Top 5 Fridays! 5 Reasons Why You Should Consider Fellowship
Today's Top 5 is also a Q&A from Phil Gregory, who recently obtained his OCS and asked me about fellowship.
Here are 5 reasons (plus some negatives, which Phil requested) why you should consider fellowship.
One of the complaints I heard while taking Paris' courses and others is "I get back to the clinic and have no one to practice my new skills with." With fellowship, you have an approved mentor by both the APTA and AAOMPT. There are 130 1:1 hours (which should be more IMO), and 310 indirect hours. The indirect hours are most likely handled differently for each fellowship, but ours at the McKenzie Institute and Daemen College involve discussion through email and soon to be implemented google+ hangouts watching mentors like myself treat live patients. There are also 5-10 research article reviews and 10 case studies. The mentorship is key, and I still serve to help mentor some of my fellows who stay in contact with me to help on difficult cases.
2) Different learning experiences
Whether you are a visual learner, kinethetic learner, or auditory... there should be enough different experiences from being live in a clinic with a mentor and often other PTs who practice at a high skill level. Students and fellow candidates alike often gain insight just by watching master clinicians interact with their patients.
Built into each fellowship are didactic learning experiences that serve as a basis for the clinical skills you learn under your mentor. Some of it is review, but we strive for evidence behind as much of what we do as possible. Learning always involves repetition and it is often better to review and enhance your existing knowledge base. Undoubtedly you will take courses and learn new material and framework that will enhance your clinical decision making. A bonus of our fellowship at Daemen College in Amherst, NY is that you get to take McKenzie A and B for $100 - unbeatable deal!
4) Fellow Status
Fellow status of any academy is often considered one of the highest statuses you can obtain in your respective profession. Other medical professions recognize fellowship status as well. It means you put in the time through an accredited and stringent program. Trust me, the APTA and AAOMPT are becoming very strict on how their programs are run through their audit process.
Will Fellow status gain you higher pay by your employer? It happened to one of my fellows, but not most. However, it opened up teaching opportunities to me and other fellows who I mentored. I have been offered guest lecturer positions based on fellow status, and of course it qualifies you to be a mentor in a fellowship program.
Going through an approved fellowship, you often take classes with other like minded individuals that are striving to better themselves as clinicians. This may not be the case with other con-ed courses, where practitioners are only sitting in for CEUs. I am proud to call collegaue many amazing clinicians from the University of St. Augustine, EIM, Daemen College, several MDT Diplomats, and private practice owners from all over the US! It always helps to have a network.
The negatives... off of the top of my head...
There is always the travel time, duration, price, etc... it's quite a commitment and if you own your own practice, it is difficult to leave for a week at a time if you have to travel to your mentor's clinic. Some mentors like myself are mobile and can come to your practice. The OSCE (final exam) is quite challenging, and like some certifications, many fail and some do not ever try again. My mentor and I both did not pass the first time, but we have the same message... you WILL pass, possibly not the first time, but study and work hard enough and you will.