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Hello All,

As we know (most of us), physiotherapists are getting more and more responsibilities in Canada (prescribing certain drugs, ordering radiography tests etc...). All of this might be, maybe, a stepping stone into turning physiotherapy from a masters degree level into a doctorate, just like in the USA. I am relatively a newbie into this thread, so I apologize if this topic has already been discussed in another section. I was wondering does anyone have any information about this? Do you think that this might eventually happen in the next 10-15 years, in Canada? This is for discussion purposes and everyone is welcome to express their opinions, obviously. 

Thanks !

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Take a read through this paper by Mathur (2011): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3076909/

I also made 2 summary posts on my IG account (@cdnphysiostudent) about this very topic and the above article on Dec 16 & 17, 2019 if you wanted to check them out as well:

- Post 1: https://www.instagram.com/p/B6JfW0NBUit/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

- Post 2: https://www.instagram.com/p/B6MclMlBfpC/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link 

Judging by the comments section and discussions I've had with other PTs and PT students, the field seems to be pretty split on this topic. There's pros and cons to both for sure, but I'm under the impression that we'll be moving towards the DPT in the next 20 yrs or so (as you alluded to). 

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its a complex question and requires much debate in my opinion. personally, i dont think it should be a doctorate. that would mean making it a 3 year program (right now the masters program is already condensed and if was not it would be 3 years easily), and that means more time in school, and more debt, to enter the practice. instead they should just add post graduation courses for those who want to more education. at the end of the day the "doctorate" is just in the name and not worth the extra debt and lost income as a clinician. also, i dont think that having a doctorate title would mean extra income either. thats just my 2 cents though, willing to consider other opinions though!

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13 minutes ago, maybePT said:

at the end of the day the "doctorate" is just in the name and not worth the extra debt and lost income as a clinician. also, i dont think that having a doctorate title would mean extra income either.

Mmm.. Interesting. So if I understand correctly, you don't think the salaries would actually increase due to the increase in knowledge (+ better title)?

 

PS: I don't know much about this debate, so i'm just trying to educate myself about it because i'm in the program after all lol

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The question is quite interesting, and it's actually hard to give the right answer. In Quebec, tu field is different that for the ROC, as our programs are a combined bachelorss and master in PT. For example, to be considered a professional doctorate, a program needs to reach 164 credits. In Sherbrooke, the master is 144 credits, so 20 short of a doctorate. Some courses are given 1 or 2 credits, but compared to other programs (3 credits courses), those courses should be more in the range of 4 to 5 credits. It's been reviewed already and the canadian board is considering changing a few things, but to become a DPT, medical associations also need to approve some of the acts that could possibly be made by us, so right now, let's say for the next 5-10 years, it's quite unlikely that all provinces and Universities will get the approval to change the programs. As for salaries, it's still also a big ordeal, since we are paid less than some other professions that require less studies/diplomas. I guess we'll see what happens, but being a teacher and having had that discussion with our headmaster, it's not going to happen for a long while!

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25 minutes ago, FreddyHeff said:

a program needs to reach 164 credits. In Sherbrooke, the master is 144 credits, so 20 short of a doctorate.

Wow you guys are kinda way ahead of us at UdeM (135 credits), but even then 20 credits seem to take a LONG time to be added progressively in a program. I have a feeling that for SURE eventually it'll turn into a Doc, but probably when the recent graduates turn about 40-45 years old (if it happens) hahah by then we would be too burnt out with life to go back to school tho :wacko::wacko:

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On 8/31/2020 at 2:15 PM, Mr. A said:

Mmm.. Interesting. So if I understand correctly, you don't think the salaries would actually increase due to the increase in knowledge (+ better title)?

 

PS: I don't know much about this debate, so i'm just trying to educate myself about it because i'm in the program after all lol

I mainly have an issue with the DPT due to the "better title" aspect. It bothers me that some people (both those working in healthcare and clients) seem to be obsessed with the title and act like it somehow makes a profession more valuable/desirable than others - I'm not trying to say you are like that just for wording it that way though!!! :) I don't want clients to ever think they can/should call me "doctor" as a PT - there's enough of an inherent power imbalance as it is and a huge goal for me is for my clients to feel on level ground with me. I know that having a doctorate doesn't automatically mean you're allowed to be called "doctor" in clinical settings, e.g. PhD, PharmD, but clients often don't know that. Online I've come across clinics in the US that call their PTs "Dr." on their staff page and I just shudder - even if it's allowed there, it just feels wrong.

I will say though that I think advantages of a doctorate classification could be that PT would be more similar to other professional programs like med school, dentistry, pharmacy school, etc.? E.g. you maybe wouldn't have to complete undergrad to apply (although I'm glad I did). Have only discussed this with PT students so I should really hear what some PTs who've been in the profession for awhile think!

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