Michael T. Cibulka, PT, DPT, MHS, OCS

APTA is proud to honor Michael T. Cibulka with the Catherine Worthingham Fellow award.  

Michael T. Cibulka, PT, DPT, MHS, OCS, has made valuable contributions to professional literature, significantly impacting the scope and practice of physical therapy. Colleagues have described Cibulka as a "gifted researcher," "passionately inquisitive scholar," and an ambassador for the profession.

Presently associate professor at Maryville University and president/owner of Jefferson County Rehabilitation & Sports Clinic in Festus, MO, Cibulka previously held positions at St Louis Sports Medicine Clinic, Washington University, the Visiting Nurse Association, and St Joseph’s Hospital.

As a leader in the areas of hip and sacroiliac joint, Cibulka has published extensively in a variety of publications, including the Journal of Orthopedics and Sports Physical Therapy, Manual Therapy, and Physical Therapy. His research has spanned the gamut from shoulder rehabilitation to hip dysfunction and its relationship to low-back pain, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, and patellofemoral dysfunction. During his years in practice, Cibulka has been committed to delivering care consistent with best evidence and using diagnostic value in his everyday practice as a clinical research opportunity. He is a fierce proponent and advocate of physical therapists as the practitioner of choice for neuromusculoskeletal disorders and conditions.

An APTA member since 1978, Cibulka has served the association in a multitude of roles, including president of the Orthopaedic Section and president of the Journal of Orthopaedic Sports Physical Therapy. He was a member of the first Committee on Clinical Residency Credentialing and the APTA Awards Committee, and served on the Committee on Licensure Examinations, as well as chair of the Orthopaedic Specialty Council. On the local level, Cibulka has served as president and delegate, chaired the Missouri Chapter's Political Action Committee, and in several roles within the Eastern (St Louis) District. In 2008, Cibulka was awarded the Richard W. Bowling-Richard E. Erhard Award for Outstanding Clinical Practice from APTA's Orthopaedic Section, is a two-time recipient of the Jack Walker Award given by APTA for the best published clinical article in 1990 and 2004, and was honored with the Missouri Outstanding Service Award for Service to the Profession by the Missouri Chapter in 2002. Cibulka earned a DPT from Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions, MHS from Washington University in St. Louis, and BS in physical therapy from the University of Missouri.


The movie "The Emperors Club" provides some remarkable aphorisms. The first, "The End Depends Upon the Beginning," reminds me to thank my mother and father, who taught me right from wrong and what really is important in life.To my teachers at Mizzou, Gerry Browning, Marilyn Sanford, Jim Martin, and Carmen Abbott, and those at Washington University for teaching me how to become a caregiver. Steve Rose, who taught me the meaning of another aphorism, "that great ambition without contribution is without significance." Dick Erhard, my clinical mentor, who challenged me to be forever inquisitive. Tony Delitto and David Sinacore, lifelong friends who have always kept me grounded. Chuck Gulas, who took a gamble hiring me. Michelle Unterberg and the Maryville faculty, and to loyal friends Pam Duffy, Annette Iglarsh, and Jim Dunleavy. Finally, my wife Amy, and sons Jeff and Matt, thank you for letting me do what I love to do!

CSM 2016