RIP Canadian DPT

You were an incredible program. Fun, inspiring, relevant, and evidence based. You advanced the hearts and minds of so many Canadian Physios. We’ll miss you.

The Canadian tDPT program started out as a dream. One of best PT education outfits in the world was bringing programming to Canada! It was going to be awesome. It was awesome... It is dead.

This is the story of the birth and death of a great opportunity for Canadian Physios.

It started with Evidence In Motion (EIM), a beast of an education group, which is led by some of the foremost researchers/thought leaders in the PT world. They’ve built up first rate programs (DPT, Residency, and Fellowship) in the US taught by the likes of John Childs, Tim Flynn, Julie Whitman, Rob Wainner, Josh Cleland, Steven George, and many more. All inspiring, all passionate, all expert clinicians and researchers.

Their Mission is to elevate the physical therapy profession and the role of physical therapists in health care delivery.

Their Promise is to develop and facilitate ideas to provide physical therapists with the necessary training and tools to become leaders in Evidence-based practice.

In 2016, EIM partnered with Jack Miller and Rob Werstine of Key Clinical Skills (KCS). They together undertook a new foray into Canada with KCS obtaining a license to deliver the Transitional Doctorate of Physical Therapy program in the great white north. How exciting this was for those of us who’d travelled to the US for the program and knew what a gem it was.

KCS and AMP are old friends, and KCS asked AMP if we would like to help out with teaching. We were pumped.  

So started a new adventure. We taught, we learned, we had a great ol’ time. Students loved it. We saw an exponential rise of evidence based practice in our network of colleagues. All of a sudden conversations were based on rehabilitation sciences and evidence, and not on dated biomechanical/pathoanatomical theory. How refreshing.

It didn’t however sit well with everyone. There were some detractors. All good, change is bumpy.

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Also, the program name was rather unfortunate. EIM’s program was called a transitional ‘Doctorate’ which is, we came to learn, not okay. EIM’s program wasn’t registered as a degree program in Canada; whereas in the US, APTA supports the tDPT program to upgrade clinicians’ skills, and EIMs Doctorate of Physiotherapy, Residency Program, and Fellowship program are all registered and licensed.

We agree with the Ministry's decision to stop a program that has 'Doctorate' in the title when it hasn't received the appropriate accreditation. I want to make that clear. This protected term misleads students taking the program and the public when they evaluate Physiotherapists' training. The mistake was keeping the same name that the program had in the states.

So it all came tumbling down based on this name issue. Hopefully EIM will continue to provide programs (with different names) in Canada.

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In any event, Canadian PTs should seek access to EIM's content. It’s relevant, up to date, evidence rich, has a heavy focus on clinical reasoning, and best of all the programs develop reflective practitioners who know how to consume evidence and think maturely about it.

It’s a gloomy day today, but the sun will rise again. It’s AMP’s mission to bring quality continuing education to Canadian PTs. We’re committed to bring in world class educators like Lorimer Moseley, Tim Gabbett, Adam Meakins, Jeff Moore, Cory Blickenstaff, the NOI group, and more. These weekend courses are certainly stimulating, but we know that to meaningfully change practice habits a prolonged course of education and learning is needed. To that end, we're working on it.