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Advanced Clinical Anatomy

Advanced Clinical Anatomy for the Physical Therapist

Earn up to 32 Total including 8 Direct Access contact hours from the PA State Board of Physical Therapy

The purpose of this course is to apply current evidence in anatomy of the musculoskeletal and neurovascular systems of the human body specific to the advanced practice of physical therapy. This course will allow a detailed exploration of the anatomical structures of the hip joint and pelvic region, the knee joint and thigh, the leg and the foot/ankle complex, and the shoulder girdle.

A majority of the course will be held in the human cadaver lab where participants will explore and perform anatomical dissections of the selected region. Participants will be asked to identify key neurovascular and musculoskeletal structures in the human cadaver lab and apply the findings to clinical scenarios. Specifically, we will discuss how the anatomical relationships relate to patient symptoms, referred pain patterns, clinical examination findings, appropriate therapeutic interventions, and differential diagnosis of common conditions and pathologies managed by physical therapists.

A portion of the course will be directed to applying anatomical knowledge to the differential diagnosis for evaluating patients without a referral.


Duquesne University
Rangos School of Health Sciences
Room 141

Campus Map - Symposium is on the 1st floor of the Rangos School of Health Sciences; Park in Forbes Garage.


  • Saturday, September 17, 2016
    Clinical Anatomy of the Hip Region
    8 AM – 5:00PM
  • Saturday, October 1, 2016
    Clinical Anatomy of the Knee
    8 AM – 5:00PM
  • Saturday, October 15, 2016
    Clinical Anatomy of the Foot/Ankle
    8 AM – 5:00PM
  • Saturday, November 5, 2016
    Clinical Anatomy of the Shoulder
    8 AM – 5:00PM

The schedule will follow the following format. What will differ each session will be the body region.

8:00  Clinical Anatomy of the Shoulder Complex 

9:00  Directed anatomical exploration and dissection of the Shoulder Complex

10:00 Break

10:15 Directed anatomical exploration and dissection of the Shoulder Complex

12:00 LUNCH (on your own)

12:30 Lecture/Lab: Applied Anatomy in the Examination of the Shoulder Complex

1:30  Lecture/Lab: Applied Anatomy in the differential diagnosis of non-musculoskeletal sources of Shoulder Complex pain

2:30  Case Presentations/Discussion: Complex patient scenarios for the PT evaluating without a referral  

3:30  Break

3:45  Lecture/Lab: Applied anatomy in therapuetic interventions of common shoulder injuries and pathology

5:00 Course concludes

Course Objectives

Identify key neurovascular and musculoskeletal structures of the shoulder complex.

Describe the attachments and architecture of the muscles activing on the shoulder complex and apply to function, muscle testing, flexibility,and strengthening exercises. 

Describe the ligamentous attachments of the shoulder joints and their individual and collective contributions to joint stability.

Describe the course of the neurovascular structures of the shoulder complex and potential areas of entrapment/occlusion that may lead to pathology.

Apply current evidence in anatomy of the musculoskeletal and neurovascular systems to evaluation, differential diagnosis, and management of pathology to the shoulder complex

Apply current knowledge of anatomy to prioritize a systematic examination that can be used to differentiate musculoskeletal from non-musculoskeletal pathologies affecting the shoulder complex.

Discuss how anatomical relationships relate to patient symptoms and referred pain patterns of the shoulder complex.

Apply knowledge of anatomy to help differentially diagnose neuropathic, systemic, or non- musculoskeletal from common musculoskeletal sources of shoulder pain.

Apply anatomical relationships in addition to patient symptoms, referral patterns of pain, and clinical exam findings that may raise suspicion of non-musculoskeletal sources of pathology.

Know when a referral for diagnostic imaging is appropriate.

Recognize clusters of signs and symptoms that may require referral to another discipline within the health care system. 

Apply knowledge of anatomy to creating an intervention program including mobilization, soft-tissue techniques, and innovative exercises.

Instructor: Ben Kivlan, PhD, PT, OCS, SCS

Dr. Kivlan is a graduate of Elon College's Exercise/Sport Science Program, the University of Pittsburgh's Physical Therapy Program, and completed his PhD in Rehabilitation Science at Duquesne University. Ben serves on the faculty of the Physical Therapy Department at Duquesne University as an instructor of Human Anatomy and Musculoskeletal/Orthopedic content. Ben has published numerous research studies in various peer reviewed journals and is a regular presenter on the National stage. Dr. Kivlan's research interests lie in the study of musculo-skeletal anatomy, functional performance testing, and post-operative rehabilitation and outcomes. Ben is also recognized as a Board Certified Specialist in Sports and Orthopedic Physical and enjoys treating patients with various sports and orthopedic injuries.

Contact and Registration

Fee: $150 per session; $500 for all 4 sessions if registered before September 1, 2016.

Register Online or call Mary Eberle (412.396.5541) in the Department of Physical Therapy.

Space is limited to 24 registrants.

Make checks payable to 'Duquesne University' and mail to:
Department of Physical Therapy
Duquesne University
600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15282

Articles and Notes:

Shoulder Anatomy & Biomechanics; Shoulder Exercises