Clinical specialty area: Neurosciences
Year of Graduation: 1986
Areas of professional interest: Neuroplasticity-based treatment techniques and evaluation; Parkinson disease; chronic illness management; falls prevention
Hobbies: Dance, reading, travel, studying Italian
What did you find most rewarding about the Specialty Program?
Meeting and interacting with incredible professional colleagues.
What were your reasons for applying to the program?
Originally I wanted to help with the pilot testing as I have a keen interest in evaluation. Once I completed that phase I had already developed all the submissions for specialty and wanted to use the work to actually specialize. I also have believed for a long time that our profession needed a way to acknowledge clinical expertise and wanted to participate in doing so.
Where do you hope to see the profession in 25 years?
Continuing to grow and change based on evidence and population changes.
What impact do you think specialization will have on your specialty area?
I think it already has begun to clarify for people working in neurosciences that professional expertise isn’t based on competence in a specific clinical treatment approach, but on the clinician’s ability to use the evidence and clinical reasoning to address clients’ issues.
What is the value of the specialty program to candidates?
Acknowledgement of expertise, and the opportunity to reflect on practice in a meaningful way.
Have you used your specialist network and if so how?
Yes! I have a network of professionals whose expertise is very wide and broad and with whom I can collaborate and problem solve whenever I need to. This is amazing!
What are important things to consider for those who are interested in pursuing their clinical specialty?
The process requires hours and hours of preparation, mostly in written form. Critical analysis and reasoning must be evident in every part of the submission. Ability to write well is a must.
What new skills or enhanced skills did you obtain going through the specialty process?
I enhanced my writing and critical reasoning skills.
What advice would you give to applicants going through the specialty process?
Read the guidelines very carefully to ensure you understand the requirements for demonstration of specialist competencies.
What impact has the specialization designation had on you and your career?
It has enhanced my recognition by peers, clients and other professionals.
Rebecca Gruber has been a practicing physiotherapist (PT) for over 25 years in the areas of neurology and geriatrics. In addition to her undergraduate degree in PT from Tel Aviv University, she holds a Master’s of Science in Rehabilitation Sciences from the University of Toronto.
Her clinical work includes 16 years working as a Senior PT at Baycrest in Toronto, Ontario, as well as working for Toronto Public Health as Coordinator of the community- based Falls Intervention Team (FIT) Project, and for the Center for Movement Disorders in Markham under a grant from the National Parkinson Foundation.
She received PT Clinical Neurosciences Specialist designation from the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, and the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario’s Award for Research Advancing Clinical Care in 2012. She currently co- owns One Step Ahead Mobility Physiotherapy in Toronto, where see provides clinical care and consultation, conducts and publishes evaluation research, presents nationally and internationally, and teaches in the Graduate Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto.