There is hope that a shortage of physical therapists in Quebec’s Saguenay-Lac St. Jean area will soon be a thing of the past, thanks to a new partnership between McGill’s School of Physical and Occupational Therapy and l’Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC).
Beginning in September 2011, UQAC will offer two McGill programs by extension: the Bachelor of Science (Rehabilitation Science) and Master of Science, Applied (Physical Therapy), the latter being the degree required for a licence to practice physical therapy.
The arrival of these new programs in the region meets the expectations of the entire regional community.
Beginning in 2005, during the first consultations conducted by the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, the regional community expressed great interest in the establishment of a physiotherapy program at the university. Discussions with McGill concluded with an agreement supported by sustained involvement of local clinicians for supervision of internships and, in some cases, for the development and delivery of teaching activities.
The Université du Québec à Chicoutimi will train competent physiotherapists, relying on the expertise of McGill’s School of Physical and Occupational Therapy and the collaboration of the regional healthcare network partners of the greater Saguenay, Lac Saint-Jean and North Shore region. It will also proceed to open new faculty positions, which will add to the expertise of Professor Louis-E Tremblay, PhD, PHT, who is already on duty.
“We are delighted to establish this large-scale collaboration between our institutions,” declared Professor Heather Munroe-Blum, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University. “This is a wonderful opportunity for our two institutions to build on our mutual strengths and work together in order to offer greater access to these crucial programs, in the interest of the professionals and citizens of the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region.”
UQAC’s new physiotherapy graduates will be well prepared to take on the challenges in care and services, applying critical thinking and clinical reasoning based on best practices, interdisciplinary work and advanced physiotherapy.
The Université du Québec à Chicoutimi is creating a new Department of Health Sciences. This department will include the disciplines of nursing, kinesiology, psychology and physiotherapy.