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Message from the Chair

We are turning 100 this year and will be celebrating all year!
When the Department of Physical Therapy was founded a century ago, it was the first professional program of its kind in Canada and the first to offer formal education in the practice of physical therapy. The school got its start when more than 25,000 injured veterans had returned to Canada by 1917 in need of rehabilitation. This need for both physical and vocational rehabilitation was the impetus for opening the Military School of Orthopaedic Surgery and Physiotherapy, originally located in Hart House, where rudimentary classrooms and areas for massage practice, electrotherapy and exercises were installed.
I am grateful for the fortitude of our colleagues who established physiotherapy in Canada, and the many physiotherapist who have built on that solid foundation.  We have a great deal to be proud of. As the oldest school of PT in Canada, and one of the oldest in North America, our department and physiotherapy community have been on the cutting edge of education, research, and practice in physical therapy for 100 years.
For updates on further upcoming 100-year anniversary events, including speaker events, and a plaque unveiling, I encourage you to visit
On behalf of the Department, I would like to welcome you to celebrate PT’s first centenary, and its history and successes, with us in 2017.

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
April 22, 2017

Privilege 101:
Power, privilege and oppression in the context of health equity

Approach: This workshop uses kindness, humour and critical reflection to explore ideas of privilege and oppression and their impact on health. Through a collaborative learning approach, the workshop will enable participants to build connections with others who are interested in developing awareness of privilege and allyship within the context of health.

Format: This course includes online pre-and post-course learning, and a full-day interactive on-site workshop. Privilege 101 is particularly designed for clinicians, health profession educators, health researchers, and people working in health policy. People from all stages of their career are welcome – from students to those in senior positions.

Instructor: Stephanie Nixon is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, cross-appointed at the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. She has been an HIV activist and global health researcher for 20 years. Stephanie completed her PhD in Public Health and Bioethics in 2006 at the University of Toronto, and a post-doc at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa from 2006-2008. She is co-founder and Director of the International Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation. Stephanie is a straight, white, middle class, ablebodied, cisgender female of settler descent who tries to understand the pervasive effects of privilege. In particular, she explores the role of power and privilege in shaping health research, education and practice.

This workshop is co-sponsored by:
  • The Canadian Association for HIV/AIDS Research (CAHR)
  • The Joint Centre for Bioethics
  • The Comparative Program on Health and Society
Date: Saturday, April 22, 2017, 9am-5pm (on-site workshop)
Online registration is now closed. For last-minute registration, please contact

For more information, please see:

CAP Reading Day

Thursday May 4, 2017, at 500 University Avenue
Monday May 8, 2017 at Sunnybrook Health Science Center (Bayview site)
Please sign up by visiting our online registration page
The CAP exam is the secondary admission screening to the MScPT program.  Approximately 300+ of top ranked applicants will be invited to write the CAP, 2 hour exam represents the non-academic portion of our admission process.
This exam is to assess personal characteristics/attributes, life experiences, knowledge of the profession and critical thinking/problem solving skills.  The scores of the CAP exam are combined with applicants’ GPA to determine who will be offered admission to the program. The input of the clinician is very important to the department, and therefore we need help from the community to score these exams. Marking guidelines will be provided to all readers.  
Thursday May 4, 2017
the CAP evaluation are read at Department of Physical Therapy, RU 140, RU 150, 500 University Avenue.
Sessions are: 9:00AM, 1:00PM, 5:00PM, and 6:00PM
You are welcome to arrive early, BUT no later than 6:30 PM.
Refreshments will be provided.
Monday May 8, 2017
We are also pleased to offer an alternate reading day at Sunnybrook Health Science Center (Bayview Site). This session is primarily for Sunnybrook clinicians and students, however if you are in the area and would prefer to read at Sunnybrook, please sign up for one of these sessions. Due to space constraints, we will restrict the number of readers at this site. If we surpass our capacity, preference will be given to Sunnybrook students and clinicians.
Sessions are: 8:00AM, 10:00AM, 12:00PM, and 2:00PM
Refreshments will be provided.
Please sign up by visiting our online registration page
By April 27, 2017 5 PM  

Running Lecture

Springing into Action: Running Injury Prevention

Tips to help put your best feet forward this season!

A public lecture featuring Agnes Makowski

Chief Physiotherapist for Skate Canada 

Date: Thursday May 11, 2017

Time: 5:30-7:00 pm

Location: 500 University Avenue, Toronto, Room 140

Cost: $11 ($5 for students and seniors)

Visit the Department of Physical Therapy website to register!

Call for Research Projects! 

Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto
MScPT Research and Program Evaluation for Physical Therapy Practice
Deadline for Submission – Monday May 15, 2017

The Department of Physical Therapy is preparing for the 2017/2018 Research Component of the MScPT Program and invites physical therapists with a Professional or Research Masters or PhD to submit a project outline and participate as research advisors to one of 18 student groups.  Each group will be comprised of approximately 5-6 students.  Research advisors will be paired with an established researcher (PhD) from the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, referred to as the faculty advisor, who has experience with graduate student supervision.
The content of the research component of the MScPT program, entitled “Research and Program Evaluation for Physical Therapy Practice”, is amortized over three Units (Units 6, 10 and 12).  In Unit 6 (September 18, 2017 – October 6, 2017), the student groups will develop the research protocol and submit the protocol for Ethics approval.  The role of the research advisor is to facilitate this process with the support of the faculty advisor and a teaching assistant.  Due to the short duration of Unit 6, advisors are expected to meet weekly with students and review the final ethics protocol with a quick turnaround time of 1-2 days. To enable effective communication, we recommend a maximum of three advisors (not including the faculty advisor).  Note: We also ask that research and faculty advisors meet with student groups once in September 2017 prior to the start of Unit 6 to review study objectives and provide guidance on background literature for students to review in preparation for Unit 6.
Students will work on their projects throughout Units 8A (January 8, 2018 – April 6, 2018) and 8B (May 21, 2018 – June 15, 2018) having Mondays as protected research time.  Throughout this period, advisors maintain contact with students through email, phone and meetings as the project requires.  In Unit 10/12 (June 18, 2018 – July 27, 2018), the groups will analyse their data and complete a draft of a manuscript for publication and a poster.  Advisors facilitate data analysis and review drafts (no more than 2 drafts) of the manuscript and the poster. Faculty advisors provide guidance and support in the analysis and write-up phase.  Formal presentations and submission of the final manuscripts occur at the end of Unit 10/12. 
Potential projects for the MScPT Research Component must be relevant to physical therapy and can include:
  • Chart Reviews **requires review of a sample of 10 charts to ensure that the data you wish to collect are routinely recorded in the charts and of adequate quality for chart abstraction.
  • Surveys
  • Program Evaluation
  • Pilot Studies (Quantitative or Qualitative)
  • Qualitative Studies (example: focus groups or in-depth interviews)
  • Secondary Data Analysis
  • No Literature or Systematic Reviews
  • No mixed methods – projects requiring both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis are not feasible for the MScPT curriculum.
University of Toronto T-Space Initiative
T-Space ( is University of Toronto (U of T) open access web space devoted to showcasing and preserving scholarly work accomplished at U of T.  The Department of Physical Therapy posts the scholarly products of each MScPT research project, including abstracts, conference citations and published articles, on T-Space.  This effort is to raise the profile of the research accomplishments made possible through successful collaboration among faculty, students, and the clinical community.
Online Project Submission
To submit a project:
  1. Click on the following link:
If the website does not open automatically, then cut and paste the URL into your Internet browser.
  1. Create an account to obtain a username and password.  If you created an account last year, your same username and password will still apply.
  2. Once you logon, click “Submit a new project” and complete the online form. We recommend that you circulate a draft of your project description in Word to your co-advisors and when ready to submit, copy and paste into the online form.  You may save your project on the online form and revise at any time using the “Save” button.  When you are ready to submit the final version, click “Submit”.
  3. Links to examples of a qualitative and quantitative project outline are included on the website to provide a guide to the level of detail to include in the outlines.
  4. We’ve included a checklist for advisors to ensure their project outline meets the requirements for the MScPT curriculum.  Click on the link in the online form to access the checklist.
We are receiving an increasing number of project outlines each year. Selection will be based on the:
  • Quality of the project description,
  • Relevance of the project to physical therapy, and
  • Feasibility of the project in relation to the timelines of the MScPT research curriculum and the research capacity of the students.

The deadline for submission of projects is Monday May 15, 2017.  Please contact Nancy Salbach at 416-946-8558 or or Kelly O’Brien at 416-978-0565 or if you have questions.


RSI Annual Research Day- May 17, 2017
The RSI Annual Research Day is coming up on May 17 from 9am – 5pm. We really hope that you will be able to join us in celebrating this year’s event! This annual event aims to showcase all of our student’s phenomenal work in a wide variety of formats. For the day’s full agenda, please visit:

To register, please complete this survey.
We are looking forward to seeing you there!
The RSI Research Day Committee
Save the dates!
Upcoming Alumni Events
Alumni Wine-and-Cheese - June 2, 2017
Exercise for the Unfit - Lecture - June 3, 2017
More details to follow at:
Notable Alumni: Agnes Makowski

Graduation Year: 1995

Agnes is a difference-maker in the lives of active individuals of all abilities, within the areas of injury prevention, exercise medicine, musculoskeletal health and sport physiotherapy. She enjoys collaborating with others in a co-ordinated team effort in helping people reach their health, activity and performance goals.  Being mindful and respectful of diversity, Agnes has made the integration of best evidence principles a focus of her professional practice.

Agnes collaborated with Sport Physiotherapy Canada (SPC) and the Canadian Red Cross (CRC) in developing the First Responder program for Health Care Professionals (HCPs).  She has travelled across the country teaching others and sharing knowledge transfer regarding Emergency Care in Sport Medicine.  The SPC First Responder program is a top training partner with the CRC and has expanded its team of physiotherapy instructors.  Agnes has also mentored colleagues in completing post-graduate certification in Sport Physiotherapy.  She has been recognized by the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) with a national mentorship award.  Agnes gives back to her University of Toronto roots as a member of the Rehab Sciences Alumni Association.

Passionate about the role of physiotherapy in sport, Agnes has contributed to the Health Sciences Teams at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.  She currently serves as the Chief Physiotherapist for Skate Canada and contributes to the Integrated Support Teams (ISTs) of Gymnastics Canada and Wheelchair Basketball Canada.  Agnes will also be providing Sport Physiotherapy Leadership to the Wheelchair Basketball Venue at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto this fall. 

Agnes is inspired by the philosophy of "Exercise Is Medicine" and promotes this with patients and team members of all ages and abilities.  She enjoys keeping active outdoors, is grateful for the opportunity to learn through travel and promotes the power of physiotherapy globally.


PT Link Profile: Karen Yoshida

Karen Yoshida has been promoted to Full Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, at the University of Toronto as a leader in Critical Disability Studies – Creative Professional Activities.
She has been a full member of the Rehabilitation Science Institute, cross appointed to the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (Social and Behavioural Health Science Division) and is a mentor in the Collaborative Graduate Program in Women's Health, University of Toronto.
She received her Ph.D. in Community Health (Sociology of Health /Disability) in 1991 at the University of Toronto and has been an Ontario Ministry of Health Career Scientist in Disability and Rehabilitation between 1992- 2003. Dr. Yoshida received a CIHR Career Refocusing Award in Disability, Gender and Health between 2004-06. In 2008 she was a Fellow in Columbia University’s Summer Institute on Oral History (topic: Narrating the Body: Oral History, Narrative and Embodied Performance).
Karen Yoshida is a Critical Disability Studies scholar, ally and non-disabled activist, who has worked in equitable teaching and research partnerships with disabled communities for the past 20+ years. She initiated and leads an innovative Critical Disability Studies and health and wellness/diversity component, with the disability rights communities in Toronto, in the Department of Physical Therapy since 1993.
Her research approach is community-based, participatory, and she promotes the active agency and expertise of disabled people through their roles as investigators on research community partnerships grants.  Her current research and creative professional activities focuses on Activist Disability Oral History, arts-based research and dissemination, disability leadership, embodiment and representation, women living with disabilities and their access to health services.  
She disseminates her work in traditional scholarly publications. However, Dr. Yoshida believes that research output should be accessible to the public. She has produced non-traditional knowledge products in the form of creative professional activities. Dr. Yoshida has led the development of a Disability Oral History Toolkit for use by the community.
Dr. Yoshida was a contributor to the Out From Under: Disability, History and Things to Remember (OFUDH) exhibit curated by the School of Disability Studies at Ryerson University- the first Canadian disability history exhibit. OFUDH has been exhibited at the Abilities Arts Festival (2007); Royal Ontario Museum (2008); Cultural Olympiad 2010 Paralympics Games in Vancouver; Abilities Centre (Ajax/Whitby) in 2013; Thames Board of Education (London – 2014) and is now a permanent, translated exhibit in the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, Canadian Journey Gallery( November 2014). 
Dr. Yoshida’s current research focuses on the development of leadership and community participation among disabled youth in an innovative community based program in the Niagara Region. In addition, she is part of a large 2.5 million dollar Social Science and Humanities Council Partnership Grant, entitled Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology and Access to Life (Rice and Chandler- Project Directors). This grant will focus on documenting, archiving, and cultivating art and artists of difference within the broad Canadian context. Dr Yoshida is Co-lead on the research stream – Historicizing and Archiving the Arts. She will lead an oral history study on Canadian cultural activists and artists. 
Awards & Grants & Honours

Congratulations to all four of our senior promotions candidates this year as they were all awarded their promotions, effective July 1st:
  • Karen Yoshida has been promoted to Full Professor
  • Virginia Wright has been promoted to Full Professor
  • Avril Mansfield has been promoted to Associate Professor
  • George Mochizuki has been promoted to Associate Professor

Virginia Wright has also had her appointment as Chair in Pediatric Rehabilitation at Holland Bloorview renewed for the next five years.

Barb Gibson has been awarded the True Blue award from U of T which speaks to her strong mentorship and supervision activities at both Holland Bloorview and the university.

Students Kaela Newman and Celine Nathoo have each won a Gordon Cressy Award.

Kara Patterson, Dina Brooks (co-PIs).  “Dance for the improvement of balance and gait after stroke: A randomized controlled trial” Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada 2017-2020.

Kara Patterson. Heart and Stroke Foundation Canada, Ontario. Clinician Scientist (Phase II) “An investigation of novel approaches to the rehabilitation of gait and balance after stroke: the use of rhythm and dance”. This is a personnel award for 3 years from 2017-2020.

Alison Bonnyman has been elected as an OPA Board member at this year's OPA Annual General Meeting.
Student Council Update
Happy Spring!
Students have had a very busy past couple of months! The first year students had their first taste of clinical experience with their introductory 3-week placement in February. Second year students have been hard at work in Unit 8 (Advanced Musculoskeletal) while working on the data collection of their research projects. The labs on the 7th floor were a busy place in March with both classes preparing for their Practical Skill Exams (PSE) for Unit 3 and Unit 8. The PT2s were particularly happy to have survived their last PSE of the program! In mid-March some students took part in the First Responder’s Course put on by Sport Physio Canada where they got to learn about on field assessments, splinting, removing helmets, spinal boarding and other important techniques required when working within the sport environment.
If studying wasn’t enough, students kept busy with organizing and attending multiple events over the past few months. In February, the representatives from the CPA Women’s Health Division collected products such as shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers, etc. to donate to a local women’s centre as part of their Valentine’s Day Challenge. On March 5th PT1s Dylan and Liam organized a charity 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament. 13 teams competed and the winning team decided to donate the $300 that was raised to the Drive for Dreams Foundation. It was an afternoon full of fun, and students were also able to show off their competitive side.. maybe even a bit too much with one student coming away from it with a broken bone. Oops! We hope to carry on this basketball tournament in upcoming years. On March 8th for International Women’s Day, PT2s Gillian and Tesca took advantage of the plinths and space in our 7th floor labs to put on a yoga/boot camp at lunch to raise funds for CAAWS (Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity) as the philanthropic initiative for the month of March. At the beginning of April a few groups of first and second year students put their quads to the test by climbing all 1776 steps of the CN Tower for the WWF CN Tower Climb. It’s amazing to be surrounded by such a great group of students who take the initiative to give back to their community and support important causes.
Students continue to represent the department well in terms of sports by winning 5 more intramural championships this semester! We’re hopeful that the Leafs and Raptors will follow in our footsteps. While second year students are sad to see their intramural days are over they are confident in the athleticism and determination of the first years to carry on the legacy next year. Not only are students in our program athletic, they are also very artistic. The department held a contest for students to design a T-shirt logo that celebrates our 100 Year Anniversary. Several designs were submitted by students which were then voted on. Stay tuned to see the chosen design!!
Many students attended the OPA Conference InterACTION a few weeks ago. The conference was very well attended by U of T, having over 35 students present! Students enjoyed the opportunity to network, learn about new research and support our very own U of T alumni in their poster presentations and awards ceremony. Some students were even fortunate enough to walk away with prizes at the end of the weekend including free taping courses, a TENS machine and $500 in visa gift cards. Overall, it was a fantastic weekend.
As for the spring, Student Council is busy planning a PT1/2 social event as well as Grad Formal for the Class of 2017. For the time being, students are knee deep in studying for the PNE, staying on top of placement and enjoying this beautiful weather.
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 2016-17

On March 22, 2017 the Ontario Internationally Educated Physical Therapy Bridging (OIEPB) Program Class of 2017 celebrated their graduation with an awards ceremony and reception held at The Faculty Club at the University of Toronto. Faculty, guest speakers, community partners, family and friends were in attendance to recognize these 35 internationally educated physical therapists as they celebrated their successful completion of the Comprehensive Bridging Program. 

Dr. Sharon Switzer McIntyre, OIEPB Program Director, Department of Physical Therapy welcomed honoured guests and speakers Dr. Shafiq Qaadri, Parliamentary Assistant to Honourable Laura Albaneses, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Prof. Elizabeth Smyth, Vice-Dean, Programs in the School of Graduate Studies and Dr. Darlene Reid, Chair, Dept. of Physical Therapy.

Each of the esteemed guests shared inspirational stories, words of wisdom and offered congratulations to the graduates. The Honourable Laura Albanese sent a video greeting and message to the graduates. To watch the video from the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration click on this video web link.

Each year the top learners for academic and clinical excellence are recognized.  This year’s award recipients were Ka Sing Leung receiving the 2017 Academic Excellence Award and Adiilah Heenaye-Sumser, the 2017 Clinical Excellence Award recipient. Congratulations to you both!

Following the awards presentation, Class President Adiilah Heenaye-Sumser addressed the guests and spoke on behalf of her fellow classmates. She expressed their gratitude to all those involved with and in support of the program. The class produced and showed their ‘Thank You to the OIEPB’ video spoken in their own languages representing Hong Kong, India, Iran, Philippines, Poland and South America. To watch this video, click on this web link. Once the speeches were concluded, a reception was enjoyed by everyone. Congratulations to the graduating Class of 2017!

To learn more about the OIEPB Program, watch the OIEPB Alumni - Journey to Licensing and Employment video by clicking on this web link.
Welcome OIEPB Class of 2018!

The Ontario Internationally Educated Physical Therapy Bridging (OIEPB) Program welcomes the Class of 2018. These internationally educated physical therapists are excited to begin the 10 month Comprehensive program. Many will be traveling from outside of the GTA to attend Academic Residency Week starting on April 24, 2017. During this week, they will start their on-site learning and become familiar with the many aspects of the program’s curriculum, clinical education and university life. The 10 month program will be filled with online learning opportunities, onsite sessions to practice clinical skills and two full time clinical internships. We look forward to an exciting year with the Class of 2018!

OIEPB Online Course and Workshop Registration Updates:
NEW! Online Summer Session of Physical Therapy and the Canadian Health Care System (PPCHCC) has been added.
This 6-week online course will be offered from June 8 - July 20 2017. Apply now to confirm your spot.
The next full day Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) Exam Skills Preparation Workshop will be on June 11, 2017. Registration is now open and will close once maximum enrollment is reached. Apply now to confirm your spot.
The FALL Series of Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) Exam Skills Preparation Workshops: OSCE A and OSCE B Workshops will open in April 2017 check our website for more details.
OSCE A Workshop will be a full day workshop held on Saturday, September 23, 2017. Apply now as spots fill quickly.
OSCE B Workshop –  will have half day workshop sessions held on October 21st and 22nd  2017. We are offering  Blue and Red banks of different Practice Exams stations. Choose either or both practice exam stations!  Visit our website for further details and registration information. Registration will open on April 24, 2017.

For more information regarding the Ontario Internationally Educated Physiotherapy Bridging Program please visit our website at: or contact Sharon Switzer-McIntyre ( directly.
Orthopaedic Physiotherapy for Children with Cerebral Palsy

Location: Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Toronto, Canada
Instructors: Chun Kim and Kim Hesketh
Registration and Additional Information:
Dates: May 6-7, 2017

A two-day course covering the latest evidence in the orthopaedic physiotherapy management of children with cerebral palsy (CP). Areas of focus will include orthopaedic development and assessment, gait analysis, and pre- and post-surgical therapy.  We will review hot topics such as stretching, when to initiate standing, and types of orthotics. We will dive into the latest research and encourage you to critically think about your practice in an evidence-based manner 

Online Courses

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, MSc
October 21-27 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:

PT in the News
Students Giving Back: Thusheinth Sivarajah
Thusheinth uses karate as a platform to give back to his community.

Students Giving Back: Kiera McDuff
Kiera is committed to helping people in Toronto who lack access to food.

Autism Services Advocate: Off the Clock with Sharon Gabison
Prof. Gabison shares her work as the director of the Ontario Autism Coalition.

Students and Faculty Celebrate the Holidays!
Students and faculty celebrated our annual Festivus!

Privilege and Oppression: Two Sides of the Same Coin
Dr. Stephanie Nixon is facing difficult questions head-on.

A Bridge to Practice
OIEPB alumna Tathiana Santana Shiguemoto shares her journey to becoming a licensed physiotherapist in Canada. 

Congratulations Class of 2016!
The MScPT Graduating Class of 2016 celebrated in a series of Convocation events.
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Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto · 160-500 University Avenue · Toronto, ON M5G 1V7 · Canada

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