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Continuing Education Update

December 2017/January 2018
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Congrats to all participants in Dr. Stephanie Nixon’s stimulating and challenging full-day workshop, Privilege 101: Power, Privilege, and Oppression in the Context of Health Equity. And a big thank-you to the guest experts who joined us that day: Zoe Aarden, Tracy Blake, Dawn Maracle, Myroslava Tataryn, and Ciann Wilson. Some of the workshop's big ideas are summarized in this short video.

Stephanie Nixon, Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy

Season’s Greetings and a Happy New Year!

Welcome to the inaugural issue of Continuing Education Update, a quarterly newsletter that will keep you informed about new and ongoing courses, introduce you to some of our talented instructors, and dig deeper into featured courses and research. Be sure to subscribe to keep receiving future newsletters throughout the year!

The Department of Physical Therapy Continuing Education Program aims to enhance the practice of physical therapists and to lead the advancement of knowledge and skills relevant to the profession by identifying, developing, and providing education and learning opportunities of the highest calibre. We work collaboratively with our faculty and clinical partners in the local and international communities who generously share their expertise with others in the profession. We are proud that our courses offer excellent opportunities for inter-professional learning, as they attract not only physical therapists, but also nurses, pharmacists, kinesiologists, social and mental health workers, and many other registered health practitioners.

Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities

Functional Assessment: The Six-Minute Walk Test for Clinical Researchers and Clinicians
A 15-Hour Online Course Presented Lisa Wickerson, BScPT, MSc

April 15-June 15, 2018
Early-bird rates available until April 8, 2018!
Designed for both researchers and clinicians, this course provides a practical, skills-based, online overview of best practices in administering and interpreting the six-minute walk test, a common outcome measure used with many patients, including cardiorespiratory, neurological, and geriatric populations. Participants may complete the course requirements at their own pace and at any time.
For further information or to register: Click here.

Oxygen Administration and Titration for Physical Therapists and Regulated Health Professionals
A Two-Week Online Course Presented by Lindsay Beavers, PT, BScKin, MPT and Lisa Wickerson, BScPT, MSc

April 2-15, 2018
Early-bird rates available until March 12, 2018!
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: Click here.
Diabetes Educator Certificate Program
A Thirteen-Week Online Certificate Program Presented by Mireille Landry, PT, MSc and Nicola Farnell, NP

February 15-May 24, 2018.

Early-bird rates available until January 25, 2018!
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 and to register: Click here.

“My confidence in being a diabetes nurse has grown significantly already in such a short period of time.”
-Anonymous feedback, Diabetes Educator Certificate Program, Fall 2017

Functional Electrical Stimulation in Neurorehabilitation
A Six-Week Online Course Presented by Dr. Kristin Musselman, PhD

February 1-March 22, 2018

Early-bird rates available until January 22, 2018!
Functional electrical stimulation (FES) is a valuable therapeutic tool for physical and occupational therapists alike. Both will benefit from the evidence-based, clinically focused approach to FES provided in this fully online course, which includes six weeks of instruction comprised of pre-recorded lectures, live weekly webinars, self-directed hands-on activities, additional readings, and online quizzes. The course is designed for therapists based nationally and internationally to advance their knowledge and practice in the use of FES.

For further information and to register: Click here.

Continuing Education FAQs

Have a question? Please contact us at

Q: I am not a physical therapist. Will your course be relevant for me?

A: Many of our courses emphasize interprofessional learning, and we welcome RNs, NPs, OTs, Dietitians, Pharmacists, Kinesiologists, and other healthcare practitioners. If you have questions about a specific course, please email

Q: What financial assistance is available for healthcare practitioners taking your courses?

A: All our courses feature discounted rates during the early-bird registration period. In addition, you may be eligible for tuition reimbursements for professional development activities through professional or provincial organizations. In Ontario, the Allied Health Professional Development Fund offers up to $1500 of support per year:

Q: I have never taken an online course before. What can I expect?

A: Our online courses are designed in accordance with pedagogical best practices to ensure that learners are engaged, challenged, and connected throughout the course. Participants typically encounter a range of content-delivery methods, from required and supplementary readings to recorded lectures to live streaming class sessions. Your course may also make use of synchronous or asynchronous discussion board conversations, online tests and quizzes, individual reflection, and written assignments. Previous participants report being pleasantly surprised by the depth of engagement they experienced in the online environment, and having the flexibility to take courses remotely and flexibly means that even busy healthcare practitioners can find the time!

Meet Our Instructors: Mireille Landry

Mireille’s passion for exercise as medicine throughout populations has allowed her to see the profound impact physical activity can have on those at risk for and living with diabetes. This inspired her to learn more about diabetes management, and she went on to become a Certified Diabetes Educator in 2011. She is currently the Exercise Coordinator for the Women’s Cardiovascular Health Initiative at Women’s College Hospital – a cardiac rehabilitation and primary prevention program for women. Mireille holds a teaching appointment at the University of Toronto, Department of Physical Therapy, where she is an experienced teacher in the area of cardiorespiratory conditions, exercise and sports therapy. In addition to her many other roles, she now teaches our upcoming Diabetes Educator Certificate Program. Mireille is especially excited to create an online environment rich in discussion, shared learning, and inter-professional exchange.

Course Profile: The Six-Minute Walk Test

We are pleased to pilot a brand new course on functional assessment this spring, The Six-Minute Walk Test for Clinical Researchers and Clinicians. The idea for this course came from instructor Lisa Wickerson’s experience at the University Health Network in Toronto, where she noticed that a better understanding of both administering and interpreting this common outcome measure would benefit healthcare professionals working in research and clinical settings. The six-minute walk test is used in a variety of clinical populations to measure functional exercise capacity and evaluate the response to rehabilitation, medical, surgical and pharmacological interventions. Although published guidelines exist for the six-minute walk test, there is variability in test administration which can influence the results. Lisa's own research has contributed to an equation to determine the predicted six-minute walk distance in healthy Canadians.  

This course offers clinical researchers and clinicians a practical, skills-based, on-line course in administration of the six-minute walk test aimed at promoting and supporting best practices in clinical research and healthcare environments. The course is entirely online, and offers narrated lectures, videos, case studies, questions to guide individual learner reflection, multiple choice quizzes, and asychronous online discussion to ensure that content is accessible to all learners. By the end of the course, participants will be able to:
  • Discuss the indications for a six-minute walk test and the variables measured 
  • Describe the measurement properties of the six-minute walk test Identify factors that influence the six-minute walk distance 
  • Outline the steps required to prepare, record and administer the six-minute walk test according to standardized guidelines 
  • Interpret findings of the six-minute walk test using normative values and population-specific clinical important differences  
  • Administer the six-minute walk test in research and clinical settings
If you are interested in honing your ability to make effective use of this outcome measure, click here for more information and to register
“I was impressed with Lisa's quick responses in the discussion board, her supplementation of course content with additional readings, and her excellence in facilitating discussions.”
-Anonymous feedback on Lisa Wickerson as an online instructor, Fall 2017
Contact Us

Department of Physical Therapy
University of Toronto
160-500 University Avenue
Toronto, ON M5G1V7

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

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