Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship (OMPT)


Locations: Distance + on-campus
Formats: Online + hands-on
Program duration: 3-9 trimesters (1-3 years)*
See Requirements & Program Details


Fellowship at a glance:

  • Online coursework; in-person seminars and skills labs
  • 850 hours of patient care
  • 160 hours of 1:1 mentorship
  • 3–9 trimesters (1–3 years)*
  • Location: Any qualified clinic in the U.S.
  • Sept., Jan. & May start dates

*Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress, traditional vs. accelerated pathway, credits transferred and other factors.

The USAHS Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship offers physical therapists the opportunity to focus on the subspecialty area of orthopaedic manual PT. A level beyond our Clinical Orthopaedic Residency program, the Fellowship is designed for PTs who have specialist certification or who have completed a residency in orthopaedics. It prepares you to sit for your Manual Therapy Certification exam through USAHS’ Continuing Professional Education program. Graduates are eligible (and expected) to become Fellows of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (FAAOMPT).

Gain Advance Expertise in Manual PT

As a fellow-in-training, you will gain advance expertise in manual PT through immersive online instruction and clinical guidance from our faculty and your on-site (or virtual) mentor. You may complete your patient care hours at any qualified clinical site across the country.

This advanced qualification is a chance for you to further hone your skills so you can improve patient outcomes, reduce treatment times, train for leadership and clinical research roles, and more. Through this program, you may earn academic credit toward your Doctor of Education (EdD) degree from USAHS.

“At a time when many of my peers are feeling stale in their career, mine feels like it’s just begun! The program content is so rich; I can now see myself venturing into research, teaching, mentoring etc. This is where I want to be, this is what I had hoped for.”
—Dr. Maria I., Fellowship alumna

How Our Fellowship Stands Apart

We’re flexible.

We bring the program to you: Students may pursue their Residency at any qualified site in the United States. You may start the program in January, May, or September—and begin your clinical hours when it’s convenient for you.

We’re online + hands-on.

You will complete most of your academic coursework online and earn your clinical hours at a qualified site. Fellows-in-training attend manual therapy seminars (S2, S3, S4, E2, and MF1) that are offered by our Continuing Professional Education department both virtually and on our campuses; you choose when and where you take them.

We mentor you.

The program includes 160 hours of one-on-one mentorship with our distinguished faculty and your own on-site (or virtual) mentors. We enhance the development of our on-site mentors and maintain consistent standards for academic instruction and mentorship across our clinical sites.

Fellowship Curriculum

USAHS’ Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship is a demanding clinical and didactic learning experience designed to graduate physical therapists with advanced competency in manual physical therapy.

Clinical Requirements

Applicants may choose to pursue their Fellowship in the clinic they currently work, or find a position within a qualified and approved clinic anywhere in the United States.

  • A minimum of 850 patient care hours. Examination and treatment will cover the following body regions: cervical spine, thoracic spine, lumbar spine, pelvis – SI, craniomandibular, hip, knee, ankle, foot, shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand.
  • 160 hours of one-on-one mentoring in the clinic with a qualified and approved mentor, over the duration of the Fellowship.

Didactic Requirements

The didactic portion of the Fellowship focuses on advanced training in examination, evaluation, clinical reasoning, orthopaedic manual physical therapy, 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.

Expected learning experiences will be developed at the beginning of the Fellowship during discussions between the participant and the clinical faculty.

Examples of potential courses:

  • Evidence-Based Research for Healthcare Professionals
  • Foundations of Clinical Orthopaedics
  • Dry Needling Part I Seminar
  • Dry Needling Part II Seminar
  • Foundational Theories in Education
  • CF2: Intermediate Craniofacial
  • Pharmacology
  • Foundations of Imaging
  • Cultural Competency
  • E1 Extremity Evaluation and Manipulation Seminar
  • E2 Extremity Integration Seminar
  • S1: Spinal Evaluation and Manipulation Seminar
  • S2: Advanced Evaluation and Manipulation of Pelvis, Lumbar and Thoracic Spine Seminar
  • S3: Advanced Evaluation and Manipulation of Cranio Facial, Cervical and Upper Thoracic Spine Seminar
  • S4: Functional Analysis and Management of Lumbo-Pelvic-Hip Complex Seminar
  • MF1: Myofascial Manipulation Seminar
  • Manual Therapy Certification or Review
  • Thrust – Advanced Manipulation of the Spine and Extremities Seminar
  • Imaging Seminar
  • Spinal Instability
  • CF4: State of the Art Cranio Facial Seminar
  • APTA CI Credentialing Course

Additional Requirements

  • Participate in 12 journal clubs, lead three (online or in the clinic)
  • Participate and lead 12 case rounds (online or in the clinic)
  • Present three formal case presentations
  • Attend one AAOMPT conference
  • Attend Manual Therapy Certification review
  • Complete healthcare observations, mentored clinical exams, and clinical skills checklists
  • Complete a professional communications project
  • Produce a scholarly product which is disseminated to the professional community (e.g., poster and/or platform presentation, publication in peer reviewed journal)
  • Opportunity to teach and mentor entry-level DPT students, depending on location and if desired
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Fellowship Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission, interested applicants must be licensed or eligible for licensure in the state of the clinic assignment. You must have completed an APTA-accredited orthopaedic residency program or earned a successful score on the orthopaedic certified specialist exam. Applicants must display professional behaviors and enthusiasm in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy and demonstrate motivation and commitment to the profession. Desired applicants must possess clinical reasoning skills for the application of examination and treatment procedures, as well as have excellent verbal and written communication skills.

To apply, please visit RF-PTCAS. Applicants will be required to submit the following items to complete the application package:

  • Online application
  • Official transcripts from the degree-conferring institution
  • Essay
  • Two references from professional colleagues
  • PT state license or proof of eligibility for licensure in the state of practice
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae, which lists continuing education and professional publications
  • Current photo
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Fellowship Tuition & Fees

When you apply through RF-PTCAS, you will pay their application fee.

  • Program Cost is $12,000.00 if the applicant has already taken Manual Therapy Certification through USAHS
  • Program Cost is $15,000.00 if the applicant has not taken Manual Therapy Certification through USAHS
  • Additional Fee of $500.00 for each term over 12 months (not to exceed 36 months)
  • Cost of APTA and AAOMPT membership dues
  • Tuition & fees and travel to a Clinical Instructor (CI) Credentialing Course and an AAOMPT conference and Manual Therapy Seminars
  • Cost of malpractice insurance

Fellows in Training will be mentored in a qualified clinic by an approved mentor while completing didactic components. If applicable, mentor fees for clinical mentoring are negotiated between fellow and mentor.

The University offers an interest-free tuition payment plan administrated by Sallie Mae®. Contact us at [email protected] for more information.

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Fellowship Accreditation/Post-Graduation Licensure

Accreditation

The Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship program was reaccredited by the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency & Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE) in 2013.
ABPTRFE Accredited Program

 

 

The Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship program was accredited by the Accreditation Council on Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Education (ACOMPTE) in 2020.

ACOMPTE

The Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship program is not subject to accreditation by CAPTE.

For more information visit our Accreditation page.

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Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Orthopaedic Manual PT Fellowship program, graduates will be able to:

  • Apply skills of self-reflection and information literacy to the orthopaedic manual physical therapy practice.
  • Consult with peers, colleagues, other healthcare professionals, community agencies, legislative, legal and/or regulatory organizations in a collaborative manner for orthopaedic manual physical therapy patient/client management.
  • Demonstrate advanced clinical competencies through the use of evidence-based practice relevant to patient client management in orthopaedic manual physical therapy.

  • Demonstrate service as consultant, educator, clinical instructor and patient advocate for orthopaedic manual physical therapy.
  • Demonstrate independent ethical and moral decision making in orthopaedic manual physical therapy practice which is in the best interest of the patient.
  • Create a professional development plan for leadership to contribute to the advancement of the orthopaedic manual physical therapy profession as a healthcare leader through professional and community contributions.
  • Demonstrate independent decision making through advanced clinical reasoning and critical thinking patient values and current evidence in orthopaedic manual physical therapy practice.

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