Graduate Certificate in Orthopaedics
The graduate certificate in orthopaedics is an online program providing advanced instruction in the diagnosis, evaluation and patient care management of patients with orthopaedic conditions.
The purpose of the program is to prepare practicing athletic trainers with advanced knowledge and skills in specific areas of orthopaedics that will enhance the quality and effectiveness of patient care.
Graduate Certificate in Orthopaedics curriculum overview
Program outcome: Upon completion of the Graduate Certificate in Orthopaedics program, students will be able to:
- Demonstrate advanced practice knowledge and skills in the diagnoses of orthopaedic conditions.
- Demonstrate advanced practice knowledge and skills in the management of orthopaedic conditions.
- Demonstrate advanced practice knowledge and skills in the application and interpretation of common imaging and laboratory techniques used in the examination of orthopaedic patients.
- Demonstrate advanced practice knowledge of common orthopaedic surgical procedures with special emphasis on subsequent rehabilitation considerations.
Length of program: The certificate program consists of four courses that could be completed over a year.
Graduation requirements: To earn a graduate certificate in orthopaedics, all students must:
- Complete with a passing grade (“C” or better) all prescribed courses and clinical rotations;
- Discharge all financial obligations to ASHS-ATSU;
- File all necessary graduation forms with the ATSU Registrar’s Office, 800 West Jefferson St., Kirksville, MO 63501; 800.626.5266, ext. 2356;
Applicants for admission to the Graduate Certificate in Orthopaedics program must meet the following requirements prior to matriculation.
- Applicants are required to meet all ATSU and ATSU-Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS) general admission requirements.
- Candidates accepted for admission to the program will have earned a bachelor’s or higher degree prior to enrollment from a regionally accredited institution.
- Candidates must have achieved a minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA (on a 4.0 scale) in their athletic training professional program or a minimum overall graduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
- Applicants must provide official transcripts from all educational institutions attended where a degree was conferred.
- Applicants to the certificate program must demonstrate Board of Certification (BOC) certification as an athletic trainer or substantial equivalence, such as credentialing from the Canadian Athletic Therapist Association, Athletic Rehabilitation Therapists of Ireland, Society of Sports Therapists, British Association of Sport Rehabilitators and Trainers. Verification of progress toward completion of all eligibility requirements to sit for the BOC certification examination will be accepted at the time of application, but BOC certification must be verified prior to matriculation.
- Candidates must submit an application form.
- All students are required to demonstrate proficiency in English when applying to ATSU-ASHS. See the ATSU-ASHS English Proficiency section of the University Catalog for more details.
- Candidates are expected to be computer literate and experienced in word processing. All curricula require extensive computer usage. Accepted applicants are required to have a personal computer prior to matriculation and have access to a high-speed Internet connection.
- See the Minimum Technology Specifications under the General Admission Requirements section.
ATRN 7410: Orthopaedic Diagnostic Evaluation
This course is designed to provide the athletic trainer with advanced knowledge and clinical skills in the pathology, examination, and diagnosis of orthopaedic and sport-related injuries to the upper and lower extremities, the back, and spine. Content is presented with an emphasis on integrating evidence-based practice principles to enhance the student’s clinical decision-making skills in injury evaluation and diagnosis. Focus will be placed on developing clinical reasoning skills to enhance the student’s ability to accurately and efficiently utilize the physical examination and diagnostic tests to evaluate complex orthopaedic conditions, recognize atypical presentations, identify non-orthopaedic conditions that present as orthopaedic conditions, and recommend and interpret appropriate imaging and laboratory tests. Students will engage in weekly collaborative learning activities and independent assignments to enhance their clinical skills in Orthopaedic Diagnostic Evaluation.
ATRN 7430: Orthopaedic Imaging and Labs
This course is designed to enhance the athletic trainer’s knowledge regarding common imaging and laboratory techniques used in the management of orthopaedic patients. Students will be exposed to various imaging modalities including radiographs, magnetic resonance imaging, CT scans, and musculoskeletal ultrasound. The use of laboratory tests for injury and illness will also be examined. Students will engage in weekly collaborative learning activities and independent assignments to evaluate the sensitivity and utility of imaging and laboratory tests used in athletic health care.
ATRN 7440: Orthopaedic Surgical Considerations
This course is designed to enhance the athletic trainer’s knowledge and awareness of special considerations for rehabilitation following common orthopaedic surgeries. The course focuses on improving the athletic trainer’s ability to provide quality education and counseling to their orthopaedic patients through the development of advanced knowledge and skills in post-surgical rehabilitation. Surgical techniques for common orthopaedic conditions of the upper and lower extremities will be presented. Tissue response to surgery, post-surgical rehabilitation guidelines and timelines, and surgical outcomes will be discussed. Students will engage in weekly collaborative learning activities to critically appraise the current evidence for post-surgical rehabilitation approaches. The course culminates with the development of a comprehensive, evidence-based post-surgical rehabilitation protocol for an orthopaedic surgery of the student’s choice.
ATRN 7420: Orthopaedic Management
This course is designed to enhance the athletic trainers’ ability to effectively manage patients with increasingly complex orthopaedic conditions. Content focuses on management of complex orthopaedic conditions with and without co-morbidities and includes the development prioritized care plans, strategies to maximize long-term health related quality of life, identifying criteria and plans for safe return to participation and to maximize sports performance, engaging in patient education. Students will engage in weekly collaborative learning activities and independent assignments to enhance their clinical skills in Orthopaedic Management.
Review tuition and fees for the Graduate Certificate in Orthopaedics program. Please note tuition and fees are subject to change.
Endowed Chair for Sports Medicine and Professor
Tamara McLeod, PhD, ATC, CSCS, is the John P. Wood, D.O., Endowed Chair for Sports Medicine, Professor and Director of the Athletic Training program at A.T. Still University in Mesa, Arizona. Dr. McLeod completed her doctor of philosophy degree in education with an emphasis in sports medicine from the University of Virginia. She is the director of the Athletic Training Practice-Based Research Network and her research has focused on the pediatric athlete with respect to sport-related concussion. Her current work is investigating the short- and long-term effects of pediatric sports concussion as well as recovery following concussion on traditional concussion assessments and health-related quality of life. Dr. McLeod also has research interests regarding gender differences in lower extremity function, specifically neuromuscular control, and postural stability and studies these areas through an injury prevention approach in younger athletes. Dr. McLeod was a contributing author for the NATA Position Statement on the Management of Sport-Related Concussion, the lead author on the NATA Position Statement on the Prevention of Pediatric Overuse Injuries, and a consultant and contributing author on the Appropriate Medical Coverage for Secondary School-Aged Athletes. Dr. McLeod serves on numerous editorial boards, and publishes frequently in the athletic training and sports medicine journals and is a NATA Fellow.
Associate Professor and Director of Research Support
Alison Valier, PhD, ATC, is a BOC certified and state licensed athletic trainer, serves as associate professor in the Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences and Assistant Director of Research Support through the Office of Research, Grants, and Information Technology Systems. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and physical education from Whitman College in Washington and her Master of Science degree in exercise physiology at the University of Toledo in Ohio. In addition, she received her Ph.D. in exercise science from the University of Toledo, where she majored in applied physiology and completed a minor in human anatomy. Most recently, Dr. Valier completed a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in Clinical Outcomes Research, awarded to her by the NATA Foundation. Dr. Valier’s teaching emphasizes the assessment of clinical outcomes and evaluating the end result of healthcare services and she instructs in both the Post-Professional Athletic Training and Doctor of Health Sciences programs. Her primary research area of interest is in measuring the outcomes of various athletic training interventions as well as evaluating HRQOL of high school and college athletes who suffer sport-related injury. Another interest of hers is the use and development of patient-based outcomes instruments for the purpose of outcomes assessment and measuring the end result of healthcare services. During her doctoral studies, Dr. Valier taught in the athletic training education program at the University of Toledo for four years. In addition, she has served as an athletic trainer with Health South and outreached to Whiteford (MI) High School and Summerfield (MI) High School. Dr. Valier is a member of the NATA Outcomes Advisory Panel and serves on the Arizona Governmental Affairs Committee. Additionally, she is a grant reviewer for the NATA Foundation and a reviewer for the Journal of Athletic Training, Journal of Sport Rehabilitation Research, and Athletic Training and Sports Health Care.
Assistant Professor and Clinical Education Coordinator
Barton E. Anderson, DHSc, AT, ATC, is an associate professor in ATSU’s Athletic Training (AT) programs, serving as the primary clinical faculty member and clinical education coordinator for the Residential Post-Professional Master’s program. Dr. Anderson oversees all aspects of the Advanced Clinical Practice program (Clinical Education), including establishing and maintaining graduate assistantships, coordinating affiliated clinical sites and preceptors, and providing clinical mentoring to AT program students. Dr. Anderson holds a Level 1 Functional Movement Screen™ certification, and is an accredited Graston Technique™ clinician and Graston™ faculty instructor. He has extensive experience and training in therapeutic exercise prescription, fundamental movement patterns, and manual therapy techniques. Prior to ATSU, Dr. Anderson worked clinically for 10 years as an athletic trainer in the collegiate, high school, and clinical settings. He continues his clinical practice part-time throughout the academic year at a local sports medicine clinic. Dr. Anderson is a member of the CAATE Standards Committee, and also serves as the electronic medical record manager within the Athletic Training Practice Based Research Network, the chair of the Arizona Athletic Trainers’ Association Communications Committee, and the AzATA website coordinator. He earned his bachelor’s of science in sports medicine and athletic training from Missouri State University, his master’s of science in sports health care from ATSU, and his doctor of health science degree from Nova Southeastern University.
Cailee Welch, PhD, ATC, is assistant professor of Athletic Training within the Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences at A.T. Still University. Dr. Welch earned her bachelor of science degree in athletic training from Boston University, followed by a master of science in education degree in athletic training from Old Dominion University. She also earned her doctor of philosophy degree in human movement science with a special focus in athletic training curriculum and instruction from Old Dominion University, where she investigated the effectiveness of educational techniques to aid athletic trainers in learning the fundamentals of evidence-based practice. While at Old Dominion University, Dr. Welch served as an instructor for several undergraduate courses within the Health & Physical Education and Exercise Science departments, as well as a teaching fellow for numerous courses with the Post-Professional Athletic Training Program. Recently, Dr. Welch completed a post-doctoral research fellowship within the Center for Clinical Outcome Studies at A.T. Still University. As a part of her post-doctoral fellowship, Dr. Welch assisted with clinical outcomes and evidence-based practice courses within the Post-Professional Athletic Training Program. Currently, she serves as the Clinical Practice Site Coordinator within the Athletic Training Practice-Based Research Network, which includes conducting the education and training for athletic trainers across the country. Additionally, Dr. Welch currently serves on the CAATE Post-Professional Annual Report Committee, the BOC Evidence-Based Practice Review Panel, and is the Managing Editor for the Clinical Bottom Line in the NATA News. Dr. Welch’s research agenda includes two independent areas: capturing the concussed patient perspective for improving outcomes of patient care, and athletic training educational outcomes.
Kenny Lam, ScD, ATC, is an associate professor of clinical research within the Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences at A.T. Still University. He completed his bachelor of science degree in athletic training as well as his master of education degree in human movement at Boston University. He earned his doctor of science degree (Sc.D.) in rehabilitation sciences with a specialization in movement sciences from Boston University. Prior to becoming a faculty member, Dr. Lam completed a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship within the Center for Clinical Outcome Studies at A.T. Still University that focused on patient-oriented outcomes assessment and evidence-based practice. His current line of research revolves around the prevention and rehabilitation of lower extremity injuries, with a special emphasis on sport-related knee injuries in the adolescent population. He is specifically interested in assessing the clinical outcomes of ACL injuries as it relates to health-related quality of life patient and the comparative effectiveness of rehabilitation techniques. In addition to his faculty responsibilities, Dr. Lam serves as the Director of Clinical Informatics for the Athletic Training Practice-Based Research Network (PBRN), where he oversees the day-to-day management of the relational database, supervises all aspects of education and training of clinicians, and acts as the liaison between the clinicians and administration of the AT-PBRN. Prior to attaining his doctoral degree, Dr. Lam practiced as a certified athletic trainer at Rutgers University – New Brunswick Campus (NJ), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MA), and Boston University (MA).
Sue Falsone, PT, MS, SCS, ATC, L-AT, CSCS, COMT, RYT, is an associate professor in ATSU-ASHS Athletic Training program. She teaches courses within the athletic training Master of Science degree program and online courses in orthopaedic rehabilitation foundation within the online Doctor of Athletic Training program. She also serves as a clinician scientist within the school’s Athletic Training Practice-Based Research Network.
Ms. Falsone’s many accomplishments include being the first female head athletic trainer in any of the four major American professional sports leagues, when she was named the head athletic trainer for the LA Dodgers in 2012. She also served as the head of athletic training and sport performance for the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team. She is known internationally for her expertise in sport rehabilitation and performance enhancement and bridging between physical therapy and return to sport.
An alumna of Daemen College, Ms. Falsone graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a master’s degree in human movement science; is owner and founder of Structure and Function Education, an educational company working to bring the concepts, philosophies and techniques of dry needling to the allied healthcare professional.
Chad Clements, MS, ATC is an Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Education in the Athletic Training Programs at ATSU. Mr. Clements completed his bachelor’s degree at the State University of New York at Cortland and his master’s degree at East Stroudsburg University.
Prior to ATSU, Mr. Clements served as the Faculty Director of Clinical Education in Boston University’s College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and as a Clinical Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Education for Boston University’s programs in athletic training. Mr. Clements also previously worked as an assistant athletic trainer at Seton Hall University, head athletic trainer at both Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ and Lasell College in Newton, MA, and served as a preceptor for students in the athletic training programs at Seton Hall University, Lasell College, and Boston University.
Mr. Clements is a founding member of the Association for Athletic Training Research Network. His scholarly activity has focused on the reliability and validity of real-time assessment of lower extremity movement patterns, interprofessional education and simulation, and immersive clinical experiences in athletic training clinical education.
Mr. Clements lives in Grafton, Massachusetts with his wife and their three children.
Dr. Rachel Geoghegan is the newest faculty member in the Department of Athletic Training, joining the faculty in 2023. She brings with her nearly two decades of full-time clinical experience in the college/university setting at locations across the country including Idaho State University, Gonzaga University, and Boston University. As a clinician, she boasts a contemporary clinical expertise in non-orthopedic conditions with a particular interest in female athlete health concerns and pelvic health. She originally hails from South Carolina where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Athletic Training from Erskine College in Due West, SC, and a Master of Human Resource Development from Clemson University in Clemson, SC. In 2020, she rounded out her education by earning her Doctor of Athletic Training degree from A.T. Still University. While new to academia, Dr. Geoghegan has experience as a clinical educator by serving as a preceptor for a number of institutions including Idaho State University, Whitworth University, University of Idaho, Washington State University, Boston University, and Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine. Dr. Geoghegan is also active in professional service at the local, regional, and national level and seeks to advance the profession any chance she gets. Her research interests include non-orthopedic conditions treated by athletic trainers, pelvic health among athletes, and female athlete health concerns. She is passionate about normalizing compassionate and appropriate conversations about pelvic health between athletic trainers and their patients.
Nicolette “Nikki” Harris serves as an Assistant Professor and the Director of Student Recruitment for the Athletic Training Programs at A.T. Still University. An alumnus of the ATSU Doctor of Athletic Training (DAT) program, Dr. Harris brings a wealth of clinical experience to this role. Prior to arriving to ATSU, she spent 6 years as the Coordinator for Athletic Training Services for Florida International University (FIU) where she worked to enhance the health care services provided to both FIU students and campus recreation participants. In addition, she served 3 years as the Head Athletic Trainer at Miami Booker T. Washington Senior High school providing care to secondary school athletes during their pursuit of 4 State Championship Titles.
In addition to her clinical practice, she has served as a Clinical Assistant Professor and Clinical Preceptor to athletic training students. Nikki actively engages in professional service at all levels, currently sitting as the NATA Career Advancement Committee (CAC) Chair Elect, the BOC Liaison to the Athletic Training Research Agenda Committee (ATRAC) as well as a member of the CAATE Education Committee. Dr. Harris values the effects of research on practice and education and has demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice through her scholarly works.
Dr. Ann Lee Burch is the dean of A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS). Dr. Burch received her doctor of education from Columbia University, Teachers College in 2005. She received her masters of public health from Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health in 2002 and her masters of physical therapy from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1989. She was a postdoctoral fellow with the Research Group on Health Disparities at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her BA is in psychology from the University of Rochester.
Prior to her appointment as dean, Dr. Burch served as vice dean for ATSU-ASHS. She served as the chair of the Physical Therapy Department from 2008-January 2012. Prior to ATSU, Dr. Burch was the director of physical therapy at the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She has held administrative and/or faculty positions at the International Center for the Disabled in NY, NY, Mercy College in NY, and Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY.
Dr. Burch’s area of scholarly interest and application of that interest is in knowledge, attitudes, and self-efficacy of health care providers and healthcare professional students towards underrepresented patient/client groups.
Dr. Burch is the author of a Guide to Physical Therapy (Vault Publishers) which was written to increase information access about physical therapy to both high school graduates and re-entry adults. She was a co-investigator on an NIH grant at the University of Puerto Rico exploring the feasibility of an exercise program for breast cancer survivors living in San Juan. Dr. Burch has lived in Symi, Greece, Taipei, Taiwan, Ahmdebad, India and San Juan, Puerto Rico, and is committed to research, teaching and service that further the understanding of the impact of socioeconomic and cultural variables on health.
She was a member of the class of 2014 cohort of Women in Educational Leadership at Harvard Graduate School of Education. In 2017 she was the co-PI on a Centers for Disease Control, Association for Prevention and Teaching grant exploring a population health case study format for teaching and communicating the impact of social determinants of health on health disparities. She was recently appointed a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission.
Chair and Director
Tamara Valovich McLeod, PhD, ATC, CSCS, is the John P. Wood, D.O., Endowed Chair for Sports Medicine, professor and director of the Athletic Training program at A.T. Still University in Mesa, Arizona. Dr. McLeod completed her doctor of philosophy degree in education with an emphasis in sports medicine from the University of Virginia. She is the director of the Athletic Training Practice-Based Research Network and her research has focused on the pediatric athlete with respect to sport-related concussion. Her current work is investigating the short- and long-term effects of pediatric sports concussion as well as recovery following concussion on traditional concussion assessments and health-related quality of life. Dr. McLeod also has research interests regarding gender differences in lower extremity function, specifically neuromuscular control, and postural stability and studies these areas through an injury prevention approach in younger athletes. Dr. McLeod was a contributing author for the NATA Position Statement on the Management of Sport-Related Concussion, the lead author on the NATA Position Statement on the Prevention of Pediatric Overuse Injuries, and a consultant and contributing author on the Appropriate Medical Coverage for Secondary School-Aged Athletes. Dr. McLeod serves on numerous editorial boards, and publishes frequently in the athletic training and sports medicine journals and is a NATA Fellow.
Kaylynn Schmitt is the administrative assistant for the Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences. Ms. Schmitt brings over 5 years of administrative and clerical experience to our program. She assists the program director, faculty and administrative manager with the administration responsibilities for both the Doctors in Athletic Training and Masters in Athletic Training programs.
Valerie Hill began working at A. T. Still University in December 2022 as the Administrative Assistant for the Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences and the Department of Athletic training. Valerie joined ATSU’s team with over 30 years of administrative experience from another local institution of higher education.
Read the University Catalog to learn more about the graduate certificate in orthopaedics online program and University.
Graduate certificate in orthopaedics faculty
Professor & Department Chair Interdisciplinary Health Sciences
Professor & Director Athletic Training Programs
Associate Professor Athletic Training Programs
Adjunct Professor Athletic Training Programs
VP of Diversity & Inclusion