Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship

The Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences provides a focused curriculum with advanced clinical and didactic instruction that is intensive and extensive. The Fellowship identifies advanced competency in manual therapy learning and practice as the primary achievement.

Program Mission
The mission of the Fellowship program of the University of St. Augustine is to graduate physical therapists who have achieved advanced competency of clinical skills in both clinical and didactic learning in Orthopaedic Manual Therapy.

Program Objectives
Through completion of this program, the Fellow will:

  • The Fellow graduate will apply advanced skills for examination of orthopaedic patient cases.
  • The Fellow graduate will analyze the outcomes of the patient examination to formulate an evaluation statement.
  • The Fellow graduate will apply and modify advanced skills for intervention of orthopaedic patient cases.
  • The Fellow graduate will plan and implement Physical Therapy management strategies, which take into consideration preventative aspects of patient documentation and employment needs of the patient.
  • The Fellow graduate will plan and implement Physical Therapy management strategies, which relate directly to functional improvement.
  • The Fellow graduate will demonstrate appropriate decision making for patient care.
  • The Fellow graduate will apply evidence based practice with patient care.
  • The Fellow graduate will formulate a research investigation.
  • The Fellow graduate will communicate effectively with patient and patient-related services and administrative personnel.
  • The Fellow graduate will identify strengths and weaknesses in their learning environment through reflective thinking and appropriate communications.
  • The Fellow graduate will apply an ethical standard of clinical practice.
  • The Fellow graduate will apply to become a fellow of American Academy of Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapy.
  • All mentors are expected to participate in at least the Level I of APTA credentialing program.
  • Consistency of standards for administration, didactic and mentorship will be maintained across multiple clinical sites by use of standardized forms and communication.
  • Self-evaluation of program process and outcomes of students/graduates will be performed each year in preparation for the APTA annual report.
  • Multi Site: Consistency of standards for both didactic and mentorship areas will be maintained across multiple clinical sites. Clinical mentors and fellows will utilize all the same forms and methods of reporting to the program director. The director will review the method of both mentor and fellow reporting as well as summarize the achievement across sites.

Admission Requirements
The Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship program is open to any physical therapist who has a minimum of two (2) years of clinical practice in orthopaedics or has completed an APTA credentialed Orthopaedic Residency and has completed the University of St. Augustine E1 and S1 seminars. The participant must be licensed or eligible for licensure in the state in which mentoring will be provided.

All students who apply to the Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship program must undergo an  application/admissions process. Documents that must be submitted include:

  • Application for Admission
  • $50 processing fee
  • Official transcripts from all previous institutions of higher learning
  • Two references from professional colleagues
  • Copy of professional state license
  • Current resume which lists continuing education involvement and professional publications
  • Current photograph
  • Essay

Period of Fellowship
The University of St. Augustine offers full-time and part-time fellowships at our St. Augustine and San Diego campuses, as well as, off campus sites. The fellowship period is a minimum of 12 months and maximum of 36 months. Fellowships are available around the United States, based on mentor availability. Mentors are required to be a Fellow of AAOMPT or international equivalent.

Responsibility and Learning Activities
Participants are responsible for their progress in the fellowship program. The fellowship is a demanding clinical learning experience designed to bring out the best in each candidate. Expected learning experiences will be developed at the beginning of the fellowship during discussions between the participant and the clinical faculty. However, both the faculty and participant must remain flexible to possible changes that may occur in the schedule.


  • One hundred sixty (160) one-on-one mentored hours in the clinic over the duration of the Fellowship.
  • The fellow in training will achieve in the program 440 patient care hours. A total of 100 spinal hours and 60 extremity hours of didactic work will be in manual therapy. Treatments will cover the following body regions: Cervical Spine, Thoracic Spine, Lumbar Spine, Pelvis - SI, Craniomandibular, Hip, Knee, Ankle, Foot, Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist and Hand.


  • Advanced training in examination, evaluation, clinical reasoning, in orthopaedic manual therapy skills, and patient management based upon the practice dimensions described in the Advanced Description of Specialty Practice for Orthopaedic Physical Therapy and the AAOMPT Education Standards of Practice. Body regions covered include cranial/mandibular, cervical spine, thoracic spine/ribs, lumbar spine, pelvic girdle/sacroiliac/coccyx/abdomen, shoulder/shoulder girdle, arm/elbow, wrist/hand, hip, thigh/knee, leg/ankle/foot.
  • Courses include: Evidence Based Research, Medical Diagnostics, Foundations of Clinical Orthopaedics, Professional Communications, Educational Theory, Basic Craniofascial, Pharmacology, Imaging, Clinical Instructor Credentialing, E1: Extremity Evaluation and Manipulation, E2: Extremity Integration, S1: Intro to spinal evaluation and Manipulation, S2: Advanced Evaluation and Manipulation of Lumbar Thoracic Spine, S3: Advanced Evaluation and Manipulation of CranioFacial, Cervical and Upper Thoracic Spine, S4: Functional Analysis and Management of Lumbo-Pelvic-Hip Complex, MF1: Myofacial Manipulation, Manual Therapy Certification or Review, Thrust, Imaging Seminar Craniofacial I, Spinal Instability and APTA CI course.
  • Participants can also earn academic credit towards the transitional DPT, or EdD programs at the University of St. Augustine.

Scholarly Activities

  • Produce a scholarly product which is disseminated to the professional community, e.g poster and/or platform presentation, publication in peer reviewed journal
  • Participation in journal clubs and case rounds
  • Opportunity to teach and mentor entry level DPT students, depending on location
  • Attendance at AAOMPT annual conference

Program Tuition and Costs
Mentor fees for fellowships are negotiable between fellow and mentor. The cost of the fellowship is variable depending on the background of didactic work of the applicant. Seminar and online course fees could average between $4,430.00 to $13,544.00. There is a non refundable $50.00 application processing fee, and an administrative cost of $1,000.00 per semester ($3,000.00 total). Fellows will also attend the APTA's CI credentialing course, currently offered for $165.00, (included in the range of total).

The university received approval from APTA to become a credentialed Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship program in 2003 and was re-credentialed in 2008.