AAMT Fellowship

The American Academy of Manipulative Therapy (AAMT) Fellowship in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy is accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association and AAOMPT as a post-professional fellowship program for physical therapists in orthopaedic manual physical therapy. Graduates of the 12-month distance-based AAMT Fellowship program are eligible for the FAAOMPT credential. The next fellowship cohort begins March 1, 2023. AAMT Fellowship Applications should be submitted to fellowship@spinalmanipulation.org. The application deadline is October 1, 2022; however, early applications are advised due to rolling admissions.

How can I apply for the March 1, 2023 cohort?

Fellowship applicants will be selected for the March 1, 2023 cohort based on information provided to AAMT via the AAMT Fellowship Application Form. Admission will be primarily based on relevant clinical experience and the completion of specialty training or certifications in the areas of orthopaedic physical therapy and/or manual therapy. The deadline for applications for the 2023 AAMT Fellowship cohort is October 1, 2022. However, we begin awarding placements in the AAMT Fellowship after August 1st, so earlier applications have a greater chance of acceptance due to “rolling” admissions.

How will I be notified if I have been selected to be part of the March 1, 2023 cohort?

AAMT may decide to contact you via email or phone during the application process on a case-by-case basis. If selected for the AAMT Fellowship program, you will receive an acceptance letter via email within 7 days of submitting your AAMT Fellowship Application Form.

What are the entrance requirements for the AAMT Fellowship program?

All applicants must meet the following requirements prior to being admitted into the AAMT fellowship program:

1. Applicants must be a licensed physical therapist in the state that they plan to complete their clinical mentored training within.

  • Applicants may apply to AAMT with a temporary physical therapy license in the state that they plan to conduct mentored training in.
  • Foreign applicants may apply, but they must be licensed to practice in the state that they will conduct training prior to the start date of the fellowship.

2. Applicants must meet ONE or more of the following qualifications:

  • ABPTS specialist certification in a related specialty area (e.g. OCS), or
  • Graduate of an ABPTS credentialed residency program in a related specialty area, or
  • Demonstrable specialty skills within a specialty area (e.g. Cert. SMT, Cert. DN, COMT, MTC)
What are the costs associated with the AAMT Fellowship program?

The cost of the AAMT Fellowship in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy for the 2023 cohort will be $12,500. Payments may be made in a lump sum or divided into quarterly payments. Please note that this does not include mentor fees. While some physical therapy clinics have experienced mentors that are organic to their clinic, others may have the need to import a mentor and/or send fellows-in-training to where they can receive mentored training. While the fee for organic mentors may be little to no cost, the fee for arranging external mentorship may be substantial. Fellows-in-training may request financial support to pay for the fellowship and the mentorship from the clinic they work for in return for reduced pay and/or owed time after completion of the fellowship.

During the 12-month AAMT Fellowship, you will earn the following credentials:

  • Certification in Dry Needling (Cert. DN)
  • Certification in Spinal Manipulative Therapy (Cert. SMT)
  • Diploma in Osteopractic
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (FAAOMPT)
If I have already taken courses through Spinal Manipulation Institute or Dry Needling Institute, can I apply them toward the fellowship requirements?

Many prospective fellows-in-training have already taken classes with SMI and/or DNI. However, fellows-in-training may only request transfer credit for up to 10 hours for these courses, assuming that the courses were taken in the last 2 years. Fellows-in-training may earn credit for previously taken courses through Spinal Manipulation Institute and Dry Needling Institute by:

  1. Retaking the class
  2. Serving as a primary or assistant instructor for the class
  3. Completing an independent study project (on the information covered in the previously taken class)
What are the requirements for mentorship?

Fellows-in-training may work with a mentor, as long as they hold the FAAOMPT credential. That is, the mentor does not need to be a graduate of the AAMT Fellowship and may have completed any one of the orthopaedic manual physical therapy fellowships offered through AAOMPT or ABPTRFE. While we recognize that having a mentor that is familiar with the AAMT philosophy of treatment may be advantageous, we understand that this may not always be possible.

Per AAOMPT guidelines, fellows-in-training must complete 300 hours (150 hours for fellows-in-training impacted by Covid-19) of mentor accessible time, whereby the fellow-in-training is seeing patients independently and the mentor is accessible by phone, text, Skype, email, etc. In addition, fellows-in-training must complete 150 hours of 1:1 time, whereby the fellow-in-training and mentor are treating patients together.

Do I need to move to Columbia, SC to join the AAMT Fellowship?

No, you can complete the AAMT Fellowship from your home clinic. In fact, almost all of the AAMT fellows-in-training continue with their full-time PT employment (at a private outpatient clinic, hospital outpatient clinic or professional sports team) while they complete the 12-month Fellowship. There are 2 primary requirements for completing training in the clinic in which you presently work:

  1. The clinic must see a “representative” population of all orthopaedic conditions
  2. The clinic must have a mentor working at the clinic or a mentor that is accessible to the clinic (i.e. the mentor may come to the fellow-in-training’s clinic to provide 1:1 mentorship, or the fellow-in training may travel to the mentor’s clinic to fulfill the requirement)
How can I contact AAMT about the fellowship?

Further inquiries about the 12-month, distance-based AAMT Fellowship program should be made directly to the AAMT Fellowship Coordinator, Dr. Raymond Butts, PhD, DPT, MSc (NeuroSci), Dip. Osteopractic, MAACP (UK), Cert. DN, Cert. SMT at fellowship@spinalmanipulation.org.

In accordance with ABPTRFE and AAOMPT evaluative criteria, the AAMT Fellowship in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy is proud to report the following program outcomes. To date, 95.7% of fellows-in-training have successfully completed the 12-month AAMT Fellowship program, thereby earning Cert. SMT, Cert. DN, Dip. Osteopractic and FAAOMPT.  Moreover, >85% of graduates go on to hold leadership positions within the PT profession (e.g. private practice owners, clinic directors, university faculty members, etc.). In addition, in regard to scholarly achievement, 100% of AAMT fellows-in-training participate in publishable research projects prior to graduation.

2020 AAMT Fellowship Schedule

Week 1 Intensive – Columbia, SC – March 4-11, 2023

D-4 Clinical Reasoning for the Management of Vestibular Disorders
D-5 Emerging Technologies in Physical Therapy Research
D-9 Leadership, Business Management & Legal Topics for the Private Practitioner
NTM-1 Evaluation and Treatment Techniques using Non-thrust Mobilization of the Spine
NTM-2 Evaluation and Treatment Techniques using Non-thrust Mobilization of the Spine

Week 2 Intensive – Columbia, SC – August 5-12, 2023


Instrument- assisted Soft-Tissue Mobilization for Spinal & Extremity Conditions: An Evidence-Based Approach


Upper and Lower Extremity Dysfunction: Evaluation and Management with HVLA Thrust Manipulation and Exercise


Ultrasound-Guided Dry Needling: Diagnosis and Management Implications for Spine and Extremity Musculoskeletal Conditions

Week 3 Intensive – Columbia, SC – December 1-8, 2023


Clinical Applications of Spinal Manipulation and Comprehensive Oral, Practical, and Written Examination


Applied Musculoskeletal Anatomy with Cadavers


Musculoskeletal Imaging for the Physical Therapist (Radiographs, MRI, & Diagnostic Ultrasound)


Differential Diagnosis and Multi-modal Management of Upper & Lower Extremity Pain Syndromes of Spinal Origin

Diploma in Osteopractic Graduation Ceremony – Columbia, SC – December 3, 2023 (9 am – 1 pm)

Online & DVD Courses: Distance-Based Enrollment

D-3 Clinical Research: Design & Methodology
D-6 Biopsychosocial & Pharmaceutical Aspects of Pain Management
D-7 Manual Therapy in Third World & Underserved Populations
D-8 Grant Writing & Publication
D-10 Biostatistics for Clinical Research
D-11 Education Innovation & Instructional Design for the Manual Therapist

Weekend Courses: Multiple Location & Date Options


High-Velocity Low-amplitude Thrust Manipulation of the Cervical, thoracic, Lumbar, and SI Joints


Cervicothoracic Dysfunction and Cervicogenic Headaches: Diagnosis & Management with HVLA Thrust Manipulation & Exercise


Lumbar and Sacroiliac Dysfunction: Diagnosis and Management with HVLA Thrust Manipulation and Exercise


Dry Needling for Craniofacial, Cervicothoracic & Upper Extremity Conditions: An Evidence-Based Approach


Dry Needling for Lumbopelvic & Lower Extremity Conditions: an Evidence-Based Approach

AAMT Fellowship

James Dunning, PhD, DPT, MSc (Manip Ther), FAAOMPT, Dip. Osteopractic
Fellow, American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists
Senior Instructor, Spinal Manipulation Institute & Dry Needling Institute
Director, Montgomery Osteopractic Physical Therapy & Acupuncture Clinic
President, American Academy of Manipulative Therapy


AAMT Fellowship

Clint Serafino, PT, DPT, FAAOMPT, Dip. Osteopractic
Fellow, American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists
Assistant Director, AAMT Fellowship in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy
Senior Instructor, Spinal Manipulation Institute & Dry Needling Institute
Vice-President, American Academy of Manipulative Therapy


Contact AAMT

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