Nancy M. Salbach PhD
Graduate Teaching Award – Early Career Excellence
Department of Physical Therapy Division/Discipline
Context(s) for Award:
In recognition of excellence in teaching in the graduate department program by faculty members in the early stage of their career
Dr. Nancy M. Salbach is a physical therapist and an epidemiologist. She holds a CIHR New Investigator Award in Knowledge Translation and an Early Researcher Award from the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation. Dr. Salbach has an MSc degree in Rehabilitation Science and a PhD degree in Epidemiology from McGill University. Dr. Salbach is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto and an Adjunct Scientist at UHN-Toronto Rehab and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre — St. John’s Rehab. Her research aims to develop high quality assessment procedures and exercise interventions to advance walking and physical activity in people with chronic disabling conditions like stroke and HIV and to discover effective methods for translating these practices into clinical and community settings. As principal or co-investigator, Dr. Salbach has held 33 grants totaling $4.5 million. She has over 40 published articles, fourteen of which were first-authored by trainees. Dr. Salbach has supervised 21 groups of physical therapy students in the Masters-level program at the University of Toronto. She currently supervises a Masters student, and has recently graduated two Masters students in Rehabilitation Science. She has served on thesis committees for five Masters and three doctoral students.
A key strategy in my teaching is to stimulate critical thinking through respectful engagement. I strive to cultivate a learning environment in which students feel comfortable to ask questions and, if they make mistakes, to learn from those mistakes. I model and promote leadership, collaboration, scholarship and respectful and effective communication with students, teaching Assistants, clinicians and faculty to help our students develop these qualities and skills. All of my students know that when a problem arises, I expect them to present me with a critical analysis of the options before we discuss the best approach to take.