Welcome to the UBC Physiotherapy + Research Clinic

We are working full steam ahead on the development and opening of the new student-led clinic in the Department of Physical Therapy.  Renovations are set to begin in May, with anticipation of the clinic opening in July.

The UBC Physical Therapy & Research Clinic (UBC PTRC) is a practice based learning environment that will be housed in the Department of Physical Therapy on the UBC campus.

This new initiative from the UBC Faculty of Medicine and the Department of Physical Therapy will enhance clinical placement capacity, ensure a high quality learning experience for students in an environment that mimics a community practice, and integrate clinical research.

This clinic will be based on a ‘student led’ practice model and will provide an innovative and team-based approach. With the potential to provide interprofessional and team-based care, the UBC PTRC will advance clinical and evidence based practice, while providing an innovative learning experience for students.


What are the key features of a student-led model in physiotherapy practice education?

A student-led clinic supports clinical placement opportunities for multiple students at a time. This model of practice education offers interprofessional collaboration, such that students from multiple health disciplines are working and learning in the clinic together.  Students are expected to collaborate to provide quality and shared health care focusing on clients with complex needs and multiple comorbidities. Within this model, students are responsible for managing patient care under the supervision of the Clinical Educator.  The students take on their own caseloads from the onset of the placement with support and guidance from the Clinical Educator.


What are the benefits to students and clients in using this model?

The opportunity for peer coaching is a huge benefit of the student-led clinic model. Students learn together, teach each other and provide feedback to one another. Students may share clients and co-treat, or work through their clinical reasoning together prior to consulting the Clinical Educator. This model fosters critical thinking and clinical decision-making. In a student-led clinic, students typically develop independence with the caseload quickly within a highly supportive learning environment. The student-led clinic model improves clinic productivity, patient care and student learning. Students develop a deeper understanding of collaborative care and scope of practice.


What are some unique considerations in supporting students in the student-led clinic?

As one can imagine, protecting time for meaningful feedback with each student is a unique challenge within the student-led clinics. The Clinical Educators work to ensure an appropriate caseload for each student based on their individual learning needs and the clinic needs.  The Clinical Educators also need to ensure they can absorb the caseload once the students complete the placement. Being organized and flexible is key! Supporting the needs of varying learning styles can be challenging – yet rewarding! And scheduling time for multiple ACP evaluations is a part of the time management and clinic management role.