NAIOMT Clinical Fellowship Instructor Josiah Faville obtained a BS in Biology at Seattle Pacific University and then went on to earn his DPT in 2009 from the University of Puget Sound. He has worked for Therapeutic Associates since graduation. He completed an Orthopedic Residency in 2011, received his OCS in 2012, became a CMPT in 2013, a COMT in 2014, and completed Fellowship through NAIOMT in 2017. Josiah splits his time between patient care and the Therapeutic Associates Education Department, where he serves as Director of the Orthopedic Residency Program as well as a mentor for new staff, residents, and fellows-in-training.
What drew you to PT as a career? When and how did you start your journey?
I had early exposure to PT with my first knee surgery at age 12 and my second at age 13. In college when I was deciding what area of medicine to pursue, PT was the most compelling option. It was one of the more active medical professions and it had a head component and a hands component, both of which were important to me.
What was your first job and what did you learn from it?
Most of my immediate and extended family does construction, so I had a lot of early experience painting, drywalling, roofing, siding, etc. I learned to work hard and that it takes time and effort to master a craft.
Where did you take your first NAIOMT courses and what was your first impression?
My first NAIOMT course was in Seattle with Steve Allen. I was super uncomfortable for two reasons: one, because Steve started the weekend with a Shakespeare monologue and that made me squirm, and two, because I was in the middle of a pretty significant low back pain episode and had no idea what the illness script for an end plate injury looked like. My mind was blown, and I was hooked.
How did you hear about the NAIOMT Fellowship Program?
I heard about it when going through the Therapeutic Associates Orthopedic Residency Program.
Was fitting the fellowship into your lifestyle challenging?
Yes and no. At the time I was working ten hour days on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, so I went to Starbucks on Wednesday and Saturday from 5:30-8:30 am and worked on the Fellowship early so as to minimize the impact on family time. It was a challenge, but scheduling the time and just showing up and plugging away made it doable.
What did you enjoy most about the Fellowship program?
I don't know that I can pick a single aspect. The higher level coursework, certainly. Working through the process of writing up a case study with Sam Cornell. It was a crazy long process, and it gave me a deeper understanding of what it takes for something to wind up in the literature. And I actually really enjoyed the online modules - sipping on an early morning Americano and doing some in-depth study.
Who was/is your mentor? Tell us about several if you have them!
I have been blessed to have had several incredible mentors over the years. Bill Temes has been my primary mentor and a consistent force in my professional development for the last decade plus. David Deppeler, Kent Keyser, and Chris Hoekstra have also been instrumental mentors at various times over the years.
Why did you decide to become a mentor?
I've always been attracted to the clinical aspect of PT, and even in Residency, I would introduce Bill Temes to my patients and tell them that someday I was going to take his job (I'm still working on that...). Mentorship and the learning therein has been the thing that has kept the profession fresh, inspiring, and fulfilling. In so many ways, you don't know what's possible unless you have experienced others asking you questions, helping you self-evaluate, and demonstrating what's attainable. It was only natural for me to want to pay it forward and to do for others what I was fortunate enough to have done for me.
What’s unique about you as a teacher?
I'm practical and clinically relevant. In general, I don't do well with remembering things that I don't use clinically, so I tend to not emphasize anything other than what you'll use day in and day out. You don't need to know everything, you just need to know where to find things when the situation calls for it.
What's your most strongly held belief about how PT should be provided?
With everything you've got. With your head, your hands, and your heart.
What's your mantra when it comes to treating?
Specificity really matters, sometimes. Test thoroughly, then treat specifically or generally based on the results of your testing. In general, I'm not tied to any specific philosophy, outside of having a good reason for doing what you're doing. Test it. If it works, keep it. If it doesn't work, it might not work, or it might need more refining before it works. I spent five years trying to get a certain technique down, so if at first you don't succeed, try again for at least five years, and recruit reliable others to give you feedback.
What do you believe is the biggest problem facing PT today?
From outside, reimbursement. From inside, polarizing into camps and viewing different approaches to care (e.g. manual therapy and PNE) as antagonistic to one another vs. complementary.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy spending time with my wife and three daughters. I like to read, exercise, hike, and garden. I also have a special affinity for growing and grafting fruit trees. If you want to talk figs, or apples, or berries, or anything else gardening related in the Pacific Northwest, drop me a line!
Post-Course Office Hours
If you ask any of our faculty how they went from good clinicians to great clinicians you will often hear them refer to their mentor. That person who believed in them and took the time to answer their questions. We know that many of you are still looking for that mentor and we would like to help!
Join Josiah Faville in NAIOMT's online mentorship program Post-Course Office Hours.