university educated healthcare professional

Who is a physiotherapist?

Physiotherapists help people affected by pain, injury, illness or disability through education, manual therapy, electrophysical modalities (eg. TENS), movement and exercise programming.

Physiotherapy is a healthcare profession in rehabilitation medicine dedicated to the assessment and diagnosis of body movement and function (or dysfunction such as pain), and the treatment of the body by preventing disease and disability through physical means.

A physiotherapist:

  • is a post-graduate university educated healthcare professional.  In Canada, the study of physiotherapy is a Master of Science Degree (MScPT) program.  Students must first complete a minimum 4-year undergraduate degree, and gain acceptance into an accredited physiotherapy graduate school (a minimum 3-year program).  This means your physiotherapist has done a minimum of 7 years university education!
  • is a licensed professional regulated by a College (eg. Physiotherapy Alberta College + Association).  This means that physiotherapists have a Code of Ethics, and there are provincial standards of practice that must be observed in order to practice.  Not all healthcare professions have regulating bodies such as a College to ensure that practice standards are met among their members.
  • is required to report the hours practiced as a physiotherapist in order to renew their license each year
  • is required to show Continuing Competency (continuing education through courses, professional portfolios, journal clubs, etc…) in order to renew their license each year
  • may have advanced training or post-graduate specialization eg. Acupuncture, Spinal Manipulation (also known as “adjustments”)