Our Physiotherapy Program at Queen's has been redesigned as a Competency-Based Education program. As a learner in this program, your training is comprised of three time periods, namely the foundations block which is in the first semester of the first year, the core block, which is the remainder of the first year, and the ready to practice block which is the second year of the program. In each time period you will have three academic courses which are the PCLM course (professionalism collaboration leadership and management), the EBPR course (evidence-based practice and clinical reasoning), and the ACC course (Applied Clinical Competencies). The complexity of these courses increases as you move from the Foundations block, to Core, and finally to Transitions to Practice. You will notice that there's no specific knowledge based courses such as Anatomy, or courses related to one area of physiotherapy practice, such as musculoskeletal PT. However, through our curriculum, you will gain this knowledge through authentic case studies, and you'll revisit concepts with progressively more complex cases.
Our competency-based program also uses a spiral curriculum, which means that you will revisit problems, concepts, and milestones at increasing levels of complexity throughout the two-year program. You will revisit physiotherapy content areas such as musculoskeletal, chronic pain, or women's health. You'll have cases across the lifespan throughout the spiral, from pediatrics to older adults, and you'll also revisit diverse practice settings such as acute care hospital, rehabilitation, community-based care, and primary care.
Foundations of PT Practice: Sept 2023 to Dec 2023
Core of PT Practice: Jan 2024 to Aug 2024
Tradition to PT Practice: Sept 2024 to Aug 2025
Throughout the spiral you'll be developing the seven essential competencies for physiotherapy practice, which are communication, collaboration, management, scholarship, leadership, physiotherapy expertise, and professionalism humanism, and cultural humility.
Our curriculum emphasizes active learning and engagement. As an example of your weekly schedule in the program, you will receive preparatory materials about the upcoming case the week before, to allow you time to engage in learning key concepts prior to embarking on case discussions. Prep work might include looking up foundational knowledge and anatomy, checking out new outcome measures, or looking up a prevalence of a condition. During your case week, you'll start on Mondays with a readiness check to ensure your understanding of the key concepts from the prep work, and allow time with the course instructors for clarifications. This may also include a preparatory lecture delivered by the course instructor. The readiness check will be followed by a team learning activity based on the case of the week, and a clinical skills lab. On Tuesday you may also have a theory session with the instructor leading the session. This will be followed by team learning session with your small group using the case, and a second clinical skills lab. On Wednesday, you'll continue with team learning using more information from the case and a third clinical skills lab. Thursday is reserved for your Preparatory work, with no formal classes. You'll have time to prepare for your weekly clinical assessment, a simulation lab, and also to start reviewing the case and prep materials for the following week. On Friday, you'll engage in a simulation-based learning activity with a small group in the morning, and in the afternoon will be a low stakes weekly clinical skills check. These checks are designed to build your competencies throughout the course, and provide an opportunity for feedback on your performance from the instructor and from your peers. These are low stakes assessments that help you to progress at your own pace.
The program is designed to use cases each week that highlight a clinical condition, a practice setting, and a unique patient profile. As an example of the clinical conditions in the foundations course of year one, you'll learn about musculoskeletal conditions such as low back pain, osteoarthritis, and shoulder injuries. You'll learn about cardiac and respiratory conditions, movement disorders, and neurological conditions such as stroke and spinal cord injury. After these case weeks you'll go into your first clinical placement.
Throughout the program, you will do six clinical placements each being six to eight weeks long. In your clinical placement, you'll be working towards Entrustable Professional Activities, or EPAs. EPAs are clinically relevant tasks or responsibilities, which you as a learner can be entrusted to perform independently once you have demonstrated sufficient competence. We acknowledge that as you progress through your placements, there's a change in the expected level of support that you require from your clinical instructor, and in the independence that you show while performing EPAs. Because of this, we've incorporated developmental stages to allow you to learn and progress throughout your placements. This means that you grow from a novice learner needing a clinician to talk you through the elements of the activities, to a ready for practice learner only requiring a clinician to be present just in case. Plus, with our newly custom designed tool that administers the assessments, you can choose when you initiate your own EPA assessments, based on your readiness as a learner. At Queen's, you will build the essential competencies to become a holistic physiotherapy practitioner through an active and collaborative learning process.