Taylor McNair graduated cum Laude from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX in 1998 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and was awarded the honor of being invited into Phi Beta Kappa. She went on to earn her Doctor of Physical Therapy from Northwestern University in Chicago, IL during which time she participated in and presented research on limb position sense at the American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting.
She began her career in New York City at Beth Israel Hospital where she worked in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings and became Senior Physical Therapist for inpatient orthopedics as well as a Certified Clinical Instructor. During that time she earned her Orthopedic Certified Specialist distinction from the APTA. Taylor continued her pursuit of manual therapy skills in Cary, NC working in a busy outpatient orthopedic setting. During her 5 years in North Carolina, she earned designations as a Certified Mulligan Practitioner, a Functional Dry Needling Practitioner, and as a Certified Functional Manual Therapist, passing with Distinction and the highest score in her 2013 class. She also became the mother of 2 wonderful children.
In 2014 she and her family moved to Grand Junction, CO, where her husband began working toward his LCSW distinction. She has been seeing her own private patients as well as working with elderly in assisted living and inpatients at the region’s primary hospital, St. Mary’s. She has continued her quest for knowledge and skills with classes from Tom Myer’s on fascial treatments and Herman and Wallace for pelvic and women’s health.
In 2016 she completed her AAOMPT credentialed Fellowship with the Institute of Physical Art and moved to Asheville, NC with her family.
What made you decide to pursue fellowship training?
After I finished getting a manual therapy certification (CFMT) with the IPA, I felt like I was still not the best I could be at treating my patients. It seemed like there was another level I wanted to get to and I believed the fellowship was the best way to get there.
The motivation to continue to pursue becoming a better therapist is really twofold. When someone looks to me to help them solve their important problem, I really want to be able to help them solve it. And I believe that the better you are at what you do, the more potential for power and freedom you have in your career.
What fellowship program did you attend and why?
I attended the fellowship program with the Institute of Physical Art in Steamboat Springs because this was the group that I had found that helped me create a real paradigm for movement and function and how to affectively change that for people. I began taking their classes while living in New York, and after several years, decided to commit to getting certified with them. After that, the fellowship was a natural progression.
What did your fellowship program entail (as far as specific training, etc…)?
The fellowship meets all the rigorous AAOMPT guidelines in terms of regional tests and various practice and didactic hours. By the time you get to the fellowship level with the IPA, you have demonstrated mastery of their core coursework. This leaves opportunity to continue to refine those skills, but also to explore other paradigms or coursework and integrate them during your fellowship time. It becomes an enhancement of what you’ve already learned, but also a chance to explore a broader experience of ways to most effectively practice physical therapy.
IPA’s fellowship is very focused on clinical mentorship time and in my experience affords fellows the opportunity to treat first hand with some of the very best manual therapists in the country and world. It is also an opportunity to be in the clinic with the creators of the coursework. This is exciting because you’re with the primary source of what you’ve dedicated so much energy to learning, but you’re also getting to witness their learning edges as new concepts are developed before they even make their way in to class content.
Are you trained in any specific areas of manual therapy (i.e. Maitland, McKenzie, etc…), if so, why did you choose that area?
My primary training is FMT, Functional Manual Therapy, with the Institute of Physical Art. I also completed a Mulligan certification. I discovered the IPA classes somewhat by chance as they have a strong presence in New York City where I began my career. I stuck with the organization for a lot of reasons. I think the content of the classes is excellent. But it’s not really just the content.
The training creates a foundation and framework for thinking about and organizing human movement. That is what separates a great professional from a great technician.
I also believe that the root of the IPA, the real reason it exists, is the deep desire of its founders to help people.
What advice would you give to new grads aspiring to pursue fellowship training?
Give yourself time to know what you like and want to be doing. Find the content that you value the most and then pursue the advanced training in a setting/environment and with the people that allow you to master that content. Also, it doesn’t have to happen overnight. If you’re committed to a path early, that’s wonderful, you will probably accomplish more sooner. It’s okay for life to happen as well. That’s part of what will make you a great PT. While you’re planning academically and logistically, plan financially as well. It will cost money.