The Physio Moves Canada project is officially live. To begin we need to recognize our confirmed funders so far: Western University, the Canadian Physiotherapy Association and PTAlberta Association + College. Many thanks for your support of this project, and we look forward to soon welcoming additional sponsors.
So what is the Physio Moves Canada project? It's a research and exploration project conceived by Dr. Dave Walton from Western University's School of Physical Therapy. Dave is a fiercely proud physiotherapist and emerging leader in the physiotherapy and rehabilitation research field in Canada and internationally. Six years ago he transitioned from being more a clinician than researcher to being more a researcher than clinician. As a result, he has become acutely aware that for every day he spends in his university office he becomes one more day farther removed from the realities of day to day front-line practice. Dave is also a futurist, an advocate of embracing patients-as-partners, interdisciplinary care, and embracing emerging technologies to optimize care. This also leaves him aware that the future of PT in Canada is very likely sitting on a precipice of change that will be quite dramatic over the next 10-15 years. Is physiotherapy in Canada ready for what's to come? Are we preparing our clinicians of tomorrow in a way that positions them for success in a world that is very different from the ones their educators grew up in? What are the threats and opportunities facing the profession in the not distant future? And most importantly, what can we as clinicians and researchers being now to ensure we're prepared for the future to arrive.
The Physio Moves Canada project is intended to address these questions. Dave and his wife and fellow physio Amanda will be traveling from coast to coast through the summer of 2017 with the goal of stopping at as many sites of physiotherapy innovation, creativity, and uniqueness with the intention of collecting front-line clinicians' perspectives of the current state of physio but more importantly, where it's going. Specific research questions to be addressed through ethnographic qualitative interviews, video footage, and grounded in-person experience, include:
1. What are the threats facing the profession over the next 10-15 years?
2. What are the opportunities that are expected to present themselves in that time?
3. What changes, if any, should training programs consider now to ensure that our graduates are prepared for the practice of tomorrow?
4. What are the research priorities that clinical researchers should focus on now to help the profession to prepare for tomorrow?
5. Considering Canada is a land of geographic and population diversity, and that physio is positioning itself as the leader in mobility, what exactly does mobility mean to Canadians?
We hope you'll join us on this journey. There are several ways to become involved, from submitting proposals or suggestions of sites that we should be sure to visit, especially those that are doing something that you think the rest of Canada could learn or benefit from, to spreading our message, to offering help with translation services, and even to providing financial support (more on that coming later).
We look forward to meeting as many of you as we can in 2017!