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                                                                                                      Winter 2016 | Volume 12 Number 1 

Knox College photographed by Johnny Guatto © University of Toronto. All Rights Reserved.


Message from the Chair

Happy New Year!  I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season and took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather to get outdoors and stay active! The importance of physical movement in sustaining health is highlighted from several perspectives in the U of T PTs in the News section of this month's PT Link.    

On behalf of the Department, I would like to thank Dean Young for his reflections on the importance of the rehabilitation sciences in his recent article, "Celebrating the Rehabilitation Sciences", published in the December issue of MedEmail.  We are particularly proud that he notes our commitment to excellence and innovation as we strive to prepare our students to excel as our next generation of healthcare practitioners. 

For those interested in learning more about physical therapy, the Department will be offering a Mini Physio School with engaging talks about popular health care issues, from running injuries to arthritis.  Learn more about how physical therapy can improve healing and daily life for those with these injuries and illnesses.  

Warm regards,

W. Darlene Reid, BMR (PT), PhD
Professor and Chair

Call for Status-Only and Adjunct Appointment Applicants

JANUARY 31, 2016
The Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Department of Physical Therapy, and Department of Speech-Language Pathology are currently accepting NEW and RE-APPOINTMENT applications for Status-Only and Adjunct Appointments for the term beginning on July 1, 2016.  We invite you to apply.
If you are interested in applying, please visit our website at:  The deadline for submitting your application is JANUARY 31, 2016.  Please note that late applications will NOT be considered.
Should you have any questions, please refer to the "2015-2016 Status-Only and Adjunct Guidelines" 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:
Apply Today

PT Link Profile: Dr. Barbara Gibson

Dr. Barbara Gibson is a physical therapist and bioethicist whose research investigates how social, cultural, and institutional practices intersect in producing health, inclusion/exclusion, and identity with disabled children and youth.  Dr. Gibson has been working with the Department of Physical Therapy in various teaching and research capacities since 1999 and now holds the rank of Associate Professor.  She shares her time between the Department and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital where she is a Senior Scientist in the Bloorview Research Institute.  
Dr. Gibson also holds cross appointments at the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics and the Centre for Critical Qualitative Health Research, the CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research at McMaster University, and the Person Centred Research Centre at AUT University in Auckland, New Zealand.

Dr. Gibson is an international leader in advancing new methods and philosophical approaches in physical therapy and rehabilitation.  She has over 50 peer reviewed publications, has delivered multiple international keynote presentations in the UK, USA, Iceland, and New Zealand, and has authored two key books that critically examine rehabilitation practices.  The first of these is an international co-edited collection, Rethinking Rehabilitation Theory and Practice.  The second is a sole-authored book, Rehabilitation: A Post-critical Approach, that draws from disability studies, sociology, philosophy, and bioethics to explore new ways of thinking about disability, therapy goals, and individual well-being.  Dr. Gibson has also served as an editor for multiple journals.  She is an Associate Editor for Physiotherapy Canada and co-edited the recent Special Series on Life and Healthcare Transitions for youth With Chronic Conditions: Implications for Physiotherapy.  She has guest-edited two special issues: Philosophy and Physiotherapy for Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, and Qualitative Research for Physical Therapy Reviews.  Dr. Gibson also sits on the executive of the Critical Physiotherapy Network, an international body of over 500 members that seeks to challenge physiotherapy theory and practice through critically-informed scholarship that interconnects health sciences, social sciences, and the humanities.  Recently, she was awarded the Norington Medal by the Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine which recognizes international leadership in rehabilitation research by an allied health professional.

Dr. Gibson currently holds the Bloorview Children’s Hospital Foundation Chair in Childhood Disability Studies.  She leads the Critical Disability and Rehabilitation Studies (CDARS) research unit that crosses the University of Toronto and the Bloorview Research Institute and where she and her trainees conduct research that spans disciplinary divides.  Her students, postdoctoral fellows and staff come from diverse fields of sociology, bioethics, exercise science, geography, disability studies, nursing, occupational science/therapy and physical therapy.  Dr. Gibson has received over $6 million in research grants to implement her research program examining the social and ethical dimensions of childhood disability, rehabilitation and community care. Current projects examine key areas of practice and policy that affect pivotal life choices in the lives of young disabled people and their families – transitioning to adulthood, independent living, optimizing mobility and activity participation, and understanding relationships between mobility, identity, and social inclusion.

Dr. Gibson currently co-coordinates and teaches the Ethics and Professionalism Theme in the MScPT curriculum, and Theory and Method for Qualitative Researchers: An Introduction, a doctoral stream course co-offered by the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.  The latter is part of the Essentials of Qualitative Research course series coordinated by the Centre for Critical Qualitative Health Research.  In addition, Dr. Gibson has served as an advisor or thesis committee member for 13 MScPT group research projects, and 19 doctoral students/ postdoctoral fellows.  She has won multiple mentorship awards including the Faculty of Medicine Graduate Faculty Teaching Award for Early Career Excellence and the Ross Upshur Graduate Thesis Mentorship Award in Bioethics

New Book by
Dr. Barbara Gibson Available January 22


Rehabilitation: A Post-critical Approach by Barbara E Gibson reexamines the philosophical foundations of rehabilitation, expanding the concept of movement beyond the physical body.

Drawing from disability studies, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, cultural studies, and bioethics, this theoretically rigorous yet accessibly styled text:

  • Explores the limitations of biomedicine as the organizing framework of rehabilitation
  • Analyzes the key tenets of physical rehabilitation, examining their prevalence and effects
  • Encourages new ways of thinking about disability, therapy goals, and patients’ wellbeing
  • Offers alternative views of rehabilitation that can inform education, policy, and practice
  • Provides a transdisciplinary platform that crosses a number of academic boundaries
  • Stimulates critical rehabilitation research that challenges deeply entrenched ideas

“The book before you is more than simply a case for reflexivity in, and theoretical reflections on, rehabilitation: it is an important contribution to a burgeoning space of inquiry, to disability studies of rehabilitation. … Gibson does a great service.”
— From the Foreword by Thomas Abrams, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada

Rehabilitation is dedicated to helping people not only survive, but also thrive.  Despite this complex goal, the organizing principles of rehabilitation still rely on biomedicine to construct disability as a problem of impaired bodies.  Rehabilitation professionals are committed to helping to enhance people’s lives, but many struggle with how to do so in light of the bigger questions regarding their roles in, for example, working to maintain hope for recovery and/or promoting greater acceptance of diverse abilities.  A key problem is the lack of theoretical tools for working through the function of rehabilitation in the lives of disabled people. 

Learn More


Auchstaetter N, Luc J, Lukye S, Lynd K, Schemenauer S, Whittaker M, Musselman KE. "Physical therapists’ use of functional electrical stimulation for clients with stroke: frequency, barriers and facilitators."  Physical Therapy 2015 Dec 23 [Epub ahead of print].

New Resource for HIV Rehabilitation

Dr. Stephanie Nixon and her team have developed an E-Module on HIV and Rehab for Sub-Saharan Africa that is aimed at enhancing rehabilitation providers' knowledge of HIV care to improve the lives of children and adults living with HIV.  
Explore the E-Module
Dr. Nixon with the University of Zambia Department of Physiotherapy
Read the U of T News Press Release

U of T's Smartest PT

The competition for U of T's Smartest PT was great fun.  A current student was paired with a faculty or staff member for a total of 6 teams.  The victor was determined through 3 rounds of mini-challenges testing the 6 forms of intelligence: linguistic, visual, physical, musical, social, and logical.  Student Liaison Officer Daniela Pirraglia and student Sarah DeBoer were our winners!

Organized by the Advancement and Community Engagement Committee, the event provided a fun forum to bring faculty and students together while engaging everyone's competitive spirit.  The Smartest PT competition raised $250.00 for our Friends and Family Campaign.  
    Photography by Ken Jones © University of Toronto. All Rights Reserved.

Public Lecture
Preventing Running Injuries: 

Separating Fact from Fiction


Thursday May 12, 2016
6:30 - 8:00 pm
500 University Avenue, Room 140

Will running give you knee arthritis?  Is barefoot running a fad?  Are compression sleeves just for show?  Is stretching a waste of time?  These and other hot topics will be addressed based on current evidence as well as key tips to help prevent injuries and keep you running healthy and strong all season.  

Presented by physiotherapists (and runners!) Esther Waugh and Sue Ellison.

Everyone is welcome to attend this public lecture.

U of T PTs in the News

Dr. Stephanie Nixon published "World AIDS Day: Physiotherapists help people with HIV live a fuller life" in the Toronto Star on Monday November 30, 2015.
Read the Article
The Department of Physical Therapy is featured on City TV news!
November is #Lungmonth.  Dr. Dina Brooks, Professor, and Dr. Annmarie Lee, postdoctorate trainee and physical therapist from Australia training with Dr. Brooks, were featured on City TV.  The clip on the 6 pm news highlighted some of the research being performed in our Department at the University of Toronto around posture and pain in individuals with chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD).
Watch the Video
Dean Trevor Young writes about the importance of our field in his article "Celebrating the Rehabilitation Sciences" in the December edition of MedEmail.  He notes that "The fundamental role rehabilitation professional play in health care delivery is increasingly evident as we more towards more integrated care."  
Read the Dean's Article
Recent MScPT graduate and Valedictorian Danny Slack was profiled in U of T Medicine News discussing his experience working with our War Veterans at the Sunnybrook Veterans Centre.
Read the Article
Dr. Kristin Mussleman's article, "Healing the Spinal Cord: Learning How to Avoid Falls is Key to Rebuilding Health Following Devastating Injury", was featured in the Life section of the Toronto Star on Monday January 11, 2016.
Read the Article
Sheila Ritcey, President of the PT / OT Alumni Association, presents the Award to Shelley.

Shelley Gautier,
the winner of the inaugural presentation of the Above and Beyond Award

The Physiotherapy/Occupational Therapy Alumni Association presents annual alumni awards to those who excel in the areas of academic, clinical and educational achievement.  In response to nominations that have been received in areas that are above and beyond these important fields there has been the creation of a new and important award, the Above and Beyond Award.
This new award focuses on individuals whose achievements improve the world we live in and the quality of life for people anywhere in the world.  There is no more rewarding person to receive this Award than Shelley Gautier.  Shelley has transcended the challenges she has faced following a traumatic brain injury and has risen to the heights of a world renowned Paralympian. 
Shelley is an Alumni of the BScPT program, Faculty of Medicine at the UofT and, in addition to her tremendous athletic success, has established her own Foundation for the benefit of People with Disability worldwide.  The Shelley Gautier Para-Sport Foundation strives to “turn passion into action”
There is no more fitting recipient of this new Award than our own Shelley Gautier.
The Honourable David Peterson, Chair of the 2015 Pan and Para Pan Am Games, delivers an inspirational speech and congratulates Shelley. 

Mini-Physio School:


Be a physiotherapist for 6 weeks!

October 11 to November 15, 2016 - Tuesdays 6:30-8:30 pm

The Department of Physical Therapy is offering you the opportunity to learn about physiotherapy.  A 2 hour session on important topics will be held each week from October to November, 2016.  Participants will have access to taped lectures and handouts, so there is no need to worry if you miss a session!
Topics will include: 
  • The Importance of Physical Activity
  • Balance, Resistance, and Aerobic Training
  • Exercise and Disease, including:
    • Arthritis
    • Cancer
    • Cardiovascular Disease
    • Osteoporosis
  • Common Sports Injuries
  • Understanding Medical Studies
For more information, contact Dr. Dina Brooks at (416) 978-1739 or


Yoshida K.K. Co-Principal Investigator, Ontario Trillium Foundation. Grow Grant Stream. Disabled Youth Working Together: Activating Partnerships and Cultivating Leadership. Other Co-PI. O’Neill, Maureen. $287, 200. Three Project Grant. Dec 2015.
Yoshida, K.K. Co-Investigator/Academic Partner, Impact of Gender and Migration Status on Accessing Direct/flexible/self-directed Social Funding for Developmental Services in Ontario. Development Services, Ministry of Community and Social Services. Ontario.  Khanlou, N.PI, Other investigators/ Community Partners, Jones G. $104, 200.20 CAD. Sept 2015. 
PT Student Festivus!

Student Council Update

Happy New Year from the 2015-2016 Student Council!
With both first- and second-year students back from the holiday break, 500 University is bustling.  The first-year class has started their Musculoskeletal content and have their first three week internship coming up in February.  Meanwhile, the second-years have started their Advanced Neuromusculoskeletal curriculum, and in an effort to create more physical activity opportunities for students, the PT Games has been created for this Unit.  The PT Games aims to incorporate physical activity into the busy school days through student-led sessions (e.g. karate, yoga, core workouts, etc.).  We also hope to increase access to space, such as the lab rooms on the seventh floor, for physical activity purposes during lunch times.
To celebrate the holiday season, the Student Council organized its annual Festivus event in December.  The event saw both students and faculty showcasing various talents as the evening’s entertainment; these talents ranged from poems to carols and self-made videos to songs.  Students and faculty mingled with one another and enjoyed a potluck dinner.  Each individual also brought in a non-perishable food item that was donated to a local food bank.
Since first- and second-years are currently attending classes in the same building, January starts off with Frost Week: a friendly spirit-based competition between the two classes, cultivating a strong sense of community and camaraderie between the two years.  The first week culminated with the first-years hosting the second-years for dinner, creating opportunities for both networking and mentorship.
The students are looking forward to intramurals starting soon, a Blue Mountain trip in early February, and attending the Ontario Physiotherapy Association’s annual InterACTION 2016 conference in April which will take place in Toronto this year.
Warm regards,
Mujeeb Duranai
PT Student Council President 2015-2016

OIEPB Program Updates

Comprehensive OIEPB Bridging Program
We are now accepting applications for our Comprehensive Bridging Program.
If you are an internationally educated physiotherapist and are interested in joining the 10-month Comprehensive Bridging Program starting in April 2016 you should apply now.  Space is limited.  The deadline to apply is January 22, 2016.  If the required number of applicants is reached before this date, you will be placed on a wait list.  You can find out more about our application process on our website.

Exam Skills Preparation Workshops:
MCQ and OSCE Workshops - Registration is now open for all of the following workshops.  These workshops are very popular and fill up quickly. Register now to confirm your spot.

MCQ Workshop: Sun, Mar 6, 2016 - Full Day

OSCE A: Preparation and Practice: Sat, Apr 2, 2016 - Full Day 
OSCE B: Practice Exam: Saturday, April 23, 2016, MORNING
OSCE B: Practice Exam: Saturday, April 23, 2016, AFTERNOON
OSCE B: Practice Exam:  Sunday, May 1, 2016, MORNING
OSCE B: Practice Exam: Sunday, May 1, 2016, AFTERNOON

Continuing Education and Professional Development Courses

Presented by the University of Toronto,
Department of Physical Therapy

Oxygen Administration and Titration
for Physical Therapists

Saturday March 5, 2016   9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto
500 University Avenue, Toronto
Early Bird Fee:   Completed online on before February 15, 2016: $180.00.
Regular Fee:       Completed online after February 15, 2016: $220

This course will focus on the theoretical and practical knowledge required for physical therapists to provide safe and effective oxygen administration to patients across the continuum of care.  Gas exchange, oxygen transport and oxygen delivery will be discussed in both acute and chronic conditions.  To complement a sound theoretical overview, on-line lectures, multiple-choice questions, case based learning and simulation opportunities to demonstrate oxygen administration will be used.  Participants will be expected to complete pre-course readings (will be provided) as a review of basic pathophysiology concepts prior to attending the workshop.
Registration will be limited due to the practical and hands-on nature of the course.


Functional Electrical Stimulation in Neurorehabilitation
for Physical and Occupational Therapists

Saturday April 30, 2016, Toronto, Ontario
This one day course will provide a clinically focused and hands-on approach to functional electrical stimulation for physical therapists and occupational therapists.

Location: University of Toronto, Rehab Science Bldg., 500 University Ave

Early Bird Fee:    $195 (completed online or before March 30, 2016)
Regular Fee:        $220 (completed online after March 30, 2016)
Registration will be limited due to the practical and hands-on nature of the course.

Contact: (416) 946-8641 • fax: (416) 946-8562
Registration and Information

MScPT Advanced Standing Option for Physical Therapists

September, 2016 to July, 2017
The Master of Science in Physical Therapy, Advanced Standing Option is a one year program that allows eligible physical therapists with a Bachelor degree in physiotherapy (or equivalent degree) from a Canadian or international university to acquire the Master's degree in an online environment with one on-campus residency.  There is a strong focus on research and best practices integrated throughout the program.
  • Physical Therapists must have completed an appropriate physiotherapy bachelor degree program as assessed by the University of Toronto from a Canadian or international university with a minimum mid B average in the final year
  • Physical Therapists must be currently registered to practice with their provincial regulating body and have successfully completed the national Canadian Physiotherapy Competency Examination 
PHT1006Y*   Research and Program Evaluation for Physical Therapy Practice I
                       September 19 to October 7, 2016*
PHT1010Y    Research and Program Evaluation for Physical Therapy Practice II
PHT1012Y    Research and Program Evaluation for Physical Therapy Practice III
                      January to July 22, 2017 (online)
Elective          Fall or winter semester course
Total Credits  3.0
Registration closes March 2016
Learn More

Global Year Against Joint Pain

The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) released (Jan 11, 2016) the 2016 Global Year Against Pain in the Joints
The year-long public awareness campaign has four key goals: 
  • Broadly disseminate information on joint pain to patients and health-care providers.
  • Connect pain researchers to health-care professionals who witness the problems associated with joint pain first-hand in their daily interactions with patients.
  • Increase awareness of joint pain among government officials, the news media, the public, and patient organizations worldwide.
  • Encourage government leaders, research institutions, and other individuals and organizations to support research aimed at producing more effective and accessible treatment.
Please visit the Global Year website where you will find a wide array of resources and ways to participate.  Among the resources are 20 downloadable fact sheets in several languages, lists of articles on joint pain from PAIN and Pain: Clinical Updates.
Fact Sheets on Joint Pain
We are now actively planning for the 2016 University of Toronto Centre for the Study of Pain-Interfaculty Pain Curriculum (UTCSP-IPC) and invite you to join us as a facilitator for the small interprofessional group sessions.  All facilitators are required to be affiliated with the University of Toronto and/or involved in clinically supervising students from one of the Faculties, Departments, or Programs that are a part of the curriculum.  

Your participation in UTCSP-IPC 2016 is vital to the success of the program!
More Information
Please respond no later than January 11, 2016 by completing an online registration form:
Online Registration Form

UTCSP Annual Scientific Meeting 2016

Tuesday, February 9, 2016
7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Toronto Rehabilitation Institute 
550 University Avenue

Attendance is free and all are welcome to attend!

The keynote will be given by Dr. Gillian Hawker, Sir John and Lady Eaton Professor of Medicine and Chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto.  Dr. Hawker's presentation is entitled "Busting the Myth that Joint Pain in Osteoarthritis is Just Old Age".  
Full Meeting Program

2016 Alzheimer Symposium 
The Human Face of Dementia Care:
Exploring Today’s Possibilities

April 15, 2016
Chestnut Conference Centre, 89 Chestnut Street, Toronto

This one-day forum is a must-attend event for clinicians, clinical leaders, and students working with persons with dementia as it will explore the latest evidence and cutting-edge practices in the care of persons with dementia.  
Phone: 416-597-3422 ext. 3448
Conference Website

3rd International Forum on HIV and Rehabilitation Research – HIV and Aging

8:30 am - 5:00 pm Friday, May 12, 2016
Winnipeg Manitoba

The Canada-United Kingdom HIV and Rehabilitation Research Collaborative (CUHRRC) in collaboration with the Canadian Working Group on HIV and Rehabilitation (CWGHR) and the Canadian Association for HIV Research (CAHR) will host the 3rd International Forum on HIV and Rehabilitation Research – HIV and Aging.  The Forum is being held in conjunction with the Annual Canadian Conference on HIV/AIDS from May 12-15, 2016.
Forum Information
The Forum will include a series of dynamic and interactive research evidence panel sessions focused on HIV, aging and multi-morbidity, rehabilitation interventions and models of service delivery.  People living with HIV, researchers, clinicians, and representatives from community organizations from Canada, United Kingdom, and United States will speak about a) the new and emerging role for rehabilitation in the context of HIV, aging and comorbidities, b) profile innovative models of rehabilitation service delivery, c) highlight concrete strategies for enhancing access to rehabilitation for people aging with HIV, and d) identify new and emerging research priorities in the field. 

The CUHRRC will also be hosting a Special Session Special Session on HIV, Aging and Rehabilitation at the upcoming Canadian HIV Conference (CAHR) in Winnipeg on Friday May 13 from 12:30-2:00pm.

For more information about the Forum or Special Session, please contact Kelly O’Brien at
CAHR Conference Information

The 5th Health and Wellbeing in
Children, Youth, and Adults with
Developmental Disabilities Conference

November 16-18, 2016
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Children, youth and adults with developmental disabilities are vulnerable to high rates of general health and mental health concerns.  This interactive 2016 conference will focus on practical strategies to optimize their potential.  Our goal is to help clinicians and caregivers learn effective ways to work with individuals with DD, their families, and to improve their quality of life experience.
The conference will also provide educational and informative updates on psychiatric, behavioural, mental health, and complex physical health specific to individuals with DD, and showcase best practices in the field.  The format will include plenaries, breakout sessions and poster sessions.

Email to get on an enquiry list for updates.

Call for abstracts open until March 31, 2016:
Call for Abstracts
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