What is Physical Therapy Fellowship Training

//What is Physical Therapy Fellowship Training and why does it matter to me as a patient?

I often get this question and, the answer has several parts.

Nearly all modern day physical therapists are Doctors of Physical Therapy. This means they have an undergraduate degree and then complete 3 years of physical therapy school.

After PT school, some clinicians pursue advanced training through fellowships. A fellowship is typically a 1-3 year program that that allows a PT to become more specialized in a certain area of physical therapy.

Fellowships enable physical therapists to become recognized experts in a specialty or subspecialty. A fellowship is not required to practice physical therapy and while many physical therapists do not chose to do a fellowship after PT school, it is becoming more common to do so. Less than 1% of all physical therapists have completed fellowship training and, currently, there are only four in the state of Montana.

I did my fellowship training in the specialty of orthopedics (concerning conditions of the musculoskeletal system) and the subspecialty of manual therapy (using hands on techniques to mobilize or manipulate joints or tissues). These additional years of education afforded me the opportunity to train with nationally and internationally recognized experts, as well as focus on and master treatment techniques.

//So why does seeing a Physical Therapist who is Fellowship trained matter to me as a patient?

One of the analogies I use is fellowship training takes a clinician from the physical therapy equivalent of college ball, to the major leagues.

With rapidly changing advances in medicine it is crucial to see a physical therapist that is fellowship trained to ensure that you receive the best and most up to date care for your injury.

You will likely experience greater recovery in a shorter amount of time. Also, you will have a complete understanding of your injury or concern, how it occurred, how to improve, and decrease the chances of recurrence.

If you are interested in learning more about how a Fellowship Trained Physical Therapist can help you, or more about PT Fellowship programs in general, contact me at amy@momentumptmt.com


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