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Physical therapist Jen Samok recently completed an orthopedics fellowship to become a Fellow of the American Academy of Manual Physical Therapists (FAAOMPT). She is the second Coordinated Health physical therapist to complete the fellowship, and a third is currently working to earn hers.
“It made a huge difference in patient treatment,” she explained. “My patients get the help they need much faster than they would have five years ago.”
Jen Samok earned her doctorate degree in physical therapy from the University of Scranton. This was a seven-year program, after which she was prepared to begin her career as a physical therapist. She joined Coordinated Health in May 2017 as she was working to complete her fellowship. Jen explained that she was particularly interested in Coordinated Health because of its focus on orthopedics.
A skilled physical therapist at Coordinated Health’s Lehighton location, she completed the fellowship program by working full-time and attending sessions monthly in Baltimore, MD. In order to earn this title, she completed 17 weekend courses onsite, five online courses, and a total of 1006 clinical hours, 440 of which were supervised under another Fellow. The courses included didactic lectures and labs. Samok was able to immediately use the techniques she learned in training with patients at Coordinated Health.
Leslie Lupin, a physical therapist in Bethlehem, is also currently completing her fellowship. Physical therapist Jon Borger has had his FAAOMPT certification long enough to act as a mentor to both Samok and Lupin.
“On paper [the fellowship] sounds overwhelming,” said Lupin, “But it is well-structured, fun, and doable while working full-time because it is an enhancement of what I already know and makes my job easier.”
This program allows physical therapists to become more efficient clinicians. With this training, physical therapists are better able to assess the patient, determine the movement impairment and then more effectively treat the cause of the problem with manual therapy and appropriate exercise prescription.
“In the healthcare environment that we are in now, we are expected to do things better and faster, and this helps you do that,” said Borger. “This program gives you the tools to do a better and more efficient job, getting patients better in fewer visits because you can assess the problem right up front, fix it, and move on.”
All three physical therapists agreed that Coordinated Health has been encouraging in supporting their continued education. Coordinated Health was able to help coordinate their schedules to make it possible to complete training requirements and encourages more physical therapists to follow suit in the future.