The University of Saskatchewan has offered a Physical Therapy program since 1965. The School of Physical Therapy is an academic unit within the College of Medicine and works closely with Health Science Colleges on campus.
Physical Therapists play an important role in the delivery of health care. The primary goal of physical therapy is to prevent or alleviate movement dysfunction and to promote maximal physical independence and function. Physical Therapists work in a variety of settings including hospitals, private clinics, rehabilitation centres, sports medicine clinics, long-term care institutions, special-care homes, schools and community programs.
The School of Physical Therapy implented the Master of Physical Therapy (M.P.T.) program in August 2007 to replace the current Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy (B.Sc.P.T.) program. Please refer to the educational program section within this website for further information.
One of the exciting aspects of the Physical Therapy curriculum is the integration of clinical practice throughout the program. Students have the opportunity to work with physiotherapists in a variety of clinical settings throughout Saskatchewan, and other parts of Canada. There are also unique opportunities to participate in non-traditional physiotherapy experiences as an undergraduate student, such as recent interdisciplinary student placements in developing countries.
Faculty and Staff
The School of Physical Therapy has 8 full-time faculty, 2.5 academic clinical coordinators, 3 support staff and a number of sessional lecturers and part-time clinical faculty. Faculty members work with colleagues from other departments in the College of Medicine and the other Health Science Colleges. The School partners with the Saskatchewan Physiotherapy Association in coordinating the Continuing Physical Therapy Education Program.
Faculty members and students are involved in a variety of professional activities provincially, nationally and internationally. As well as acting as consultants primarily in the areas of advanced clinical practice and research, faculty members participate in national projects related to improvement of the health care system. All faculty members contribute to community projects through active membership on health care associations and special lectures to interested groups. Faculty members work closely with colleagues in the health regions througout the province.
Faculty and students are involved in a number of research fields. Recent studies include:
- Development and validation of clinical tests for individuals with musculo-skeletal diseases, such as osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, and osteoarthritis. Research investigating the effectiveness of physical therapy treatment including exercise management for these conditions is ongoing.
- Investigation of benefits of group exercise and education programs for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. Also, research related to falls in the elderly and maintaining physical activity in individuals with chronic health conditions.
- A number of research projects related to Knowledge Translation, Evidence-based Practice and Interprofessional Education are contributing to knowledge and practice in the areas of competencies, methods and best practice decision-making.
Several research projects, such as these, have led to development of community programs aimed at better quality of life through improved physical function and activity.
Faculty members have also been very involved in secondary research participating as principal investigators or co-investigators in systematic reviews, meta-analysis and development of clinical practice guidelines related to effectiveness of non-pharmacologic interventions for musculoskeletal and neurological disorders.
A significant emphasis is placed on providing opportunities for students to participate in research projects during the summer. These projects incorporate a wide range of topics relating to faculty members' expertise and research pursuits.
MPT Student Handbook
Congratulations! You are one of 40 exceptional students commencing a journey into the profession of Physical Therapy at the University of Saskatchewan. You all come from different educational, social and environmental backgrounds and the beauty of this mosaic is the opportunity to bring many relevant life experiences and knowledge with you to be applied and shared with others as you move through the program.
The two+ years ahead are guaranteed to be intense and packed with a wide variety of challenges and achievements. This program is designed to provide opportunities to learn and practice collaborative team work skills with other physical therapy students, with other health science students, with faculty, and with clinical preceptors. Professionalism is an expectation for every Master of Physical Therapy (M.P.T.) student and you will have the opportunity to reflect on your own growth as a health professional and share your goals with your faculty advisor in at least three face to face meetings over the course of the program. You will also work with a group of four other students and your faculty advisor on a research project over the course of two years. I encourage you to get involved with the program by considering being a representative on the Physical Therapy Student Society, or participating as a member on one of our many committees. We value student engagement in the promotion, recruitment and evaluation of the educational program and in the Physical Therapy community locally, provincially and nationally. Becoming a member of the Saskatchewan Physiotherapy Association (free to students!) is one of the first steps you should take in becoming involved in your profession.
Finally, I would like to congratulate you on your success and achievement to get to this point in your career path. You will soon discover that the physical therapy path upon graduation can go many different directions and faculty look forward to guiding you in the direction that fits your journey. We look forward with excitement to participating in your transformation from a professional-in-training to a competent, confident colleague.
Sincerely,Dr. Steve MilosavljevicDirector
What is Physical Therapy?
The Canadian Physiotherapy Association outlines the definition of physiotherapy and identifies physiotherapy interventions, areas of practice, practice settings and education. Read further of their Description of Physiotherapy in Canada 2012.
About the School of Physical Therapy
Since its inception in 1965, the faculty and staff have united in the commitment to produce competent and caring evidence-based physical therapists. The program is also noted for providing students with a strong founding in the core clinical sciences – cardiorespiratory, neurosciences and musculoskeletal physical therapy. Our entry level degree program in physical therapy has been acclaimed nationally for leadership in clinical education experiences in primary health. The School continues to add educational components that emphasize interprofessional education, aboriginal health, and self-directed learning.
Place within the University of Saskatchewan Structure
The School of Physical Therapy is a distinct unit of the University of Saskatchewan. Although it functions autonomously for most things such as Admissions and Awards, it is a part of the College of Medicine. Since adopting a master’s entry to practice degree, the M.P.T. in 2007, the School of Physical Therapy has established direct academic links with the College of Graduate Studies and Research.
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
Future Prospects for the School
The School of Physical Therapy is entering a particularly exciting phase in its history. We have been successful in attracting new young teacher–scholars to the faculty. Clinical research activity at the School of Physical Therapy is steadily expanding -- the faculty is engaged in researching assessment and treatment of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease, fibromyalgia, and neurodegenerative diseases. They are also active in research on prevention of falls, healthy aging, pulmonary mechanics, and pedagogy.
The School of Physical Therapy is currently housed in St. Andrew’s College, but will begin taking advantage of the facilities in the new E-wing of the Health Sciences complex and will find its home there in 2016 when construction and renovations are completed.
Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) - CPA is the national professional association; their mission is to provide leadership and direction to the physiotherapy profession, foster excellence in practice, education and research, and promote high standards of health in Canada.
Membership in the CPA is optional. Students and graduates of M.P.T. program may apply for membership in the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, Suite 410, 2345 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON, M4P 2E5. See their website at http://www.physiotherapy.ca.
Essential Competencies for Physiotherapists in Canadawas 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 practising.
Saskatchewan Physiotherapy Association (SPA) - The Saskatchewan Physiotherapy Association is the Saskatchewan branch of the CPA; the SPA provides leadership to the physiotherapy profession, fosters excellence in practice, education, and research, and promotes high standards of health in Saskatchewan. SPA represents over 380 member physical therapists in Saskatchewan.
The SPA is in St. Andrew’s College on the floor below the School of Physical Therapy. Please feel free to contact the Executive Director at the following address:
Rm 118 – 1121 College Drive
Saskatoon, SK, S7N 0W3
Phone: (306)-955-7265 Toll free: 1-888-606-7265
Continuing Physical Therapy EducationThe Continuing Physical Therapy Education (CPTE) program develops, organizes and promotes physical therapy courses in the province of Saskatchewan. The School of Physical Therapy is closely involved in the administration of this program.
A listing of the current post-graduate course offerings is located on their website at http://www.usask.ca/cpte/
CPA National Student Assembly (CPA-NSA)
The Canadian Physiotherapy Association National Student Assembly is a student run organization representing 1,200 physiotherapy students from all 13 university physiotherapy programs in Canada. For more information on the CPA-NSA, please click here.
Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators: The Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (The Alliance) is the national federation of physiotherapy regulators in Canada. The key responsibilities of the Alliance are as follows:
- To facilitate the sharing of information on regulatory matters among member organizations
- To help member organizations fulfill their mandate of protecting the public interest
- To administer the Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE), a national entry-to-practice standard
For more information see their website at http://www.alliancept.org/
Saskatchewan College of Physical Therapists (SCPT) - The SCPT is a member of The Alliance and it is a self-regulating professional body whose purpose is to protect the public through the licensing, regulation and discipline of physical therapists in the province of Saskatchewan. Registration and licensure with the SCPT is mandatory to work as a physical therapist in Saskatchewan.
After graduation you must have a license to practice physical therapy in Saskatchewan. Graduates may apply for licensure with the Saskatchewan College of Physical Therapists, For more information see their website at http://www.scpt.org/.
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 Alliance website: http://www.alliancept.org/exams_candidates_overview.php
Disability Accomodation Policy -The School of Physical Therapy’s policy related to Disability Accommodation
Disability Accommodation Procedures - This document outlines the procedures which applicants and/or students are to follow related to registering a disability, as well as the process related to the provision of disability accommodation at the School of Physical Therapy.
The Essential Skills and Attributes required for the study of Physical Therapy at the University of Saskatchewan are outlined in this document.
CGSR Awards Database - Search here for the most up to date information on the School of PT awards plus externally administered awards that a physical therapy student may qualify for. Search under department for "School of Physical Therapy".
U of S Travel Award - The purpose of this fund is to provide financial assistance to undergraduate and graduate students to enable them to participate in academic-related conferences, academic competitions and other formal academic activities. The funding may partially support students' involvement in one of these activities. Students who meet the eligibility criteria may be granted an award.
Sask Health Bursary Program - Each of the Regional Health Authorities (public employers) has received a dedicated budget to engage in health professions return-in-service bursaries with Saskatchewan residents. Clinical Placement bursaries are also available at this website.
Policies and Guidelines
Clinical Instructor Resources
- CE Publication Pearls
- Tips for Clinical Instructors
- National Clinical Education Guidelines
- Communication with Clinical Sites
- Clinical Education Advisory Committee Terms of Reference
Outlines of Clinical Practice course information, expectations, pass/fail criteria, evaluatations, and presentations
- Clinical Practice I-V - Student Evaluation of Clinical Placement and Clinical Instructor
- Clinical Practice III-V - Student Presentation Guidelines
Clinical Practice I
Clinical Practice II
Clinical Practice III
Clinical Practice IV
Clinical Practice V
Setting the Stage Video
- Setting the Stage Link to Streaming Video
- Setting the Stage Video to Download
- Setting the Stage Power Point
Performance Evaluation Video
This study, titled ‘Walking Away from Chronic Low Back Pain’, is designed to determine whether a walking program is an effective strategy for improving outcomes in Saskatchewan residents living with chronic low back pain.
All participants see a physiotherapist for two appointments. The first appointment involves an evaluation of the lower back by the physiotherapist and an introduction to the pedometer. Each participant will then be asked to wear the pedometer to monitor their step count over a one week period and then return for their second appointment during which they will be provided with advice and educational materials to help guide their physical activity followed by random allocation into one of the two study groups: 1) a self-monitored program or 2) a 12-week walking program using a pedometer.
If assigned to the walking program, the research physiotherapist will guide each participant through the program, initially through face-to-face meetings and then by phone once a week over the study period to negotiate a graduated weekly increase in step count.
At the beginning and end of the 12-week period, regardless of group, each participant will be asked to complete a number of questionnaires that will provide information about their physical activity levels, their perceptions of their back pain, health care use and costs, and other markers of wellness. They will also be asked to complete these questionnaires at 6 months and at one year.
For more information:
Awards and Honours
A team of students, including the School of Physical Therapy's Matthias Muller, won the national competition hosted by the Dalhousie Health Sciences Student Association in late January, 2016. The team consisted of students from nursing, pharmacy, veterinary studies and a dietitian student in addition to Muller.
"As a Physiotherapy student I had a wonderful experience working collaboratively with other health science students, on developing a patient-centred care plan. The experience to me shows the potential we have as future health professionals to work effectively as a team, bringing together our own professional expertise to improve patient care." - Matthias Muller
The goal of the comeptition is inter-professional (IP) collaboration between students in various health profession programs. The team challenge is a low tech, high impact inter-professional simulation successfully used to practice IP core competencies. Initially developed at the University of British Columbia, and more recently implemented in the United States, Australia, and Japan, the HCTC is an innovative team-based educational model that promotes greater understanding of IP values, roles, teamwork, and communication. IP teams of students participating in the annual HCTC are challenged to create a collaborative patient-centered plan of care.
Dr. Elizabeth Harrison - Associate Dean, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences
Dr. Stephan Milosavljevic – Director, School of Physical Therapy
School of Physical Therapy
University of Saskatchewan
St. Andrew's College
1121 College Drive
Saskatoon, SK S7N 0W3
Bev Cuzner - Academic Program Assistant
Phone: (306) 966-6581
Fax: (306) 966-6575
Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education
Phone: (306) 966-6584
Assistant Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education (Saskatoon)
Phone: (306) 966-6574
Assistant Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education (Regina)
Phone: (306) 766-0559