The PhD program from the Ola Grimsby Institute is a 12-month program building on previous completion of Orthopedic Residency and a Manual Therapy Fellowship (FAAOMPT). Lecture and lab training, requiring students meet one week end per month, is supplemented with online reading and video instruction. The curriculum includes advanced methodology of assessments and interventions in the field of manual therapy and spinal manipulation. Fellowship training is awesome but it is just the beginning of a long career in advancing clinical mastery in manual therapy and spinal manipulation.  Students will participate in a 1 week clinical supervision experience with an approved OGI instructor for a minimum of 40 one-to-one mentoring hours. These 40 hours are a minimum requirement. The student must pass written and practical/oral exams and defend a formal dissertation before an University faculty dissertation committee to earn their PhD degree.

Program Components

  • Classes: 12 weekends (including Practical/Written Exams on the last weekend) over a 12-month period with a highly qualified OGI Instructor from the Ola Grimsby Institute. Additionally, outside instructors will present their specialties in spinal manipulation theory and practice. In class hours: 676 / Out of class hours: 579
  • Clinical mentoring: Students will perform 40 hours of 1:1 clinical supervision with an clinical mentor of the Ola Grimsby Institute anywhere in the United States. There is no fee for this clinical supervision; however, the student is responsible for all costs related to performing this clinical experience.
  • Supervised Clinical Hours: Students are required to perform an additional 440 hours of clinical supervision that can be performed at the student’s routine work environment; however, they will be in contact with a faculty member of the Ola Grimsby Institute via phone, e-mail, or other method of communication during that clinical time.

Additional Mandatory Courses:

Pharmacology for physical therapists and advanced radiology will be presented on additional weekends.

PhD Dissertation: Year 3 is the opportunity to complete the PhD dissertation.  The PhD is conferred after successful defense of dissertation and all academic and clinical requirements are complete.

To Enroll Download Enrollment Agreement 

Download: OGI Course catalog 


– How many applications do you receive each year (or last year)?

There is technically no limit to the number of applications we receive each given academic year. The OGI will typically have around 20 Residency Students, 20 Fellowship students and usually approximately 30-50 certification students each year. These numbers can fluctuate based on location and size of previous classes. Those Residency and Fellowship students are not in one class together, but typically in 2-3 Residency classes and 2-3 Fellowship classes being taught in major cities throughout the US. These classes are taught directly by our Instructor Staff on site, in person. The PhD program is an accumulation of three years of study. It embodies the Residency and Fellowship as its first and second years respectively. So the number of applications to the third year are fellowship dependent.

– How many applicants are accepted each year?

All applicants that meet the OGI requirements and standards can be accepted. The OGI program does not have a set number of slots to potentially fill. We have instructors that have gone through extensive training to teach all programs. A select group of instructors are allocated to teach the third and final year of the OGI PhD curriculum.

– Are candidates placed/employed with a program affiliated clinic or maintain employment at current place of work?

PhD. candidates maintain their current place of work. Classes are held on the weekends to allow the Candidate to continue their gainful employment. Time is required for the Candidatet to perform mandatory clinical hours with instructors at the instructors’ place of work.

– How are Candidates placed with mentors?

Mentors are chosen by both the Candidate and by their Primary Program Instructor. All mentors are direct faculty of the OGI. Each mentor has an in-depth knowledge of the curriculum and will guide the student to develop the skill set as taught during your curriculum to best assist in comprehension.

Candidate may have several mentors throughout their Program.

First is his/her primary program Instructor who will guide the student throughout the curriculum, assisting with the didactic and lab work, helping placement with clinical mentors, and being available for questions. Then there are several others.

The OGI has a student mentoring Chairperson, think of this person as your DPT program ACCE or DCE. They assist with your clinical mentoring placement and experience.

The Candidate will have several clinical mentors to assist them during their clinical hours working directly with the patient population. Their role is to make sure of your advanced clinical development, deductive reasoning, clinical problem solving, Evidence guided treatment and decision making, and direct skill development.

The Primary Program Instructor will also assist in guiding the Candidate to the most appropriate clinical Mentors to assist in addressing specific weaknesses, or to develop the best potential clinical experience.

Finally, the Candidate will also have a Research Mentor / Coordinator to assist with the Researching order to fulfill the dissertation requirements. There will be a primary research director to assist the candidate, as well as an University Faculty Dissertation Committee to assist in the development of the final dissertation.

– Does the Candidate work under a single mentor or multiple mentors during the duration of the program?

As noted above

– Is the course work delivered in-class, online, or a hybrid of both?

Both. Curriculum is delivered by an internet based education platform, Populi. Within Populi the Candidate will find all their assignments, lessons, schedules, communication, blogs, videos, quizzes, and manuals. Assignments are provided for the student in preparation for their classwork. Students are expected to come to class prepared with the material. Classes will include didactic lecture, case studies, labs, clinical skill development, and mock evals / treatment (with monthly live patients). The OGI is very science based and it is important that the student reads and comes to class with questions and allows the instructor to develop the clinical understanding of the research and science.

– If any in-class meetings, when/how often do classes meet?

Classes typically meet on the weekend. Candidates meet one weekend per month for class. The clinical hours with specific instructors occur during the instructors normal work week.

– How many, and what courses or areas of study do Candidates complete during the program?

Candidates enter the third year with a strong knowledge of manual therapy and physiologically dosed exercise. The final year of the PhD looks to develop the overall clinician with a broader comparison of study. The focus is on comparing different philosophies of treatment within manual therapy to advance the master clinician.

– Are Candidates paid salary? What is the approximate salary (or salary of most recent Candidate)?

All OGI students are considered full time and pay a tuition. The Candidate is still gainfully employed full time in their primary location of work. All studies and coursework by the OGI is covered during weekends, with the exception of the clinical mentoring hours.

– Are there any additional learning opportunities available to Candidates? (teaching, research, observation of specialty practice)

Yes many. The OGI has a strong research program. Though research is not mandatory for the third year itself, it is for degree granting. Students that choose to continue with the research program will work with the Research Coordinator and dissertation committee in the development of their final thesis. The OGI Orthopaedic is a specialty practice program from the beginning. This is an Orthopaedic Manual Therapy program. However, within the program, the Instructors all have developed specific specialties to which the Residents will have access to assist in the development of subspecialty. All candidates are encouraged and supported in their teaching and professional development. The OGI will assist in the development of Poster Presentations, Platforms, Breakouts, Publications, as well as presenting in the OGI’s Annual Scientific Forum.