Upper Extremity Fellowship

Leading Upper Extremity Care

The role of physical therapists in the management of upper extremity related pain is continually growing. This increasing responsibility requires leaders in physical therapy to have advanced training to effectively manage these patients through the continuum of care. We are looking for motivated physical therapists looking to become leaders and experts in advanced care.

Our Mission: Develop advanced providers and leaders in the professions of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy to provide superior care in the diagnosis and management of simple and complex upper extremity and hand conditions.

Upper Extremity Fellowship

Program Outline
  • 1 year program starting in January performed synchronously with Virtual Hand to Shoulder Fellowship
  • Didactic study through independent study courses via VHSF online platform
  • 36 hours of patient care per week, including 150 hours of direct 1:1 mentoring during patient care hours
  • Full time program accruing at least 1,650 hours of patient care. All hand and upper extremity patient care hours can be used toward the 4,000 hours to take the Hand Therapy Certification Examination from the Hand Therapy Certification Commission
  • Diverse and accessible expert faculty with various training backgrounds
  • Integrated interprofessional learning opportunities including rotations with expert physical therapists, occupational therapists, and hand surgeons
  • Weekly labs and patient care opportunities throughout the year including orthosis fabrication
  • Case studies, skill competencies, and critical article appraisal
St. Luke’s Upper Extremity Fellowship:

Program Length: 12 months
Access to Curriculum: 18 months
Patient Care: 1,728 hours

  • On site conferences (skills labs): 26

*Skills labs include joint mobilization, special tests, manual therapy, and DDX*

  • Group mentoring (case studies – onsite): 25
  • 1:1 in-person mentoring: 150
  • Orthosis fabrication (in-person): 32
  • Research: 50
  • CHT rotations: 24
  • Orthopedic surgery rotation: 16
  • Teaching assistant: 2
  • Weekly assigned readings: 82
  • Recorded weekly lectures: 72
  • Weekly quizzes: 24
  • Exams: 10
  • CHT practice exam: 4

Total hours = 518

  • Graduation from an AOCTE-accredited occupational therapy program or CAPTE-accredited physical therapy program
  • Active PT or OT license in the state of PA or NJ
  • Active AOTA or APTA membership
  • One year of clinical experience – some of that experience in a Hand Therapy setting
  • Physical Agents Modalities Certification for NJ licensed therapists
  • One of the following:
    • 30 hours completed for Hand Therapy prior to start date – Medbridge knowledge track available and to be provided as needed
    • Graduation from Orthopedic Residency Program
    • Obtained OCS
    • VHSF Intro to Hand Therapy curriculum

***Note: Applicant may apply to program prior to completion of prerequisites. If admitted, matriculation will be contingent upon completing all prerequisites prior to start date (January). New grad applicants will be considered upon recommendation and field work placement (i.e., Feild Work II in Hand Therapy, Orthopedic Clinical Placement with focus in Hand Therapy).***


Christine Kettle, PT, DPT: Program Director and Assoicate Professor

Maura Stout, PT, DPT: Director of Hand Therapy and Assistant Professor

Heather Dailey, MOT, OTR/L: Assistant Professor

How to Apply

Applications can be emailed to Christine Kettle.

Please write the subject line as: Last name, APPLICANT UPPER EXTREMITY FELLOWSHIP.

  1. All applicants must have a valid and active license to practice Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy in Pennsylvania and/or New Jersey.
  2. All applicants should have two (2) letters of recommendation. If you are a recent graduate, include a letter of recommendation from one of your clinical instructors and from and instructor or faculty member from an accredited PT/OT program.
  3. All applicants must have one year of experience treating, with preferred year of experience treating in hand therapy in an outpatient orthopedic setting. New grad applicants will be considered upon recommendation and field work placement.
  4. Occupational Therapists must provide proof of Physical Agents Modalities Certification.
  5. All applicants must provide proof of 45 CEU’s completed for Hand Therapy prior to start date.
  6. All applicants must demonstrate a strong commitment to the philosophy of the specialty of upper extremity and hand therapy and the principles of the St. Luke’s University Health Network Upper Extremity Fellowship through their essay responses.
  7. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. If you are looking to start with the upcoming cohort, please have application submitted no later than November 1.

Frequently Asked Questions

A fellowship provides post-graduate professional training in a specialized area of practice. Participation in a fellowship provides a combination of weekly didactic curriculum, lab and interprofessional series, 180 hours of direct 1:1 mentorship, and 1700 hours of clinical practice in specialty area of hand therapy to progress fellows towards becoming an advanced-level clinician in the specialty area of Hand Therapy.

You must:

  • Be a graduate from an AOCTE-accredited occupational therapy program or CAPTE-accredited physical therapy program
  • Have an active PT or OT license in the state of PA or NJ
  • Have an active AOTA or APTA membership
  • Have one year of clinical experience
    • Some of that experience in hand therapy setting
    • New grad applicants will be considered upon recommendation and field work/clinical placements
  • Provide proof of Physical Agents Modalities Certification (NJ licensed Occupational Therapists only)
  • Provide proof of 30 CEU’s completed for Hand Therapy prior to start date

No. You must have graduated from an AOCTE-accredited occupational therapy program or CAPTE-accredited physical therapy program and have a valid Pennsylvania or New Jersey license.

There is no cost to apply.

We offer competitive compensation packages with full time benefits commensurate with experience.  The cost of the tuition is $10,000. We offer work study programs to fully cover the cost of tuition.

Contact Us

Christine Kettle, PT, DPT

Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy