GRADUATE & LIFE SCIENCES EDUCATION

Emma Swaffield, Physical Therapy

Emma SwaffieldEmma Swaffield Year of Study: 1st year
Student’s Name: Emma Swaffield

Graduate Department: MSc Physical Therapy
Country of Residence: Vancouver BC, Canada
Pre-MSc Education: Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology (Honor’s Specialization) at Queen’s University

Why Faculty of Medicine?

I chose U of T’s faculty of medicine because it is home to incredible internship opportunities, fantastic faculty who are leaders in their respective fields, and professionals working across disciplines to advance practice. U of T is also a great platform to build interprofessional relationships, as each department within the faculty of medicine participates in an interprofessional education curriculum involving ongoing interaction with students in other programs. Overall, U of T’s faculty of medicine is an innovative, creative and collaborative environment with plenty of opportunities to grow in a healthcare related career.

Why this Department?

I love U of T’s Physical Therapy department because it combines theory and practical experience to provide each student with an excellent foundation to enter the workforce as a physical therapist. Throughout each unit, we have integrated clinical exposure sessions, where we are sent to various hospitals, clinics, and rehab facilities in small groups to apply skills learned in the classroom and in labs. Our 5 clinical internships are distributed throughout the two-year program, allowing for ongoing application of knowledge and skill development in a variety of world-renowned facilities and practice settings. The faculty are incredibly supportive of the students, constantly checking in to ensure that we are engaged and asking for feedback to improve our learning experience. I can’t imagine a more positive learning environment, and I am impressed with the exposure that I have already gained in the short time that I have been here.

Current Research Experience
Since the MScPT program is a professional masters program, there is no specific thesis that students work towards. However, all students participate in a research curriculum that involves the completion of a project with a small group of peers. Students have the opportunity to rank their project preferences prior to being assigned to their group and are expected to plan and execute a study throughout their second year. The types of projects can be qualitative or quantitative, and the topics are very diverse, allowing students to find a project that they are passionate about. I am excited to get started with my own research project in the fall!

If you are someone who is more interested in research, there are always opportunities to get involved. Many of the faculty members have ongoing research projects that they may have volunteers help with, and there are some work-study positions available. I am currently helping out with a project examining the effectiveness of Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) in Children with Cerebral Palsy. I am very excited by this topic as it combines my interest in pediatric PT and clinical research.


Future Education Plans and/or Career Goals
When I began the MSc PT program in September, I wasn’t quite sure what kind of physiotherapist I wanted to be. I still can’t be sure exactly where I’ll land upon completion of my degree, but I am very excited to see where my clinical internships, connections, and learning experiences take me. I had an incredible introduction to pediatrics in my initial placement, and as of right now, I am very excited by both neurorehabilitation and pediatrics. I think that it is amazing how much physical therapy can help people achieve their functional goals, and I can’t wait to see how my current interests and passions evolve as I start my career. 

Contact Ambassador Emma Swaffield