Our School

Our vision
We will be the outstanding School of Rehabilitation Science in Saskatchewan, nationally and internationally recognized for innovative research and graduate programs, high quality interprofessional education, and exceptional knowledge translation. We will demonstrate leadership in physical therapy and rehabilitation science to advance research, learning, knowledge sharing, and reconciliation and inclusion with and by Indigenous peoples and communities.

Our mission
Excellence in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science teaching, research, scholarship and leadership to improve the quality of life and well-being for all people of Saskatchewan and beyond.

The School of Physical Therapy fosters a healthy environment that promotes a positive work experience, life-long learning, and professional pursuits of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science students, faculty, and staff. As part of the University of Saskatchewan, we are situated in the vibrant city of Saskatoon on Treaty Six territory and the traditional homeland of the Métis.

Recognized for a growing and diverse student body, we have gained a reputation nationally and internationally for preparing high-quality collaborative physical therapy clinicians and rehabilitation researchers, focused on improving function while promoting optimal ability, mobility, activity, and participation. As a socially accountable organization, we are proud of our alumni, students, faculty and staff, who since 1965 have been engaged citizens and leaders. We respond to changing environments, contribute to high quality clinical care in local and global communities, and are committed to improving health and the healthcare system through innovative research and evidence-based practice.

Collaboration is a hallmark of our School and is embedded in all aspects of our mission. A dynamic forward-looking faculty and staff demonstrate resilience, compassion, humility, professionalism and a passion for advancing rehabilitation science and health-related learning, teaching, research, and mentorship.

The Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) is its flagship program, governed by the College of Graduate Studies and Research (CGSR).  The MPT Program is designed to provide the graduate with the entry-level clinical requirements to obtain a license to practice physiotherapy in Saskatchewan and Canada.

Graduates of an entry level degree in physical therapy (e.g., M.P.T., B.Sc.P.T.) who wish to pursue advanced research training under a SPT faculty member are encouraged to consider the M.Sc. and Ph.D in Health Sciences thesis-based graduate programs.

History
1960
 Canadian Conference of Physiotherapy recommends programs should be started in universities with medical faculties not already offering physiotherapy.
1965 Diploma Program in Physiotherapy commences in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Saskatchewan - two and a half years in duration. (one of six new university programs).
1973 Diploma program increases in duration to three years. Bachelor of Physical therapy degree is introduced - one-year program for diploma graduates.
1976 School of Physical Therapy is established, under the general supervision of the College of Medicine.
1981 Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy, a four-year program is introduced, replacing the Diploma and B.P.T.
1987 Enrollment is increased from 20 students to 30 students.
1997 A new five-year curriculum introduced for the Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy.
2007 First students enter the Master of Physical Therapy program – August, 2007
2016 – Joined other health science disciplines in the state-of-the-art Health Sciences Building

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The PT Profession

Physical therapy (physiotherapy) is a dynamic and challenging health profession dedicated to improving and maintaining physical mobility, independence, health and well-being. Physical therapists are primary health-care professionals who provide valuable health care for people of all ages within a broad range of practice settings. They assess levels of mobility, strength, endurance and other physical abilities to determine the impact of illness or injury on physical function, whether at work, rest or play. They diagnose movement disorders and develop treatment plans to restore movement and reduce pain or limitations to mobility.

Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA)
CPA is the national professional association; their purpose is to advance the profession of physiotherapy in order to improve the health of Canadians. Membership in the CPA is optional. New graduate physical therapists are eligible for reduced membership rates.

CPA Code of Ethics

The Essential Competency Profile for Physiotherapists in Canada was developed to describe the essential competencies that physiotherapists must demonstrate upon entry to the profession (for initial registration/licensure) and maintain throughout the course of their careers. These essential competencies must be exercised wherever a physiotherapist practices and in the course of whatever the physiotherapist is practicing.

Saskatchewan Physiotherapy Association (SPA)
The Saskatchewan Physiotherapy Association is the Saskatchewan branch of the CPA; The mandate of the SPA is to advance the delivery of physiotherapy services by promoting excellence in education, research and clinical practice.

Continuing Physical Therapy Education (CPTE)
CPTE is the post-graduate professional unit  dedicated to the continuing professional development of physical therapists and other health care professionals. As part of the School of Physical Therapy this unit works closely with faculty, clinicians and staff across the province and beyond in developing and offering high quality post-graduate professional programs.

Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (CAPR)
CAPR is a credentialling and assessment agency that provides evaluation services on behalf of its Members – the Canadian provincial and territorial physiotherapy regulators (called Colleges). Their key responsibilities include:

  • facilitate the sharing of information on regulatory matters among member organizations
  • help member organizations fulfill their mandate of protecting the public interest
  • administer the Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE), a national entry-to-practice standard

Saskatchewan College of Physical Therapists (SCPT)
The SCPT is a self-regulating professional body whose purpose is to serve the public by ensuring safe, competent care from qualified physical therapists. Registration and licensure with the SCPT is mandatory to work as a physical therapist in Saskatchewan.

Physiotherapy Competency Examination
On graduation you will be required to successfully complete a Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE) in order to establish eligibility to practice physical therapy in Saskatchewan and many jurisdictions in Canada. For the most update information on what is involved with the PCE, please refer to the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators website.

Policies, Guidelines and Forms

For a comprehensive list of MPT policies and guidelines please visit the policy page.

Clinical Instructor Resources

Research

The School of Physical Therapy advances leading edge, clinically relevant research across the lifespan and clinical specialties. We are actively engaged in an array of research activities within which we mentor top caliber MSc and PhD graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and research scientists. Working collaboratively across disciplines and borders, faculty members have received numerous competitive research grants through agencies such as the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF), and Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada (PFC) to name a few. As a consequence of this dynamic research program, faculty members publish extensively in the peer reviewed literature and provide evidence to improve physical therapy practice.

Illustrative examples of the scope of research areas in which faculty and students are involved include:

  • Development and validation of clinical tests for individuals with incontinence and musculoskeletal diseases such as osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, ankylosing spondylitis and osteoarthritis;
  • Research investigating the effectiveness of physical therapy evaluation and treatment including remote assessment (via video) and exercise management for multiple conditions;
  • Investigation of the benefits of group exercise and education programs for individuals with chronic low back pain, breast cancer, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury;
  • Examining the basic underpinnings of chronic conditions;
  • Investigating risk and prevention of falls in the elderly and maintaining physical activity in individuals with chronic health conditions;
  • Conducting systematic reviews, meta-analysis and development of clinical practice guidelines related to effectiveness of non-pharmacologic interventions for musculoskeletal and neurological disorders; and
  • Knowledge translation, evidence-based practice and interprofessional education contributing to knowledge and practice in the areas of clinical competence, effective interventions and best practice decision-making.

Several research projects, such as these, have led to development of community programs aimed at better patient outcomes and higher quality of life through improved physical function and activity. A notable example is the development of a smart phone app that assists young, male hemophiliacs determine an appropriate response to an injury (HIRT).

Evidence-based practice relies heavily on the willingness and generosity of volunteer participants who give of their time to be part of the research.

If you are interested in learning more about the research at the School of Physical Therapy, as a research student or as a participant, please contact Blanc Star, Research Administrative Coordinator (blanc.star@usask.ca). You can also visit the faculty pages for specifics of their research, and to learn if there are opportunities for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.

We can also be found on Facebook.

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Contact

Dr. Elizabeth Harrison - Associate Dean, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences
Dr. Soo Kim – Acting Director, School of Physical Therapy

Mailing address:
School of Physical Therapy
University of Saskatchewan
Health Sciences Building, E-Wing
Suite 3400, 3rd Floor
104 Clinic Place
Saskatoon, SK  S7N 2Z4

General Inquiries
Phone: (306) 966-6579
Fax: (306) 966-6575

Admission Inquiries
Bev Cuzner - Academic Program Assistant

Phone: (306) 966-6581
Fax: (306) 966-6575

Arlis McQuarrie,
Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education
Phone: (306) 966-6584 

Peggy Proctor,
Assistant Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education (Saskatoon)
Phone: (306) 966-6574

Cathy Cuddington,
Assistant Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education (Regina)
Phone:  (306) 766-0559