One year ago I entered into the OPTIM Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapy Program. I had been wanting to sink my teeth into something of substance to improve my skills and thought process for some time now and felt a program that was longer than one weekend would be best. I looked into other COMT programs but found them to be unorganized and very lengthy to complete the entire program. Fortunately my colleagues from TSPT and friends Dr. Chris Fox and Dr. Jim Heafner were already instructors for the OPTIM program.
When looking into OPTIM’s program what attracted me the most was the ecletic approach they took. What I mean by that is that one school of thought was not the focus of the year long program. Instead, many different approaches were taught and offered. To me, this was very important. Another thing that stuck out to me was the emphasis on learning more on pain science. This was an area that I felt PT school and residency was lacking. Thus, learning this was important to me. Lastly, I knew from my colleagues Chris and Jim that ample time would be spent teaching and practicing techniques.
So, one year later I am approaching the completion of the program. I can honestly say it was money and time well spent (and significantly cheaper than other COMT programs I might add). The program is really more like a residency as it requires quite a bit of time every month outside of the 7 weekends spent in Phoenix, AZ. There is weekly mentoring sessions online via Zoom call, Medbridge courses, and workbooks to be studied and reviewed. Additionally each weekend class goes over techniques and concepts from previous weekends to ensure constant repetition. After all, manual therapy is really a motor skill that must be practiced over and over again to improve upon.
For those of you interested in seeking quality learning and are dedicated to putting the time in to really make a difference in your skills I would highly recommend this program. And don’t worry, students are also welcome and I think it’s a great adjunct to PT school. Feel free to email me for more information or check out the OPTIM website here: http://www.optimfellowship.com/
Dr. Brian Schwabe, PT, DPT, SCS, CSCS
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