Ep 172 Chaser – Stephania Bell, Haideh Plock, and Jim Rivard on Fellowships and Residencies


Episode 172 Chaser

In this episode with Stephania Bell, Haideh Plock, and Jim Rivard, we learn about the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy, why you should seek out fellowships and residencies, and why you shouldn’t marry a classmate.

Bio: Stephania Bell, Haideh Plock, and Jim Rivard

Stephania Bell, PT, OCS, CSCS:

Physical therapist and American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) member Stephania Bell, PT, OCS, CSCS, is a board certified orthopedic clinical specialist and a certified strength and conditioning specialist. She works full time as an injury analyst and senior writer for ESPN. After earning her undergraduate degree from Princeton University Stephania went on to receive her Master of Science degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Miami, followed by a certification in orthopedic manual therapy from the Ola Grimsby Institute. Prior to joining ESPN, she worked for Kaiser Permanente in San Jose, California, and taught at the Kaiser Hayward Physical Therapy Fellowship in Advanced Orthopedic Manual Therapy. She has held teaching positions in the physical therapy programs at Samuel Merritt College and the University of Kansas and has lectured nationally on various physical therapy topics. Her primary patient population has included complex orthopedic cases involving athletes and performing artists of all ages and she continues to provide consultation in this practice area. Bell has held elected positions in the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT) and remains active in the Academy and APTA. She is the recipient of several honors and awards, including the University of Miami Alumni Fellowship Award and the AAOMPT John McM. Mennell Service award.

Haideh Plock, PT, DPT, ATC, OCS, FAAOMPT:

Haideh received her transitional Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Temple University in 2009, her Master’s of Science in Physical Therapy from Boston University in 1993 and her bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1991. Haideh’s prior experience includes working for more than 10 years at the world-renowned Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic (KJOC) in Los Angeles. While with KJOC, Haideh specialized in orthopedic- and sports-related injuries. She completed the Kaiser Hayward Physical Therapy Fellowship in Advanced Orthopedic Physical Therapy in 2002 and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT). She recently served as Vice-President for AAOMPT and is on faculty for the Kaiser Fellowship Program. Haideh was director of Emerald Bay Physical Therapy in Lake Tahoe for over two years prior to joining the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) as manager of the Department of Physical Therapy in 2006. Currently Haideh resides in Reno, NV, works per diem for Moreland Physical Therapy, has written on-line courses and is consulting for medical start ups.

Haideh is currently a nominee for President of AAOMPT! You can check her out on LinkedIn here.

Jim Rivard, PT, DMP, OCS, FAAOMPT:

Jim Rivard is the founder, co-owner and President of MTI Physical Therapy. Four years of post-graduate training specializing in orthopaedic manual therapy has made him an expert in a wide range of orthopaedic issues: sports rehabilitation, post-surgical rehabilitation, spinal injury, headache, TMJ disorders, work injury and motor vehicle collision. His passion for learning and development of clinical skill culminated in the establishment of MTI Physical Therapy as a teaching clinic for post-graduate training. His clinical achievements have been recognized with the attainment of Fellow in the AAMOPT in 1995 and a Board Certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist in 1997. He has been honored to currently serve as the President for the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy, recognized internationally as the primary organization for manual therapy in the United States.

In addition to a clinical practice, Mr. Rivard has extensive experience teaching and lecturing on manual therapy and exercise. He has been an instructor for the Ola Grimsby Institute (OGI) since 1992. In 2013 he, along with two associates, has assumed an operational role for the OGI as its Chief Academic Office. His extensive teaching experience has been shared in more than 250 courses throughout the United States and Internationally in 11 countries. Jim’s post-graduate training has included 1 and 2-year Residency and Fellowship programs leading to masters and doctorate degrees.

Contact Information

Stephania Bell:

Email: stephania.bell@espn.com

Blog: http://espn.go.com/blog/stephania-bell/

Twitter: @Stephania_ESPN

Haideh Plock:

Palo Alto Medical Foundation: http://www.pamf.org/haideh-v-plock.html

Twitter: @Sketchkitty

Jim Rivard:

MTI Physical Therapy: http://mtipt.com/our-company/jim-rivard/

Twitter: @JimRivardPT

Episode 172 Shoutouts

Chad Cook, PhD, PT, FAAOMPT – Pauline Cerasoli Lecture: The Sunk Cost Fallacy

Skye Donavon, PT, PhD, OCS – Department Chair of Marymount Physical Therapy

John DeNoyelles, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS – Jimmy’s friend and who did a residency

Episode 172 Highlights

(2:40) What is AAOMPT and what does it do?

(3:10) We’ve seen an explosion of residencies and fellowships in all practices, not just manual therapy.

(3:22) Why do you think there’s such an explosion to continue education even well after the DPT?

(4:40) “Stephania, before she became a big deal, she was already a big deal.”

(5:15) Why should someone seek out something that AAOMPT can deliver?

(5:52) “As an orthopedic therapist, I use neuro techniques, some manual. Manual therapy encompasses a lot of things.”

(6:35) Manual therapy is one of the few branches of medicine that have international standards for training at fellowships.

(7:45) Jim where do you work and what is the setting like?

(8:20) “It’s fun to see the overlap in places we differ in helping patients.”

(9:05) “PT is better when we’re interacting with people from other disciplines and that includes a lot of our referral base.”

(10:10) “If the surgeon is communicating about everything he has to do then he knows the PT understands we have to be cautious with x,y, and z. It’s a constant dialogue and everyone benefits.”

(12:30) “If your experience is poor as a patient, it’s important to look at why that was the case.”

(13:00) If you were to say to a patient what individualized care means, how would you explain it?

(16:40) What have you guys seen since you’ve been to CSM?

(17:50) Does that make them great PTs because they got good grades?

(19:55) Jim can you share some of you pointers on how to get your future employer to fund a fellowship or residency?



Get involved in your profession and learn from the people around you. Take part in these opportunities because that’s what this is, CSM, AAOMPT conferences. They’re opportunities to interact with people you don’t normally get to on a regular basis.


Do not marry a classmate. Do not come out with double the tuition debt of physical therapy school and the same income. Go outside the profession. Find a spouse somewhere else.


It’s just as important to come to these meetings as it is to do your studying and pursue advanced education because of the networking, interaction with peers and potential or prior mentors. Maintaining professional relationships is such an important part of extending and versifying your career path. I would also say it’s not even just the physical therapy meeting, I’m a big fan of going to other professional meetings, especially physicians. I go to AOSSM almost every year because I deal with a lot of athletes and work in sports medicine. That is the sports medicine branch of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Even going to the AAOS meeting, which is huge, is an opportunity and that’s a great place. Everybody is more relaxed at these meetings so the type of interaction you can have is far far different than a formal email or lecture. I also think it’s important to see what their learning, what’s important to them in their profession? What are the things that they’re arguing about in terms of practice issues? The more you understand that, the better you are at being able to bring that back and process it in relation to your cohort.

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