New Programs Take the Stage: Fellowship in Performing Arts and Clinical Residency in Orthopedics

February 1, 2019

The Columbia University Programs in Physical Therapy are pleased to announce the addition of two exciting new programs.  

The physical therapy programs have partnered with West Side Dance Physical Therapy (WSDPT) to create the Columbia University Irving Medical Center/West Side Dance Performing Arts Fellowship.  It will give physical therapists with advanced orthopedic clinical skills a structured educational experience to advance their knowledge and skills in performing arts PT.   The Fellowship will provide a diverse and dynamic environment for post-graduate fellowship study, practice and research featuring opportunities to work with elite dancers from New York City Ballet (NYCB) and the School of American Ballet (SAB).

Ashley Bouder doing Grand Jete
Ashley Bouder of New York City Ballet in Jerome Robbins' Dances at a Gathering. Photo credit: Paul Kolnik

The program’s director is PT faculty member Dr. Laurel Daniels Abbruzzese. She commented, “I am thrilled to be partnering with Marika Molnar, referred to by Dance Magazine as the ‘Mother of Dance Medicine.’ She is truly an icon in our field, and was recently awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Performing Arts Special Interest Group of the APTA Academy of Orthopedics.”  Dr. Abbruzzese added, “With its campus in New York City and proximity to a thriving arts community, Columbia has a long history of attracting students that want to work with dancers and performing artists. Columbia offers specialty coursework, research opportunities, and clinical placements in performing arts. Now, through this partnership with WSDPT, we are able to offer post-professional education in this specialty area of physical therapy practice.”  Learn more about the Fellowship and how to apply.   

The Columbia Physical Therapy Residency in Orthopedics' mission is to provide advanced orthopedic physical therapy clinical training and promote excellence and leadership in the field. Directed by PT faculty member Dr. Michael Johnson, the program is designed for the licensed professional. The Residency’s curriculum will feature resident-driven and case-based elements, and will prepare residents for future leadership in the areas of their greatest interests, whether clinical, educational, research, administrative, or service.

Program goals will be achieved through didactic education, mentored teaching opportunities, professionally mentored patient care experiences and independent patient care. Residents will be selected for affiliate clinical locations, which

Dr. Michael Johnson working with a patient
Dr. Michael Johnson working with a patient

include New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center and SPEAR Physical Therapy. At these locations, residents can look forward to clinical and professional mentorship from established clinicians and educators in the field of orthopedic physical therapy. 

Dr. Johnson commented, “SPEAR Physical Therapy has established itself as one of the premier outpatient physical therapy practices in the country and has joined Columbia to further establish its footprint in the clinical education setting. New York Presbyterian Hospital is rated as one of the top hospitals in the U.S every year, and its musculoskeletal rehabilitation center is renowned.”   Learn more about the Clinical Residency in Orthopedics and how to apply

For further information about the Performing Arts Fellowship, please contact Dr. Laurel Daniels Abbruzzese ( and for the Clinical Residency in Orthopedics,  Dr. Michael Johnson (