Fellowship Corner: Boston University Fellowship in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy

Boston University’s Fellowship in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy, in collaboration with ProEx Physical Therapy, offers the opportunity for licensed physical therapists to elevate their level of clinical practice, advance their careers, and become leaders in the physical therapy profession.

This unique fellowship program will develop expert practitioners in orthopaedic manual physical therapy who will be further prepared to serve as direct access providers. Fellows will have the opportunity to enhance their clinical skills in the treatment of patients with neuromusculoskeletal disorders within a biopsychosocial model. They will develop and learn to utilize advanced skills in manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, communication, and differential diagnosis to enhance their clinical reasoning and decision making.

What makes your Fellowship program unique compared to other programs? 

University based with collaboration with large private practice group in area.  Online and web based meetings and discussions, recorded patient encounters with extensive feedback.

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

Experience faculty as both clinicians and educators in professional education.  This Fellowship is much more than just an orthopedic manual physical therapy program.  Of course there is a strong focus on manual skills but it also incorporates many other aspects that go into caring for the person as a whole; latest evidence based practice, pain science education, therapeutic alliance and elevated clinical reasoning skills. The result is a patient centered approach.  Another strength of this program is that the faculty has both academic and clinical experience that allows them to recognize the challenges facing clinicians today.

What makes focused learning within a Fellowship worth pursuing?

Focused learning within fellowship allows for development on individual basis depending on needs of the fellow. As a clinician with many years of orthopedic experience and extensive manual therapy training, my needs are different than those of a newer graduate and fellowship has allowed for these to be addressed.

Focused learning in Fellowship allows you time to critically appraise your clinical reasoning and patient encounters, it enables you to develop as a clinician with great guidance and support versus trial and error.  It enables you to exposes you to a multitude of areas in clinical practice that promote expert practice.

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

Have clearly defined goals but understand that they may change as you move through the fellowship based on your experiences and self -reflection.  Prepare to be challenged and pushed out of your comfort zone but understand that it is through this the biggest gains can be made.

Take the time to reflect on your learning experiences, don’t just go through the motions.  Don’t hesitate to ask questions of peers, Mentors, Faculty it is ok not to know the answer to the questions as this is a learning experience and it should be happening for life.

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

Teaching in DPT curriculum, clinical inquiry and scholarly activities, Many move on to management of clinics and mentoring younger clinicians.

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