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Matthew Garber Matthew Garber
Associate Professor of Health, Human Function, and Rehabilitation Sciences

Office Phone: 202-994-0885
Email: Email
Department: Health, Human Function, and Rehabilitation Sciences


  • Bachelor of Science, Bridgewater College, 1990
  • Master of Physical Therapy, Baylor University, 1992
  • Doctor of Science, Baylor University, 2001
  • Master of Strategic Studies, Air University, 2012


Dr. Matt Garber is a clinician, educator, and researcher who joined the GW faculty in 2020, as Associate Professor and  Assistant Director of Clinical Education in the Department of Health, Human Function, and Rehabilitation Sciences. Prior to joining GW, Dr. Garber served for 30 years as an Army physical therapist, culminating as the Director of Rehabilitation Services for the Army Medical Department and the Physical Therapy Consultant to the Army Surgeon General.  Dr. Garber previously held a variety of other key leadership positions in the Army including director of the U.S. Army Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency, chair of the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, and director of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command human performance program.  His primary areas of teaching include professional issues in health care management, medical imaging, and within the clinical conference series. He has held clinical privileges in multiple military hospitals and has extensive experience in direct access settings.  Dr. Garber completed an orthopaedic manual physical therapy residency at Brooke Army Medical Center as well as advanced studies in strategic leadership and national security strategy. 

Dr. Garber’s professional service includes chairing the National Physical Therapy Examination Development Committee with the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy and he currently serves as an on-site reviewer for CAPTE, the accrediting body of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).  He has published and presented research in both peer-reviewed journals and at national conferences. Dr. Garber is a member of the Orthopaedic and Education Academies of the APTA. He is a board certified specialist in orthopaedic physical therapy and a Fellow in the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists.  



2010: Rose Excellence in Research Award, Orthopaedic Section, APTA (co-author)

2004: Rose Excellence in Research Award, Orthopaedic Section, APTA (co-author)

2004: Discovery Health Clinical Excellence Award in Back Care from the Discovery Institute (co-author)

2004: Bridgewater College Outstanding Young Alumnus Award

2002: AAOMPT Conference Excellence in Research Award (co-author)

2002: TPTA Outstanding Platform Presentation Award (co-author)

2001: Order of Military Medical Merit

2001: Rose Excellence in Research Award, Orthopaedic Section, APTA (co-author)

2000: AAOMPT Conference Excellence in Research Award (co-author)

1999: Department of Veteran’s Affairs Outstanding Service Award



  • Physical Therapy


Garber MB and Boissonnault WG. “The Patient Interview: The Science Behind the Art of Skillful Communication.” In: Boissanault WG and Vanwye WR, ed. Primary Care for Physical Therapists: Examination and Triage, 3rd ed. Elsevier. 2020.

Walker MJ, Boyles RE, Young BA, Strunce JB, Garber MB, Whitman JM, Deyle G, Wainner RS. “The effectiveness of manual physical therapy and exercise for mechanical neck pain: A randomized clinical trial.” Spine, 33(22):2371-2378, 2008.

Whitman JM, Flynn TW, Childs JD, Wainner RS, Gill HE, Ryder M, Garber MB, Bennett A. Fritz JM. “A Comparison of Two Physical Therapy Treatment Programs for Patients with Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: A Randomized Clinical Trial.” Spine, 31(22): 2541-2549, 2006.

Cleland J and Garber M. “Fracture Management.” In: Supnick ER and Smith SR, ed. Musculoskeletal Essentials: Preferred Physical Therapist Practice Patterns. Slack, Inc. Publishers. 2006.

Cleland J, Garber M, and Campolo M. “Bony and Soft Tissue Surgery.” In: Musculoskeletal Essentials: Preferred Physical Therapist Practice Patterns. Slack, Inc. Publishers. 2006.

Garber MB. Diagnostic Imaging and Differential Diagnosis in Two Case Studies. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, 35(11): 745-54, 2005.

Deyle G, Allison S, Ryder M, Matekel R, Stang J, Gohdes D, Hutton J, Henderson N, Garber M. “Physical Therapy treatment effectiveness for osteoarthritis of the knee: a comparison of supervised clinical exercise and manual therapy procedures versus a home exercise program.” Phys Ther, 85(12): 1301-17, 2005.

Flynn T, Fritz J, Whitman J, Wainner R, Magel J, Rendeiro D, Butler B, Garber M, Allison S,. “A Clinical Prediction Rule for Classifying Patients with Low Back Pain Who Demonstrate Short-Term Improvement With Spinal Manipulation.” Spine, 27(24): 2835-2843, 2002.

Deyle GD, Henderson NE, Matekel RL, Ryder MG, Garber MB, Allison SA. “Effectiveness of Manual Physical Therapy and Exercise in Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Randomized, Controlled Trial.” Ann Int Med, 132(3): 173-181, 2000.

Industry Relationships and Collaborations

This faculty member (or a member of their immediate family) has reported a financial interest with the health care related companies listed below. These relations have been reported to the University and, when appropriate, management plans are in place to address potential conflicts.

  • None