Clinical Specialty Area: Pain Sciences
Year of Graduation: University Graduation BHSc PT – 1991; CPA Specialization – 2012
Years in Specialty Area: 27
Areas of Interest: Although my practice encompasses all areas of persistent or complex pain, I have a special interest in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). I see a large number of patients with CRPS and, along with my colleagues, tailor evidence-based treatment individually to each patient as there are subtypes within the diagnosis.
Clinically, I use virtual reality with CRPS, pain and comorbid concussion and persistent pain with PTSD. My colleagues and I are researching the effectiveness of virtual reality with CRPS. We are also using big data and machine learning research in order to tailor and maximize outcomes with the use of virtual reality in conditions with autonomic dysfunction.
Why did you pursue the designation?
The specialization process is reflective, and I felt that it would allow me to continue to learn and reflect on what areas of my career development pathway had been most useful and what areas I should continue to pursue. It was also a challenge and I love to pursue challenges.
Where do you hope to see the profession in 25 years?
I hope physiotherapists will be publicly recognized as important primary care practitioners, not only in improving health but also in health prevention strategies. The profession has so much to offer in improving the health of Canadians. I also hope physiotherapists will be financially accessible for all Canadians. Physiotherapists will be prominent members of every health care team and as familiar with the public as their family doctor.
What is the best advice you ever received?
Listen VERY carefully to what your patients are telling you both verbally and non-verbally. The solution to their issue(s) can be found in their narrative allowing you to guide them towards a successful resolution.
What did you learn as a result of the program?
The specialization process is a great way to reflect on your practice. The clinical reflections and case studies allow you to reflect and continue to grow in your area of interest. We take very little opportunity to truly spend time examining our practice – this is a great opportunity to do so!
I am a Senior Physiotherapist at the Ottawa Hospital Rehabilitation Centre. I have 28 years of clinical experience and am a Clinician Investigator at the Ottawa Health Research Institute – Clinical Epidemiology Program. I graduated from McMaster University in 1991 with a BHSc P.T. and in 2012 with an MSc (Rehab). I have worked in private and public practice and briefly had my own physiotherapy consulting business. I love teaching and have taught both my physiotherapy peers and university physiotherapy students. I am now pursuing research that is more formal and peer education interests. I am an active member of the Pain Science Division serving on their executive.