The bridging program welcomes their 7th cohort, the Class of 2019. These internationally educated physical therapists (IEPTs) emigrated from their home countries of Bangladesh, Brazil, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Mauritius, Nigeria, Philippines, UAE and the United Kingdom with hopes of practicing as physical therapists in Canada. These IEPTs applied to the bridging program to seek educational and clinical internship opportunities to help them prepare for the national licensure examinations (Physiotherapy Competency Exams: Written and Clinical) and to enter physical therapy practice in Ontario.
Once accepted into the program and to be fully committed, it was time to adjust personal schedules and review finances for tuition fees. The program is delivered using a hybrid teaching model with both online and onsite sessions which allows the IEPTs to continue working while in the program. Most of the class are employed and have reported that they are managing their studies and practice times well with this learning format.
Classes started at the end of April with Residency week. This week was designed to help the class become familiar with all aspects of the program’s online and onsite curriculum, clinical education, mentorship and life at the University of Toronto. Many of these IEPTs haven’t been in a classroom or clinical lab for some time so it was a great way to re-introduce them to an enriched learning environment in their new home country of Canada.
During residency week, the IEPTs became fast friends, sharing their physiotherapy knowledge and refreshing their clinical practice skills. Class president nominations were held and this year Ayodele Elugbaju and Vasanth Rajan were elected as Co-Presidents for the Class of 2019.
The week ended with the OIEPB cultural potluck lunch. This year’s potluck was a huge success as faculty, staff, alumni, mentors and IEPTs came together to share their favourite dishes. It was an international gastronomic feast and a great way to kick off the bridging program!
To see photos of what the class has been up to since Residency week, view the OIEPB Newsletter- Summer Edition here.
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