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Joseph P. Farrell, PT, DPT, MAppSc, GDMT, FAPTA

Board Certification/Fellowship

Founding Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists


Dr. Farrell earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Illinois State University (9174), Certificate in Physical Therapy from Northwestern University (1976), a Post-Graduate Diploma in Manipulative Therapy (1979), a Master of Applied Science in Health Sciences from Curtin University of Technology (1981), and a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions (2007).

He was the co-owner and co-founder (1988) of Redwood Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Inc. in Castro Valley, California. Dr. Farrell retired in 2018 as a clinician and Senior Clinical Fellowship Faculty member of the Kaiser Northern California Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship Program, where he had taught and mentored within the Fellowship program since 1984. He also taught and directed a year-long Manual Therapy Program at Redwood Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Inc. for almost two decades.

Dr. Farrell was a founding fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT) and the AAOMPT’s first President. He helped establish the first description of specialty practice and standards for manual therapy education in the USA, and was instrumental in establishing the AAOMPT as a representative body for the USA as a full member country in the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapists. His expertise and experience in communication, mentorship, clinical reasoning, orthopaedic manual physical therapy and political advocacy is significant and was highlighted in 2015, when he earned the Catherine Worthington Fellow status, the highest member honor bestowed by the APTA, and delivered the 2015 AAOMPT Distinguished Lecture. In 2018 his career accomplishments were also recognized by the Northwestern Department of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Science when he was honored as the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. He has previously also been awarded the Paris Distinguished Service Award by the APTA Orthopaedic Section and the John McMennell Service Award by the AAOMPT.

Dr. Farrell has authored seventeen publications in peer reviewed journals and books pertaining to the treatment of the spine. He remains professionally involved serving as a consultant to the President of the AAOMPT, serves on the AAOMPT History Committee and is a member of the AAOMPT International Educational Task force. His current research interests relate to clinical reasoning and employer perception or residency and fellowship graduates. Additionally, he serves on the Board of Directors of the PulsePoint Foundation and the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, and the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research.

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