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Hey PT applicants!

I was exactly in your shoes a couple years ago scrolling through the pre-PT forums, anxiously waiting for the result to come out. Fortunately, I got accepted into a Canadian program and have been working as PT in Ontario.

I am here to answer any questions you may have about physio schools in Ontario or the PT profession in general.

Shoot me a message if you'd like to chat :)

- PT

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you so much for offering to answer questions! I'm surprised there hasn't been a bunch of questions already because I have a ton!

I know every school is great, but I was wondering having gone through the program, what aspects did you like/didn't like about your school or rather, what aspects do you think are important for selecting a program? In terms of advice, what do you think is the best way to succeed because I know the first year can be overwhelming in a lot of ways? I was considering doing a placement abroad or out of catchment, does this put you at any disadvantage later on? What advice do you have in terms of networking and making connections early to expand knowledge of practice settings but also expanding the network for potential future opportunities? 

Thanks!

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No problem! Those are all excellent questions

I graduated from UWO PT program and here's a few pros & cons:

Pros:

1) Strong Orthopedics program - London is renowned for its medical surgery program including orthopedics. Western campus' Fowler Kennedy Sports Medicine clinic is one of the best in the country and they treat numerous olympic/professional athletes throughout the year.  Many mentors/profs at UWO PT are leaders in Orthopedics division of the physiotherapy profession, this means you will receive manual therapy (hands-on mobilization/manipulation) training early on in your program! 

2) Rehab culture in London is quite favourable for physios as most family docs/sports med specialists/orthopods refer general MSK patients to PTs. Very few chiros, osteopaths, etc. "make it" in London because of this strong physio presence. This is not to say that there aren't successful chiropractic businesses in London but physiotherapists in this town have unbelivable relationships with physicians at London Health Sciences Centre and St Joseph's/Parkwood. Throughout my clinical rotations at Western, I've seen PTs take on quite advanced roles in various hospital units (ER, Ortho surgery, etc.). 

Cons:

1) Heavy emphasis on MSK - this may not be a bad thing for those who know for sure they want to work in private practice setting. However, if you are more interested in cardio-resp, neurological aspect of PT .... then at least be prepared to play their game. 

Some of you have asked more personal questions and concerns regarding programs in Ontario via inbox. Feel free to message me with more questions regarding this topic, I will do my best to answer them! Many of my friends are graduates of U of T PT, McMaster and Queen's.

Some things to consider before selecting your program are:

- Quality of your life during the program. Visualize your life in that city, your support system, clinical rotation possibilities, facilities, etc. 

- What is your purpose with the PT degree? working as a clinician? Research? Orthopedics vs Inpatient hospitals vs Rehab facilities vs Homecare, etc. 

- Clerkship location - are you willing to travel to rural areas or do you mainly wish to stay downtown Toronto?

Best way to succeed:

Keep an open-mind and be grateful to be in this growing profession. Be ready to learn MEDICINE as this profession is quite heavily involved in acute care setting (internal medicine / ICU). Getting into physio school in Canada is extremely hard and if you are able to get in, then there is no need for me to preach about work ethics ;)  But yes, it is intense and very content-heavy since you need to learn all aspects of biological medical sciences - MSK/cardio-resp/neuro/multi-system. This is also why people sign up for it!!! It's exciting to learn about the stuff that actually matters in patients' lives

International Placements:

Some of my classmates did their rotations abroad and they loved it ! It will not affect your education or put you at any disadvantage later on (e.g. getting a job). 

Networking opportunities:

Treat each day as if you are interviewing for a job. It's a professional program (technically, there is a dress code) and you are expected to behave 'professionally' with guest lecturers and experts from other industries. Your classmates will be your future colleagues, treat them with respect. Many of your professors are clinic owners and trust me, they are scoping from day one. Clinical placements are probably your best bet at landing your first job - your supervisor will assess your clinical reasoning skills and your interpersonal skills. At this point in your education, you should really try to become an excellent communicator and sound clinician rather than aiming to get 90% in your tests.

I would be happy to answer any more questions on this forum or via message :) 

- PT

 

 

 

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