Kaiser Permanente Vallejo Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship

Kaiser Permanente Vallejo Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Fellowships 2015

Kaiser Permanente Northern California offers a unique, full time physical therapy fellowship program in orthopaedic manual therapy and musculoskeletal primary care. The program is located at the Vallejo Medical Center, home to the internationally renowned training program in proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, an established leader in physical therapy postgraduate education. The Orthopaedic Manual Therapy and Musculoskeletal Primary Care Fellowship is built upon this tradition of excellence in physical therapy education. The program is credentialed by the American Physical Therapy Association, and recognized by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists. Kaiser Vallejo is located twenty minutes from the wine country of Napa Valley and just across the bay from the city of San Francisco.

The program mission is to promote formal training specifically designed to help the fellow develop and attain the knowledge, judgment and professional behaviors necessary to achieve advanced clinical competence in orthopaedic manual therapy and musculoskeletal primary care. Our fellowship offers the academic and clinical mentoring experiences required to become a highly skilled patient care provider, primary care consultant, mentor and educator. While in training, we motivate the fellow’s desire to make lasting contributions to the local and professional community, and strive to enhance sustainable professional satisfaction throughout the fellow’s career by graduating clinicians who are confident in their abilities and proud of completing a large step toward excellence as a physical therapist.

The curriculum and clinical training experiences are designed to integrate advanced physical therapy practice skills with an in depth knowledge of musculoskeletal disorders, non-musculoskeletal disorders and medical screening strategies. These advanced clinical skills enable program graduates to competently and confidently care for patients with musculoskeletal problems in diverse practice settings, including outpatient orthopaedics, primary care, military medicine and other direct access practice venues.

During their tenure, all fellows will have the unique opportunity to practice with an Adult Primary Care Team. Each of these teams consist of a physical therapist, family practice and internal medicine physicians, nurse practitioners, a behavioral medicine specialist, a clinical pharmacist and a health educator.   The role of the primary care physical therapist is to provide primary musculoskeletal consultations, dispositions, and interventions for patients who present to the team with musculoskeletal complaints. In this capacity the physical therapist (in collaboration with the patient’s primary care physician), help coordinate a care process aimed at mitigating the patient’s musculoskeletal problem.

The twenty-month program is divided into four modules that have different areas of academic and clinical focus. Each module builds upon the experience and knowledge obtained during previous modules. Clinical mentoring experiences provide each fellow with the opportunity to examine, evaluate, provide intervention for, and progress patients together with more experienced physical therapists. There is daily access to on-site mentors, and a physician liaison is available to discuss cases that may require medical expertise. The opportunity to spend eighteen months with other motivated physical therapy fellows serves to enhance the environment for learning.

Program Specifications

  • Approximately 600 hours formal seminar / lab instruction / tutorial
  • Approximately 300 hours 1:1 clinical supervision
  • Approximately 12 hours sub-specialty clinic observation
  • Average of 35 clinical practice hours / week (25 hr ambulatory care and 10 hours of hospital based services)

Program Outline

MODULE I – Basic Spine & Extremity The fellow is introduced to the intricacies of the patient interview, clinical reasoning, recognition of clinical patterns, orthopaedic assessment and the foundations of manual therapy examination and intervention for the spine and extremities. Relevant functional anatomy, arthro-kinematics, and mechanisms of referred pain are also discussed. Dedicated time to critical appraisal of the literature and evidence based practice is initiated.

MODULE II – Essentials of Primary Care – Introduces the fellow to the essentials of primary care physical therapy, including the fundamentals of diagnostic imaging, pharmacology, laboratory values and the principles of differential diagnosis as it relates to screening for medical disease, and serious musculoskeletal conditions. The fellow is oriented to the operations of the adult primary care team, and the value of practicing in the hospital based physical therapy services.

MODULE III – Advanced Seminars: spine / upper quarter / lower QUARTER Competence in the clinical reasoning process is a goal and an expectation during each of the advanced modules. The modules utilize a case-based learning format to facilitate discussion about pathology, pathogenesis and integration of orthopedic clinical practice. Therapeutic exercise regimes, patient education, self-management and ergonomic considerations are also presented. Synthesis of evidence and consensus based practice is emphasized in these seminars whenever possible. Each fellow will be challenged to draw upon their experience from previous modules and clinical experiences. Options for partnering with primary care providers and subspecialty services for complex patients are discussed and presented in clinical algorithmic formats. Functional anatomy, arthro-kinematics, and connective tissue physiology are re-introduced in a clinically relevant manner. The fundamentals of PNF are introduced into clinical practice during these modules.

MODULE IV – PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT & Practice Integration – During the fourth and final module each fellow is challenged to integrate their academic and clinical experiences via:

  • Participation in ‘Roving PT’ serving the departments of medicine, pediatrics and sports medicine.
  • Preparing and presenting a case study to a cohort of peers.
  • Preparing a case study manuscript for potential publication.
  • Participating in teaching practicums.
  • Mentoring colleagues.


  • Graduate of a CAPTE accredited physical therapy program and eligible for California licensure.
  • Preferred 2 years post-professional musculoskeletal clinical experience.

Desirable Applicants

Due to the demands associated with long days of clinical practice, attending class and time spent with independent study, candidates must be highly motivated, possess good interpersonal skill, have a flexible personality and work well as part of a team.


Fellows are paid an annual salary of $73,000 with a generous employee benefit package that includes medical, dental, disability insurance, paid holidays, and vacation.


Graduate Diploma in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy

Important Dates

Application Deadline: February 1, 2017.

Interviews: April-May 2017.

Admission notification: July 2017.

Onboarding date: October 9, 2017.

Clinical & Academic Faculty

Sherman Auyeung DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Michael Bang PT, OCS
Edmond Bayer PT, OCS
Kelley Bayer DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Cristen Clark DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Ryan Elliott PT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Kristi Greene PT, OCS
Jeremy Jackson PT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Jennifer Pfeiffer PT, OCS
Daniel Yamada PT, OCS

Adjunct Faculty & Clinical Consultations

Peter Boorstein MD
Michael Ross PT, DHS, OCS
Steven Schmidt PT, M.Physio, OCS, FAAOMPT
Amy Smith MPT, OCS
Paul Whitney OTR, MS, CHT
Mark Zaitzew PT, IPNFAI

Application and Admission Process

To apply for a fellowship appointment, submit a completed application to the program coordinator by 1 February 2017:

Cristen Clark DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Coordinator, Physical Therapy Fellowship
Kaiser Permanente Medical Center
Department of Physical Therapy
975 Sereno Dr.
Vallejo, Ca. 94589

Include the following in your application packet:

  1. A cover letter that addresses the following inquiries: (Should not exceed three typed single spaced pages)
    What goals do you wish to achieve by participating in a clinical fellowship?
    Describe your personal attributes and how these attributes will impact your colleagues in fellowship, clinical faculty, and your profession as a whole.
    Professionally speaking, where do you envision yourself in five years?
  1. Curriculum Vitae.
  1. Two letters of recommendation from clinical and/or academic colleagues (one clinical colleague required).
  1. Copy of physical therapy license.
  1. Official academic transcripts from your professional physical therapy program.
  1. List of continuing education, mentorship, and or research experiences.

A selection committee consisting of clinical faculty and department administrators will review applications. Top applicants will be granted an interview in the months of May & June 2015.

Please e-mail questions about our post-graduate fellowship program to Cristen Clark DPT: cristen.x.clark@kp.org. Phone contact for Cristen Clark is (707) 651 – 2209.

Kaiser Permanente is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of creed, gender, age, national / ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.