Episode 88 with Dana Tew Chaser

Tew--5 people you associate with

In this episode, Jimmy interviews residency and fellowship expert Dana Tew (@DanaTew) . Dana sips on his go-to Budweiser Select before switching over to his Texan brewed Real Ale Hans’ Pils, while Jimmy taste tests the Green Flash Tangerine Soul Style IPA.


Jimmy and Dana discuss the current state of physical therapy residencies and fellowship as well as the future growth of these programs. Creating his own fellowship, Dana keys in on the importance of mentorship in the physical therapy profession and the roles both parties play in fostering a positive learning environment.


Bio: Dana Tew, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT


Dana specializes in orthopaedic physical therapy. His experience includes clinical management of patients with both acute and chronic orthopaedic injuries in the outpatient environment. His practice is focused on integration of manual therapy and exercise into a holistic, evidence-based and biopsychosocial approach to physical therapy treatment. He is the residency manager of Harris Health System’s Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency Program. He was honored by the Texas Physical Therapy Association Southeastern District, as clinical instructor of the year in 2013. He is also a guest lecturer at Texas Woman’s University and has presented at multiple conferences. Dana earned his APTA Board Certification in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy and is also a Fellow in the American Academy of Orthopaedic and Manual Physical Therapists. He has served locally for the Southeastern District, as a delegate for the TPTA, and nationally on the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education credentialing services committee for the APTA.


Contact Dana Tew


Twitter: @DanaTew

Dana’s manual therapy residency program http://www.optimfellowship.com/

Catch Dana speaking: 2016 AAOMPT Conference October 26-30 in St. Louis, MO


Episode 88 Highlights


(3:35) What is a residency or fellowship?

1.5% of PTs have done residency or fellowship of 204,000 licensed PTs in US

“This isn’t school anymore. You’re in the clinic 40 hours per week.” –Tew regarding residency


(5:15) How are most programs set up? What are the standards and is it based off of the medical model?

“Their model is different and I don’t know that we should strive for that model.” -Tew


(7:05) Should residency be mandatory? Will it be discussed alongside student debt at House of Delegates this year?


(9:58) What is mentoring and where can I find it?”


(13:40) How did you create your own residency program?

“You can’t be mentored if you know it all…you have to be vulnerable to learn.”-Tew

Information about Dana’s Manual PT fellowship Optimfellowship.com



(15:25) “I think the residency really made me a physical therapist and I think that’s where it happened and that changed the trajectory.” –Tew


(18:00) Jimmy and Dana discuss ineffectiveness of continuing education courses

“The reason CEU courses are ineffective is we forget things and we forget things fast.”-Tew referencing Julie Fritz study @jfritzPT


(20:20) How do your residencies work at Optim?

Tew credits his first mentor and residency director Brian Duncan

Tew references Episode 11 with @DeNoyellesDPT #testrinserepeat


(25:10) “How is clinical education near and dear to your heart?”

Tew references The 5 Love Languages, noting we must observe how others learn

“What you see out there a lot is clinical experience, but you don’t see a lot of clinical instruction. That’s the part that’s missing.”

Jimmy thanks his incredible CIs Kim, Kevin, and Lisa


(32:57) Jimmy introduces new segment #AA Ask and Answer and takes some questions from twitter


  1. When do you need to start considering a residency? What to you makes a qualified or desirable applicant?
  2. What are some things students should look for in a program?
  3. How do you feel about online mentoring groups, residencies, and fellowships?


(46:45) “I’ve never had a student or a resident who didn’t want to teach at some point in their career. Everyone you ask, we all want to teach. We all want to be able to lead the next generation. This is who we are as a profession.”




#partingshots “Train at a county hospital…Train on a sick population…we get referrals from medical students and residents we have access to all their medical records, their imaging, the meds and we get a referral for just low back pain. We’re able to practice at the top of our license in an autonomous manner and I think that’s where we should start doing some of our training.”


#partingshots “You’re the average of the five people you associate with most. Surround yourself with good people with good IQ and EQ and those people will set you on the right path.”


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