Fellowship in Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy

Advanced training for management of the complex orthopaedic patient

UIC’s Fellowship in Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy provides advanced manipulation and orthopedic manual physical therapy training to licensed physical therapists.

Our curriculum promotes expert practice in Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy, and meets the requirements for recognition by both the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists and the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists. We capitalize on UIC’s extensive research in musculoskeletal pain with an emphasis on evidenced-based practice, scientific inquiry, and a strong foundation in the basic and applied sciences. You’ll build skills in:

  • Clinical reasoning and differential diagnosis
  • Using scientific evidence to address evaluation and management of clinical problems
  • Biomechanics, anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, and tissue healing and response
  • Manual and manipulative techniques for the spine and extremities

You’ll be employed full-time for 12 months (or in some instances, part-time for 24 months) at one of several clinical sites, including:

  • University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System
  • NorthShore University Medical Center
  • Rush University
  • The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
  • Edward Hospital
  • Lakeland Regional Medical Center in St Joseph, MI
  • BodyGears Inc

Our fellows get to teach and practice within the Chicago community. Serving the community helps us further our goal of promoting the use of OMPT in the United States as a safe, effective and efficient intervention. We also provide quality continuing education to community therapists, helping develop clinical and academic faculty.

Understanding by doing

Our program combines didactic and practical coursework with mentored clinical practice. Of your 440 supervised hours, at least 130 are spent one-on-one with a mentor. We focus on clinical reasoning and evidence-based evaluative and management skills, including thrust and non-thrust manipulation. Our program provides extensive educational experiences in the neurophysiological mechanisms and management of musculoskeletal pain.

Our fellows are evaluated through coursework, case reports, four practical exams and two live patient exams. Learning opportunities include:

  • Advanced Manipulation & Manual Therapy I and II (3 credits each)
  • Clinical Reasoning in Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy I and II (2 credits each)
  • Clinical Mentorship I and II (3 credits each): 440 hours
  • 1:1 mentored practice: 4 hours/week, 130 hours total
  • Mentored clinical practice: 20 hours/week
    • You must meet requirements for employment at one of our clinical sites
  • Teach as laboratory assistants in the musculoskeletal courses in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program: 7 hours/week
  • Directed studies (e.g., Radiology rounds, Orthopedic rounds, pharmacology independent study, anatomy review) dependent upon your individual learning needs assessment

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We're here for you

Still wondering what our Fellowship in Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy can do for you? Contact Dr. Carol Courtney and get your questions answered.

You can contact Dr. Carol Courtney at:

Peer-reviewed research

From OMPT faculty

From OMPT graduates

  • Sault JD, Emerson-Kavchak AJ, Courtney CA, Tow NS. (2016) Regional effects of orthopedic manual physical therapy in the successful management of chronic jaw pain. Cranio. Mar;34(2):124-32.
  • Geletka BJ, O’Hearn MA, Courtney CA (2012) Quantitative Sensory Testing Changes in the Successful Management of Chronic Low Back Pain Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy (20(1):16-22.
  • Lowry CD, O’Hearn M, Courtney CA (2011) Resolution of whiplash-associated allodynia following cervicothoracic thrust and non-thrust manipulation. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice 27(6):451-9
  • Hensley CP and Courtney CA. (2014) Management of a patient with chronic low back pain and multiple medical conditions using a pain mechanisms classification approach. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy 44:6: 403-C2.
  • Lantz JM, Mischke JJ, Emerson-Kavchak AJ, Courtney CA (2016) Tibiofemoral joint mobilization in the successful management of patellofemoral pain syndrome: A Case Report. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy 11(3):1-12.
  • Mischke JJ, Emerson-Kavchak AJ, Courtney CA. (2016) Effect of Sternoclavicular Mobilization on Pain and Function in a Patient with Massive Supraspinatus Tear. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice. 32(2):153-8.
  • Jayaseelan DJ, Courtney CA, Kecman M, Alcorn D (2014) Increased quadriceps force generation following side-lying rotational lumbar thrust manipulation in a patient with pain and weakness following ACL reconstruction. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy 9(7)991-1003.