Clinical specialty area: Musculoskeletal 

Years in specialty practice area: 17

Areas of Professional interest: Spine-related pain, diagnostic accuracy, advanced practice physiotherapy, interventional spine pain management

What did you find most rewarding about the Specialty Program?

The specialty program fostered the time to reflect on my clinical practice and my clinical reasoning process. Reflecting on my practice allows for continuous growth and development as a clinician. 

What were your reasons for applying to the program?

I applied for the program as it provided a platform to formally evaluate my professional practice. To be considered a specialist in your area of practice is an honour and a great professional accomplishment. 

Where do you hope to see the profession in 25 years?

I hope to see the profession fully engaged in all areas of musculoskeletal pain management, from prevention to key leadership roles within interdisciplinary teams. 

What impact do you think specialization will have on your specialty area?

I believe that specialization will assist physiotherapists and physiotherapy as a profession gain recognition within the healthcare systems on a macro level. It will educate other healthcare disciplines that physiotherapists have a wide scope of practice and they can be key healthcare providers for a wide range of conditions. 

What is the value of the specialty program to candidates?

The speciality program provides candidates with a challenging, organized, well-researched platform to evaluate your knowledge, skills, and thought processes as a clinician in your area of expertise. 

Have you used your specialist network and if so how?

I have used my specialist network as a medium to discuss complex patient cases. This has shown to be extremely helpful in allowing me to continually provide optimal care for my patients. 

What are important things to consider for those who are interested in pursuing their clinical specialty?

It is important for those pursuing clinical specialty to evaluate their current practice from the wide spectrum ranging from their knowledge and application of research in their area of expertise to their clinical management and measurement of patient-related outcomes. 

What new skills or enhanced skills did you obtain going through the specialty process?

One of the most important things that I have learned throughout the specialty process is that clinical reasoning and processing case management is very similar across disciplines. The components of this complex process are consistent whether you are a neuro specialist or an MSK specialist. 

What advice would you give to applicants going through the specialty process?

Do your homework! You can never to be to well-read or well-organized. The process involves many components that require you to have documented many aspects and experiences in your career. Stay on top of all of your experiences and update them periodically throughout the year so that you don’t forget all of the excellent things you have done!

What impact has the specialization designation had on you and your career?

Specialization has fostered ongoing accountability to my career, profession, and most importantly, to my patients. It has solidified my beliefs that ongoing education and professional development is a process…it doesn’t happen overnight.


Dr. Schneider is a clinical specialist in musculoskeletal physiotherapy. He consults at Evidence Sport and Spinal Therapy and Centric Health/LifeMark Physiotherapy at Springborough in Calgary, Alberta.  

Following completion of his Bachelor of Health Science in Physiotherapy from McMaster University, Geoff completed his Fellowship in Manual and Manipulative Therapy (FCAMPT) in 2002. He also became certified in GunnIMS in the same year. Geoff completed his doctoral studies (DSc) from Andrews University.  

His research involved cervical spine facet joint mediated pain and its effect on sensory hypersensitivity in chronic whiplash patients. He has presented at numerous conferences and clinical rounds, and has taught post-graduate courses across Canada. He is a co-developer and instructor of a modular based, evidence-based course in the management of whiplash associated disorders. Geoff has a strong interest in clinical epidemiology, in particular diagnostic accuracy in cervical spine disorders.  

As a result he is pursued further doctoral studies, a PhD, at the University of Calgary in the Faculty of Medicine. He completed his PhD in May 2013 and his research involved the derivation of a clinical prediction guide in the diagnosis of facet joint mediated pain in the cervical spine. 

Geoff was awarded a CIHR doctoral research award Canada Graduate Scholarship. Geoff has published numerous peer-reviewed papers in the area of musculoskeletal pain and he is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alberta. His postdoctoral research is in the area of advanced physiotherapy practice and spine care management. 

His vision is to see physiotherapists continue to advance their involvement and expertise in multidisciplinary environments for the betterment of patient outcomes world-wide.