Memorial Hermann | Rockets Sports Medicine Institute, of the Greater Houston area, is proud to offer advanced physical therapists the unique opportunity to complete a Spine Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship. Spine pain is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide, while also poorly recognized and managed, with growing high burdensome health care costs. There is a heightened need for advanced physical therapists trained in early recognition, triage and innovative conservative treatment as part of an integrated multidisciplinary team for spine care. The program affords a fellow a unique immersion experience into the field of specialized care in an aspiring Spine Center of Clinical Excellence. Additional focus on manual therapy training will result in the fellow achieving designation of FAAOMPT upon program completion, pending accreditation by ACOMPTE.

Clinical caseload will consist of ~25 weekly hours of orthopedics, with a focus on spine and didactic education, that will be led by physical therapy and physician partners. Education focus will encompass spine across the lifespan pediatric, sport and geriatric as well as immersion into university partner training rooms for hands-on practice of acute pain management. As a health system maintaining ~20 FAAOMPT designated physical therapists, Memorial Hermann allows access to unique learning opportunities, with over 150 one-on-one clinical mentorship hours and interprofessional collaboration with Spine Program-affiliated physicians. Fellows will navigate through the program over a 12-month period, beginning in August of each year. Applicants must have graduated residency or already have an advanced certification through the APTA (OCS or SCS). Applications open on an annual basis in the month of April.

For questions regarding the Spine Manual Therapy Fellowship program, please email:

Program Goals

Goal 1: Support the vision, brand promise, and culture of the sponsoring organization including Memorial Hermann's values of community, compassion, courage and credibility.

Goal 2: Become a nationally recognized provider for post-professional physical therapist education and leader in management of patients with spine pain.

Goal 3: Receive and maintain fellowship credentialing standards through ACOMPTE.

Goal 4: Graduate fellows that demonstrate expert level advanced practice and clinical reasoning, leadership within the field of orthopedic manual therapy, and proficiency in integration within the interdisciplinary team

Goal 5: Ensure consistent delivery of didactic content, clinical experience, and mentorship quality across all fellowship sites.

Fellow Outcomes

Outcome 1: The fellow(s) will demonstrate advanced skills in orthopedic manual therapy in all body regions, advanced clinical decision-making skills and expert-level patient care.

Outcome 2: The fellow(s) will consistently demonstrate the ability to teach and educate utilizing appropriate strategies and resources to increase knowledge and skills of patients, students, colleagues, other health care providers and the community.

Outcome 3: The fellow(s) will demonstrate the ability to consume, integrate, and contribute to the physical therapy body of knowledge

Outcome 4: The fellow(s) will demonstrate professional and interpersonal skills necessary to be an effective leader within the scope of the OMPT profession.

Outcome 5: The fellow(s) will add value to the sponsoring organization in order to maintain program viability and sustainability.

Application Information 

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Application Requirements

  • Due April each year (specific date to be communicated)
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Cover letter highlighting: previous experience with the general orthopedic and spine population, interest and desire to become a manual therapy expert, detail on relevant qualifications associated with spine clinical populations, and short/long-term career goals.
  • 2-3 professional reference
  • Proof of ABPTS specialist certification (SCS, OCS) or completion of an ABPTRFE-accredited residency in Sports or Orthopedic Physical Therapy

Prior to starting the fellowship, the following must obtain:

  • Valid PT license in Texas

Please send all components of the application in a single PDF by the due date to:

Financial Factsheet


The Spine Manual Therapy Fellowship program, in conjunction with our accredited physical therapy residency and fellowship programs, prides itself on developing leaders in the field of physical therapy. Our mentors invest heavily into the fellows' academic, professional and personal growth. The depth of experience in fellowship training means each fellow receives a personalized experience focused on achieving their goals through mentorship from FAAOMPT-designated physical therapists (150 hours) with additional mentorship from athletic trainers, PMR physicians and affiliated orthopedic and neurologic spine physicians.

In-Depth Curriculum

Our curriculum is continuously updated by our faculty and collaborators to provide the most up-to-date, evidence-based practice. The curriculum is designed specifically to encompass varying domains of spine across the lifespan, with a particular focus in applying advanced manual therapy to the spine and all other body regions. Additionally, our fellowship sites will provide educational experiences that expand beyond direct, clinical patient care to keep fellows at the forefront of an ever-evolving field.

With a curriculum designed for multidisciplinary collaboration, the fellow will have the unique opportunity to become a leader in inter-professional communication. Fellows will be immersed within the Memorial Hermann Spine Program which will allow for onsite physician education, mentorship and collaborative treatment of spine patients as part of a multidisciplinary team approach. Emphasis is placed on the patient’s initial point of entry with a provider, the continuum of patient journey including acute injury management and manual therapy in the D1 setting, post-operative management and long-term return to activity and/or sport. Fellows will work alongside spine surgery fellows and medical residents as well as our D1 Fellows as they go through sections of their didactic curriculum. Fellows will also have the opportunity to work alongside our research team to develop and execute a clinically meaningful research project for submission to national conferences and possible future publication. Lastly, fellows will have the opportunity to teach within the orthopedic and sports residency, within entry level curriculum, as well as systemwide presentations and CEU courses.

Our goal is to provide a robust experience and introduction to the management of manual therapy of all body regions with a specific focus on spine diagnoses across the lifespan, while giving the fellows the tools to reach their full potential through structured mentorship, diverse curriculum and leadership training.

Curriculum Components:

  • Spine exam and management: Lumbar, cervical and thoracic
  • Lower quarter exam and management
  • Upper quarter exam and management
  • Non-invasive interventional procedures
  • Surgical considerations and decision making
  • Sport-specific rehab considerations and return-to-play lecture series – focus on spine athletes
  • Spine fellows' grand rounds, lectures and surgical skills labs with affiliated physicians
  • Primary care sports medicine fellows' lecture series with affiliated physicians
  • Emergency medicine/ERA course
  • Adjunct teaching within physical therapy orthopedic & sports residency, physical therapy students and orthopedic surgical residents and fellows
  • Collaboration in a D1 athletic training room

Memorial Hermann Health System owns and operates 14 hospitals and has joint ventures with three other hospital facilities.

*Memorial Hermann Health System owns and operates 14 hospitals and has joint ventures with three other hospital facilities.

For Physical and Occupational Therapists