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Why You Should Consider Fellowship

I've been asking my previous mentees for a quick word about what fellowship meant to them. For more information on it, you can visit Daemen College's Site or the APTA's Site.

This post is by Dr. Nicole Swiatek, BS, MS, DPT, FAAOMPT.

The OMPT fellowship offered at Daemen College

When going through college, we learn to memorize the material, take the test and move onto the next class with little integration of material. After we graduate, we study, memorize (again) and use our understanding of
the practice to pass our licensure exam. However, it is not until we begin our careers that we learn how to utilize that information and apply it to our patients. That’s when we have to figure out how everything fits
together. I have always used a multitude of practice methods when treating patients, which is primarily due to a great clinical experience that allowed me to explore a variety of ‘hands-on’ treatment techniques.
After graduating I worked for that same company and continued my ‘hands-on’ treatment approach and attended a variety of continuing education courses with a large emphasis on manual physical therapy. I
decided to apply to the OMPT fellowship at Daemen College because I wanted to focus my efforts into one location/course option. The fellowship emphasized not only manual physical therapy, but also made sure that the techniques we used were based on the available evidence. It made me look at the techniques I was using and really understand why I was using them. In addition, it was a great refresher course for anatomy and patient examination/evaluation. The coursework was no longer about memorization to pass a test; it was about learning why our techniques are used and how to base your exam and treatment on the patient’s response. When we first went to school, we received a PowerPoint slide labeled ‘treatment’ for a
certain condition, but in the real world, it doesn’t work that way. The fellowship emphasized that and reminded me of the many treatment options I can use, as well as best practice methods based on available evidence. More importantly, I focused on the patient’s concordant sign and focused my treatment, knowing my method was based on the patient’s response and available evidence. In addition, I was able to meet and work with a variety of great manual physical therapists and learn from their treatment approach. Overall, I would recommend the fellowship program to anyone thinking of improving their manual physical therapy skills using an integrated, patient response method.

Thanks Dr. Swiatek for your contribution and it was a pleasure teaching you!

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