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PT Link                            
                                                                                                                                        November 2016 

Message from the Chair

As the holidays approach, we have much to be grateful for in our department.

Last week, we honoured our veterans on Remembrance Day. To mark this event, U of T News published an article titled Rehabilitating veterans: U of T’s ongoing commitment, outlining the important role physical therapy has played in improving the quality of life for those injured in war zones.

We also celebrated our MScPT Graduating Class of 2016 at Fall Convocation. The department hosted an Awards Ceremony and Reception with the Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Alumni Association, acknowledging the impressive accomplishments of our graduates.

I am also pleased to share our 2015/2016 Annual Highlights Report, showcasing the incredible work of our dedicated students and faculty. Please feel free to share this report, and I hope you enjoy learning more about our department.
In this issue of PT Link, we are profiling Dr. Karl Zabjek, whose clinical biomechanics research is helping individuals living with complex musculoskeletal and neurological conditions. We are also featuring two exciting grants, updates on student initiatives, and news highlights.
Lastly, I would like to announce that our department is now on Twitter! Please follow us @UofT_PT to stay up to date on news and events.
Bundle up, stay warm, and enjoy our November issue of PT Link.


W. Darlene Reid, BMR (PT), PhD
Professor and Chair
Follow us on Twitter @UofT_PT
Fall Convocation

Congratulations to our Graduating Class of 2016, who  attended Fall Convocation on November 9 in Convocation Hall. Prior to the ceremony, the Department of Physical Therapy and The Physical and Occupational Therapy Alumni Association hosted an Awards Ceremony and Reception, celebrating the achievements of our graduates. 

Read more

PT Link Profile: Dr. Karl Zabjek

Dr. Karl Zabjek is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy. He is a Full Member of the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, a Faculty Member in the University of Toronto Spine Program, and Affiliate Scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute.
He developed his core expertise in clinical biomechanics through his Masters of Clinical Science at the University of Sherbrooke, and a Doctorate in Biomedical Science at the University of Montreal.
Dr. Zabjek has developed a translational research program that aims to develop new tools, instruments and techniques that will promote the preservation and restoration of functional mobility in individuals who are living with a complex musculoskeletal or neurological condition.  This program is funded by Catalyst and operating grants from the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR).
Dr. Zabjek is currently collaborating with clinicians and researchers from the University of Laval, Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation and Social Integration (CIRRIS), and the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute to develop an accessible technology that measures mobility impairment across a variety of clinical and community settings. This work provides the foundation for his involvement on multi-disciplinary teams that aim to address the complex questions associated with return to function after an Acquired Brain Injury. He is presently a member of provincial (Ontario Neuro Trauma Foundation, Quebec Rehabilitation Network) and national team grants (CIHR).
PT in the News

Twin Sisters Provide Healing Through Rehab and Dance
Alison and Lindsey Schwartz are headed to Trinidad to help children with special needs.

Rehabilitating veterans: U of T’s ongoing commitment
U of T News highlights the role of rehabilitation in the treatment of veterans.

Symposium Puts Dance Therapy in the Spotlight
Dr. Kara Patterson discuses the benefits of dance therapy with the Globe and Mail.

MScPT Students Get to Know Their Faculty
The Department of Physical Therapy hosts a Meet the Faculty Wine and Cheese.

Shelley Gautier Brings Home Bronze
Shelley Gautier wins Bronze in the Cycling Road Women’s Time Trial T1-2 event at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.

Dr. Barbara Gibson Elected Fellow to the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada
Dr. Barbara Gibson has been selected as a member of the 2016 cohort of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada.  

Dr. Stephanie Nixon Wins Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR) Innovation Grant
Dr. Nixon is improving quality of life for people living with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Lisa Wickerson Receives Ontario Respiratory Society Grant and Fellowship
Wickerson's research will explore exercise and oxygen for people with Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD).
PT & Our Community

On Sunday, September 18, 24 MScPT second year students had some post-exam fun participating in the Spinal Cord Injury Ontario Wheelchair Challenge.

Our students raised a total of $3,057 to support their community, and are proud to have participated in such a fun and meaningful event.


PT team wins Exercise is Medicine (EIMC) fundraising ball hockey tournament!

Student Council Update

MScPT students have been off to a busy start! Student council is happy to see that the first year students (PT1s) are settling into the program well, and creating wonderful relationships with both their classmates and PT2s.

The PT2s have conquered Unit 6 Research, where they developed and presented research protocols in a short and fast-paced 3 weeks. PT2s have now been out of class for a few weeks and are nearing the end of the first of two back-to-back 5-week placements. Students have been enjoying all the experience there is to gain from placement, and can’t believe how fast time flies being out in the clinical community! PT2s will soon be off to another location in the GTA for their next placement, which will take them right up until the holidays.

The PT1s have survived their first physical therapy test and are starting to get comfortable at 500 University Ave! They will be studying hard to prepare for their anatomy bell-ringer exam and first practice skills exam (PSE) at the end of the month. Peer-facilitation evening study sessions hosted by the PT2s are well under way. These sessions create opportunities for PT1s to work through clinical cases and practice assessment and treatment techniques, similar to what they will encounter on the PSE.

Outside of school, the PT1s have been busy hanging out with their classmates at social nights, a scary movie night, and most recently, a Halloween party. In sports news, we are very proud of how the rehab (PT/OT) teams have been performing in intramurals! A few teams are going into November undefeated! Playoffs will be an exciting time as we hope to earn  more championship banners and t-shirts!

A PT team of students entered the Exercise Is Medicine (EIMC) fundraising ball-hockey tournament in October, where they came out undefeated and won the entire tournament! It was a day full of fun and good sportsmanship to raise money and awareness for an important initiative. 

For our PT Day of Service, non-perishable food items were donated by students to the Fort York Food Bank. In addition, Movember fundraising initiatives are set to kick off, and Student Council has begun planning the annual Festivus celebration in December.

Kaela Newman
President, PT Graduate Student Association, 2016-2017

Program Updates

Comprehensive Bridging Program - Admission is NOW OPEN

We are now accepting applications for our 10 month Comprehensive Bridging Program.  

If you are an internationally educated physiotherapist and are interested in joining the 10-month Comprehensive Bridging Program starting next April 2017, admission is now open!  Visit our updated website for details about our admissions process and assessment day. What is assessment day? Watch our video to learn more or attend an upcoming information session. Enrollment is limited so we encourage you to apply early!
Information Session
The information session is an opportunity to learn more about the Bridging program, to meet faculty, staff, alumni and to have your questions answered. We hope to see you there!

Click here to register.

Date: Thursday, November 10,  2016 
Time: 6:30-8:30 pm (please arrive 10 minutes early to register)
Location: Rehabilitation Sciences Building, University of Toronto
500 University Avenue
Room 140, Main Floor
Toronto, ON M5G 1V7
Here is a Google map of the location.

OIEPB Course Offerings:

Physiotherapy Practice within the Canadian Health Care Context 
Winter Session 2017

This facilitated, 6 week online course is approved by the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators to satisfy the gap requirement of the Context of Physiotherapy Practice in Canada.

IEPTs will gain an understanding of the Canadian health care system, culture and context for practice.  A diverse range of topics are covered including cultural competence, the role of the federal and provincial governments, acts and regulations guiding PT practice and client-centered care in a variety of PT roles and settings.
Registration is Now Open for the 2017 Winter Session
January 19, 2017-March 2, 2017
Course Fee: $425
Course Information: click here.
Registration form: click here.
2017 Session Dates:
Spring Session: April 6, 2017-May 18, 2017
Fall Session: September 21, 2017-November 2, 2017
Cardiorespiratory Refresher Course
Cardiorespiratory PT: Canadian Practice

Please note the January 2017 session of the Cardiorespiratory Physical Therapy Refresher course has been cancelled. Next session dates to be determined.
The Department of Physical Therapy invites applications for the Acting Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education.   
The appointment term is from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018.  Salary will be based on qualifications and experience.
Essential criteria:
  • Holds post-professional master's degree in physical therapy, education, clinical specialty, or other related field of study
  • Currently registered for independent practice in Ontario
  • Minimum of 5 years’ experience as a registered physical therapist
  • Membership in the Canadian Physiotherapy Association
  • Experience in teaching and/or coordination and clinical instruction
  • Exceptional communication, organizational, interpersonal, problem-solving, and counseling skills 
  • Excellent skills in facilitating discussion, planning and chairing meetings
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with individual and groups
  • Experience responding to unexpected situations and demands using productive, positive solution-finding strategies
  • Displays a positive attitude in clinical education activities and is an advocate for the Department of Physical Therapy, its students, program and faculty
  •   Works collaboratively to strengthen academic and clinical partnerships
Desired skillset:
  • Participate in curriculum planning (develop and evaluate curriculum with the MScPT curriculum)
  • Excellent leadership skills to promote physical therapy, clinical education and capacity building in clinical education
  • Foster an atmosphere of mutual respect with stakeholders involved in clinical education
  • Able to work independently and collaborate with colleagues, students and peers
  • Excellent mentorship and consultation skills with students and clinical faculty
  • Exceptional organizational skills in coordinating the clinical education program
  • Efficient at compiling reports using data from a variety of sources
  • Proficient knowledge of Word, Excel, database management
  • Able to travel within the clinical education catchment (GTA and also includes Barrie, Mississauga and Pickering) as needed.
  • Models professional and ethical behaviours consistent with our Regulatory College and Professional Associations
DEADLINE for Applications: January 15, 2017
START DATE:  July 1, 2017
Please submit (email preferred) a cover letter clearly addressing how you meet the essential criteria and desired skillset, CV, and the names of three potential referees to:
Amanda Patterson
Business Manager
Department of Physical Therapy
Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
160-500 University Avenue
Toronto, ON M5G 1V7

Continuing Education & Professional Development Courses

Introduction to Clinical Research to Support Evidence-Based Practice in Manual Therapy
Winter 2017

This course will introduce learners to concepts that will enhance their ability to integrate evidence in the practice of manual therapy. Course content and assignments will facilitate the acquisition of knowledge, skills and behaviours that support the application of research evidence in the clinical setting.  This course is relevant to clinicians and educators who are currently practicing or have previous experience in manual therapy.  The material is aimed at clinicians who have not previously completed a research masters or PhD degree. 
Dates: Now accepting registrations for January 30 – March 27, 2017
Target Audience: Physical Therapists
Course Fees: 
On or Before January 5th: $725
After January 5th: $775
Registration closes January 21st, 2017
Course Coordinator          
Cathy Evans, PhD, MSc, BScPT
Lenerdene Levesque BScPT, MClSc(manip), FCAMPT
For information please email
To Register, click here.
The University of Toronto reserves the right to cancel this course if there is insufficient enrollment.
Registration cancellations: $75 administration cancellation fee applies (cancellations accepted up to 5 days prior to course commencing).

Becoming a Canadian Certified Diabetes Educator
 Advancing Diabetes Care Education (advice)
January 11-April 7 2017

This fully online course is designed to provide healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to manage and educate patients with Diabetes. This course reflects the competencies as described in the Canadian Diabetes Educator Certification Board (CDECB) Handbook and as such will help prepare health care professionals and educators to write the Canadian Diabetes Educator Examination to become certified in Canada to work as a diabetes educator.

Learn more/Register




Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Department of Physical Therapy
Department of Speech-Language Pathology
The Rehab Sciences Sector Appointments Committee will be giving a webinar on Wednesday, November 16 from 12:00-1:00 pm to review and answer questions on the application process for Status Only and Adjunct Lecturer appointments. Those of you who are interested in attending in person the address is 500 University Ave, room 140.
To join the webinar remotely click on this link
This webinar will be recorded and the link for the recording will be available on the departmental website by Friday, November 18th.
This webinar is for OS&OT, PT and SLP applicants.

The Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Department of Physical Therapy, and Department of Speech-Language Pathology are currently accepting applications for INITIAL AND RE-APPOINTMENT for Status-Only and Adjunct Appointments for the term beginning July 1, 2017. We invite you to apply.
The academic goals of the Rehabilitation Sciences Sector cannot be met without the participation of talented individuals from many institutions and agencies outside of the university.  The aim of Status-Only and Adjunct Appointments is to recognize the participation of highly qualified and dedicated researchers, practitioners and members of the community in the academic and clinical education components of the programs.  These appointees augment the efforts and expertise of the full-time departmental faculty. We are seeking appointees who:

  • maintain a high level of expertise and competence in their disciplines;
  • are skilled at communicating expertise to members of their respective disciplines and the broader health care community;
  • can stimulate, challenge and develop the scholarly and clinical capacity of students; and,
  • contribute to the growth of the discipline by building the body of knowledge or advancing the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of practice.
If you are interested in applying:
For Status-Only, click here.
For Adjunct, click here.

The deadline for submitting your application is JANUARY 31, 2017. Please note that late applications will NOT be considered.
Should you have any questions, please refer to the 2016-2017 Status-Only and Adjunct Sector Guidelines, also provided on the website or contact Annmarie Riley at the applicable email address listed below:
Physical Therapy:

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy:

Speech-Language Pathology:
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Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto · 160-500 University Avenue · Toronto, ON M5G 1V7 · Canada

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