with the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the Virginia Physical Therapy Association (VPTA) serving in various leadership roles. He also serves as Adjunct Faculty for clinical internships for many of the Physical Therapy Programs around the state of Virginia, and has also been offered Adjunct Faculty status in the Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program at South College in Knoxville, TN. Dr. Masri is committed to clinical physical therapy excellence by providing comprehensive care to his patients, while continuing to learn and develop in his professional career as well. He values respect, quality, trust, teamwork, compassion, and service.

What made you decide to pursue fellowship training?

I have always believed in being a life-long learner. Thomas Jefferson believed that one was never a senior when it comes to education, and being a graduate of the University of Virginia, I took that saying to heart. My aspiration to be a Fellow of AAOMPT comes from a colleague named Jim Beazell; his unrelenting passion in changing PT practice as it pertains to outpatient orthopedics had an incredible influence on me. I wanted to do a fellowship in orthopedic physical therapy to improve my manual skills, improve the management of my patients, and ultimately my outcomes. Furthermore, I wanted to raise the bar when it comes to providing orthopedic physical therapy care in my area. So by becoming a FAAOMPT, I would be able to do that by building a residency program with my company in order to recruit some of the top notch folks in the field of physical with my same values to mentor, and maybe stay to work with me.

What fellowship program did you attend and why?

I picked Evidence in Motion, and it was a match made in heaven. The program was conducive for me to still be able to run my business and take online classes required for the fellowship. I have been able to meet some incredible people in the field of physical therapy, who were my teachers/mentors and part of my cohort. It has opened doors for me like teaching online and being part of South College’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program as Adjunct Faculty. It is so exciting to now be teaching alongside of some of my teachers, mentors, and classmates. I have had the pleasure of making friends all across the country. This experience has continued to help me ignite my passion to move the PT profession forward in my area and the state of VA.

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

EIM’s program was awesome in that it really pushed the clinical reasoning process and held your feet to the fire, making sure you just don’t go through the motions, but that you actually learn it and live it. You learn through some incredible mentorship with some of the top folks in the field of physical therapy. This program also helped me refine my manual skills, especially with HVLAT, and exposed me to pain sciences. The learning about pain sciences has been an unbelievable game changer in managing patients with persistent pain, as well as patients in general. What I have been able to offer my patients after going through EIM’s fellowship program, and the connections and network I have created, is priceless.

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

Prior to my involvement with EIM, I took a 10-month long manual therapy course at the University of Virginia-Healthsouth. That is where I met the late Jim Beazell. He started this course, which emphasized Maitland concepts such as the SINSS model. These concepts became game changers for me in improving my subjective exam, helping guide the vigor of my physical exam and ultimately my treatments using the test-retest model.

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

Go for it! New grads moving into residency after school or a year after graduation would be no problem, but I recommend at least 3-5 yrs of practice prior to going through a fellowship. It allows you to get some experience under your belt and pay off some debt before you spend more money to get a fellowship. Moreover, it will allow for a higher level of metacognition and critical thinking with the whole clinical reasoning process that is emphasized in many fellowships. I recommend that you find a place that has a residency or a fellow that can mentor you along the way your first couple years out of school.

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