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June 2017 

Message from the Chair

This year is the 100th Year Anniversary of Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto and we have plenty to celebrate! We have a signature event planned in the fall that will involve “A Conversation with Rick and Amanda Hansen” on September 26th, 2017.

As part of Physiotherapy month and our 100 year anniversary events, we’ve hosted another successful Running Lecture - Preventing Running Injuries. The speaker was a notable alumnus, Agnes Makowski. She spoke about the role physiotherapy plays in addressing and improving previous running injuries, as well as utilizing it as a form of training. One of her main messages was to pace yourself and increase training loads progressively.

The Annual Alumni Wine and Cheese was held on June 2nd and featured reminiscing about “Now and Then”.  We also provided talks about Interprofessional Education, Privilege and Issues of Oppression, Differing views on Disability in Rehabilitation Sciences, and Research related to Mobililty.  It was a great success and enjoyed by all.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary, we are recognizing notable physiotherapy alumni and are looking for your help. Please consider nominating a notable graduate by going to our website at and clicking the link to Nominate a Notable Alumni.

On another note, three of our faculty received Canadian Institutes of Health Project Grants. Dr. Stephanie Nixon received two grants for projects that will examine better ways to provide rehabilitation and chronic care for people living with HIV and in Sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Kristin E. Musselman's project aims to understand the causes and impacts of falls on the lives of people living with spinal cord injuries. Dr. Nancy Salbach’s project will study older adults, who have difficulty walking, to participate in walking programs to reduce the risk of heart disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, depression and falls.

Our continuing education programming is going strong and we will again hold a Diabetes Educator Certificate Program and a course on Clinical Research to Support Evidence-Based Practice in health Care.  Keep an eye on our website for upcoming continuing education courses.

We were incredibly pleased that two of our students, Kaela Newman and Celine Nathoo received the 2017 Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Awards.  These awards recognize outstanding leadership in extra-curricular contributions that improve society and provide inspiration to others to do the same.

Spring has finally come to Toronto and outdoor activities are beginning to flourish.  I hope you enjoy the upcoming summer months and are able to join us in celebrating the 100th Year Anniversary of Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto.  Physical therapy in the greater Toronto region and in Ontario has a legacy of excellence and I’m honored to be part of this community.

To learn more about upcoming news and events for the department, please visit:

Warmest regards,

W. Darlene Reid, BMR (PT), PhD
Professor and Chair
Nominate a Notable Alumni!

As part of the 100th anniversary of physical therapy at the University of Toronto in 2017, we are recognizing notable physiotherapy alumni.

Please consider nominating a notable graduate.

What do we mean by “notable”? These are outstanding physiotherapists that have made a significant impact in related practice, education, research, advocacy or in the public domain. Selected notable graduates will be featured on our website and through other communication channels including Twitter and PT Link Newsletter.

If you know of a physical therapy graduate who has made a difference, please complete this very brief nomination form.

Follow us on Twitter @UofT_PT

100th Anniversary Celebration

On June 2nd, the Alumni Association of the Department of Physical Therapy (PT) and the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy (OS & OT) hosted a Spring Reunion. This is a special year for the Department of Physical Therapy as we are celebrating our 100th year anniversary.

The evening, which began with a cocktail reception and camaraderie, attracted many graduates. The event opened with remarks with from Drs. Darlene Reid and Susan Rappolt, the Chairs for the Department of PT and the Department of OS & OT, respectively who spoke about the progression of both departments.

The celebrations continued with the presentation of the Alumni Association Awards for Dr. Sharon Switzer-McIntyre who won for the Department of OS & OT and Jo-Anne Howe who won for the Department of PT.

Following the award ceremony, alumni had the opportunity to attend two of the four presentations hosted by professors from the departments. The topics were, Differing Understandings of Disability in Rehabilitation presented by Dr. Barbara Gibson, Privilege in Physical Therapy presented by Dr. Stephanie Nixon, Bridging Back to Practice by Dr. Sharon Switzer-McIntyre and Muscle Function and Performance Lab presented by Drs. Darlene Reid and Sunita Mathur.

The evening ended with a singalong of Happy Birthday and a 100th year anniversary cake, followed by closing remarks.

For more information about the department as well as upcoming events, please visit: Stay tuned for more events.
100th Anniversary T-Shirts

In honour of the 100th anniversary, the Department of Physical Therapy asked students to submit designs for a T-Shirt. Tesca Andrew-Wasylik created the winning design.

T-shirts can be purchased for $20.
$10 for students.

Please contact Amanda Patterson,, office 868, if you are interested in purchasing a T-shirt.
Save the Date
100th Anniversary Event
Rick & Amanda Hansen - September 26, 2017

On the evening of Tuesday, September 26th, please join us as we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the University of Toronto’s Department of Physical Therapy with a discussion and reception featuring Rick Hansen and Amanda Hansen. Venue and ticket sale information to be announced. For more information, please contact

Dr. Dina Brooks Appointed New CIHR University Delegate 

Dr. Dina Brooks is the University of Toronto's Delegate for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). She will assume the position on July 1st, 2017.
In her new role, Dr. Brooks will keep the health and research community with the university and its affiliated institutions, informed of CIHR's research directions, initiatives and decisions, and solicit their active participation on awareness activities.
Dr. Brooks is a Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and the Canada Research Chair in Rehabilitation for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. She holds research scientist appointments concurrently at the Heart and Stroke Foundation Centre at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, and West Park Health Care Centre. 

Notable Alumni: Sharon Switzer-McIntyre 

Graduation Year: 1985

Dr. Sharon Switzer-McIntyre has been an integral part of the Department of Physical Therapy for 23 years. Sharon completed her Bachelor of Physical Education at McMaster University and then her Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy, her Masters of Education and her PhD in Occupational Health, at the University of Toronto (U of T). She describes U of T as a where place she grew up academically and professionally.

Following graduation Sharon worked for her first year as a rotating physiotherapist at St. Joseph's Health Centre.  She then moved on to be part of the Credit Valley Hospital start-up team where she worked for 3 years in outpatient orthopedics.  Throughout her first several years of practice Sharon was simultaneously engaged as a sports physiotherapist at U of T's Department of Athletics Sports Injuries Clinic working with a variety of athletes and teams including the national rugby team.

In 1989, Sharon shifted to private practice working at the Bay-Wellesley Physiotherapy Clinic for orthopedics.  She traded in her athletes for workers implementing an on-site physical therapy clinic for the employees at Northern Telecom. During this time, she also worked as a Consulting Physical Therapist at Ontario Hydro and F.I.T. For Work Centres where she assessed and treated injured workers to with the goal of returning them to their optimal function and ultimately return to work.

Sharon returned to U of T in 1994 as Assistant Professor initially taking on the role of Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education as well as teaching musculoskeletal physical therapy. Since 1994 Sharon has taken on a number of roles within the Department of Physical Therapy including coordinating and teaching in the musculoskeletal curriculum, graduate coordinator, vice-chair of education, director of the Ontario internationally educated physical therapy bridging program. Sharon has a long track record of participating locally, nationally and internationally on a variety of professional committees. Her volunteer spirit to promote and support the profession extends to her upcoming role as one of the medical leads for the 2017 Invictus Games, created by Prince Harry in 2014, the only international adaptive sporting event for ill, wounded and injured active duty and veteran service members.

Sharon embraces collaborative inter-professional activities. She works hard to ensure students embrace the importance of collaborative practice. 

Sharon describes the learners in the MScPT and the OIEPB program as her inspiration. “Our learners have so much to offer to the profession and the patients/family/communities we work within - they’re always asking great questions pushing me to stay current and stimulated,” she states. For incoming students and recent graduates, Sharon’s advice is “to be flexible, embrace ambiguity and always strive to make a difference in people’s lives. Be a risk taker because if you don’t take risks you won’t learn”.

Left to Right: Dr. Stephanie Nixon, Dr. Nancy Salbach & Dr. Kristin E. Musselman
Awards & Grants & Honours

Congratulations to our three professors for their Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Project Scheme Grants! A total of 475 grants were awarded. Three professors from the Department of Physical Therapy each received grants.
  • Dr. Stephanie Nixon received two grants for her project that aims to identify and understand how HIV chronic related disease interventions to support the growing number of adults and children living with HIV as a chronic illness. Her second project aims to improve access to rehabilitation in Sub Saharan Africa for people growing up and getting older with HIV as a chronic illness
  • Dr. Nancy Salbach received one grant for her project that encourages older adults to participate in an outdoor walking program to improve their health and well-being
  • Dr. Kristen E. Musselman received one grant for her work to learn more about spinal cord injuries (SCIs) and improve the lives of individuals with SCIs
Dr. Brenda Mori was awarded the True Blue award from U of T for her continuous support to the students and faculty in the department.

Dr. Dina Brooks appointed the new CIHR University delegate.
Jaimie Coleman - Acting Academic Coordinator for Clinical Education 

We are pleased to announce Jaimie Coleman will be the Acting Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education from July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018.  Jaimie, a UofT graduate from our program comes to us with experience from both St Michael’s Hospital and Trillium Health Partners. She has extensive experience in cardiovascular acute care and has been an incredible clinical instructor for our students since she graduated.  She also has been involved in our MScPT research curriculum and small group facilitation. 

Please join us in welcoming Jaimie to the department.  She can be reached at

We also wish Dr. Brenda Mori a great sabbatical!
Student Council Update

Happy Spring!

After 5 weeks of both PT1s and PT2s away on placement, all students are back downtown and 500 University is buzzing. The first years have begun Unit 5 (Neurological PT Practice) and the second year students are finishing Unit 8b (Advanced Neuromusculoskeletal PT Practice). It’s hard to believe, but the PT2s have officially written their last exam of the program! For many of the PT2s their focus now shifts to studying for the written component of the PCE.

In the next few weeks, PT2s will be resume working on their research projects full time, with focus on developing their analysis. Students will have the opportunity to present their findings and their posters at the MScPT Student Research Day in July. The annual PT/OT job fair will also be taking place in the upcoming weeks which will be a great opportunity for second year students to speak with employers and potential workplaces. First years will get a taste of the neurological clinical community in a few weeks as they go out on ICE (Immersive Clinical Experience) days where they will spend half of the day working in small groups on a written case, and then spend the second half of the day working with patients with neurological disorders.

As the weather gets nicer, students will be participating in upcoming summer intramurals. It is with great pride to announce that our program came away with numerous Intramural Awards this year, including, the T.A. Reed Award, Liz Hoffman Award, Bradley-Copp Award, John Robb Award, Marie Parkes Award and Steward Woodhouse Award. These awards emphasize performance and participation in intramural sport for women’s, men’s and co-ed teams. Way to go! Outside of U of T intramurals, students continue to stay active- several PT1 and PT2 students participated in the Sporting Life 10km run on Mother’s Day.

As PT2s move closer to graduation, elections were held for the 2017-2018 Student Council. First year students gave hilarious and informative presentations to their class to get their votes. We are happy to announce the incoming council members are: James Koo (President), Molly Scott (Vice-President), Claire Chittick (Social Director), Megan Bartlett (Communications), Cynthia Campos (Community Philanthropic Director), Drew Coulson (Yearbook) and Amanda Benaim (Clothing Rep). They are a great group of students who will join the already existing first year council members. Over the summer they will be working hard to plan Orientation Month for the incoming class in September.
To see more of what the students are up to, you can always check out student council’s Instagram page (uoftpt_students).
Kaela Newman, PT Student Council President

The Class of 2018 just completed their six week Cardiorespiratory (CRS) Fundamentals module. They were able to refresh their knowledge and learn more about CRS practice within the Canadian healthcare setting throughout their online component. During their onsite component, everyone had the opportunity to apply their knowledge and practice their clinical skills in our CRS Simulation labs. Now they feel more confident and well prepared in a CRS practice setting as shown by the photos below:

The class is excited about their upcoming modules focusing on neuromusculoskeletal, neurological and consolidating physiotherapy practice. They will be well prepared when they start their first Clinical Internship in September.

OIEPB Comprehensive Program Admissions
We are now accepting applications for the next program year 2018-2019. Visit our website to learn more about the admissions process. Click here to apply.

Information Session
Learn more about the bridging program by signing up for the next Information Session on Wednesday November 8, 2017 from 6:30 - 8:30pm held at 500 University Ave, Toronto, ON M5G 1V7. This is a great opportunity to meet faculty, staff and alumni. These sessions are free! Fill out the registration form to confirm your spot.

Register here.
Physiotherapy Practice within the Canadian Health Care Context

Registration is now open for the Fall Session: September 22 - Nov 3, 2017.

This 6 week online course fills the knowledge gap of the context of physiotherapy practice within the Canadian health care system as required by the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators.

Internationally educated physiotherapists (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.

Visit our website for more details.

Register here.
Exam Skills Preparation Workshop

Clinical Component Workshop A assists participants in identifying a study plan, study strategies, and knowledge or skills that are required for successful completion of an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) such as the Clinical Component of the Physiotherapy Competency Exam. The workshop is focused on performance tips and study strategies; is very popular and fills up quickly.

Next workshop date: Sunday, September 24, 2017.

Register here.

Clinical Component Workshop B builds on your skills learned in Clinical Component Workshop A. This half day session cycles through multiple written and practical stations. You will be timed at each station similar to the PCE and each station will have a simulated patient and an experienced Canadian physiotherapist as the Examiner providing valuable feedback.

Clinical Component Workshop B: Choose from the Red Bank or Blue Bank of stations. Sign up for a morning or afternoon session. Take both banks for more practice!

Register here.
Written Component Workshop

The Written Component Workshop is a skill development workshop to assist participants in preparing for and completing a competency-based multiple choice examination. These skills are valuable for those who are preparing for the written component of the Physiotherapy Competency Exam (PCE). Practice tests during the workshop will be conducted on a computer-based platform. The focus of the workshop is on exam-taking preparation.

The next workshop date is: Saturday November 4, 2017.

Register here.
OIEPB Videos on UToronto PT YouTube Channel

View our 3 latest videos on the Department of Physical Therapy’s UToronto PT YouTube Channel.

Journey to Licensing and Employment

Milad F,OIEPB Alumni, Iran-Exam Preparation, Practice and the OIEPB Program

Olive C, OIEPB Alumni, Philippines – Integration into the Canadian Health Care System and OIEPB

Subscribe to UToronto PT and turn on notifications to be alerted when new OIEPB videos are uploaded to YouTube.  

We hope you enjoy all the OIEPB videos uploaded on YouTube. Comments are welcome!

Online Courses

An Eight-Week Online Course
October 12 - December 6, 2017

This fully online course is designed to provide manual therapists with the knowledge and skills needed to find, appraise, and apply research evidence appropriately and effectively in their own clinical contexts. This course is a requirement for all physical therapists taking Orthopaedic Division Education Level courses who first registered AFTER January 2014; registration in this course is required BEFORE registering to take the 2018 Advanced Exam.

For further information or to register:

An Eight-Week Online Course
October 12 - December 6, 2017

This fully online course is designed to provide registered health care practitioners with the knowledge and skills needed to find, appraise, and apply research evidence appropriately and effectively in their own clinical contexts. Participants will develop the skills to evaluate current research and apply research through online course readings, recorded lectures, and discussion board participation.

For further information or to register:

A Five-Week Online Course Presented by Dr. Sandy Rennie, PhD
October 18 - November 22, 2017

Participants will explore the strengths and limitations of EPA modalities such as superficial heat, cryotherapy, shortwave diathermy, TENS, IFC, low-level laser therapy, therapeutic ultrasound, and neuromuscular electrical stimulation in light of current evidence and clinical considerations for including EPAs in patient care plans.

For further information or to register:

A One-Week Online Course Presented by Lindsay Beavers, PT, BScKin, MPT; Erin Miller, PT, MScPT; Lisa Wickerson, BScPT
October 21 - October 27, 2017

Participants will gain theoretical and practical knowledge and skills required to provide safe and effective oxygen administration and titration to patients across the continuum of care. We will explore pathophysiological causes of respiratory conditions and complications such as hypoxemia in the context of physical therapy interventions including oxygen titration, exercise, and mobilization.

For further information or to register:

A Thirteen-Week Online Certificate Program Presented by
Mireille Landry, PT, MSc
September 20 - December 13, 2017

This fully online certificate program is designed to provide regulated health care professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to manage and educate patients with Diabetes. This course reflects competencies 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.

For further information or to register:

November 18, 2017
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM 

In this hybrid online/on-site course, we will deepen participants’ understandings of privilege and oppression and their impact on health. Using kindness, humour, critical reflection, and collaborative learning, this course will enable participants to build connections with others who are interested in developing awareness of privilege and allyship in the context of health. Participants will engage in the practical application of this new knowledge to health issues, drawing on examples from pop culture, everyday life, and clinical contexts.

For further information or to register:

Concussion in Women and Girls

Saturday September 23, 2017.
8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
BMO Education& Conference Centre
Toronto, ON, M1W 3Z3
The first symposium of Concussion in Women and Girls will present the latest research & developments in Prevention, Diagnosis, Management/Intervention, and Policy. The conference is hosted by the Canadian Concussion Centre at The Krembil Neuroscience Centre. Researchers and clinicians are invited to attend. 

Registration for the event is as follows:
  • Regular: $200
  • Students: $50
To register, please visit the conference website:

For more information:
Phone: 416-597-3422 ext. 3448
PT in the News
A Fitting Tribute to a Special Kind of Doctor
Dr. Samuel Leitenberg Award supports a medical resident who exemplifies humanitarian qualities.

Another Successful Running Lecture
Notable alumnus Agnes Makowski talks about preventing running injuries.

Congratulations OIEPB Class of 2017!
The (OIEPB) Program Class of 2017 celebrated their graduation with an awards ceremony and reception held at The Faculty Club at the University of Toronto.
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Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto · 160-500 University Avenue · Toronto, ON M5G 1V7 · Canada

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