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Dr. Lisa Richardson

Thelma Cardwell Research Day

The keynote speaker for this year’s Thelma Cardwell Research Day is Dr. Lisa Richardson, from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. Dr. Richardson’s address, “Good Medicine: Lessons from Indigenous Health Education” will draw on her expertise as co-lead in Indigenous Medical Education.
 
We are thrilled to have Dr. Richardson as our guest and eagerly anticipate her presentation on a topic of such importance.
 
The Annual OS&OT Thelma Cardwell Research Day, a presentation of our 2nd year students’ research, will be held on Wednesday June 28th at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (O.I.S.E.), 252 Bloor Street West.
 
We look forward to seeing you there!
 
More information about the 2017 Program >>
More information the Thelma Cardwell Research Day >>
 
 

Dr. Helene Polatajko

Dr. Helene Polatajko at TEDxToronto

On October 27th, 2016, Dr. Helene Polatajko spoke at the 2016 TEDxToronto conference. Recognized internationally for her work in cognitive-based treatments for children and adults with occupational performance challenges, Dr. Polatajko’s approach – known as CO-OP (Cognitive Orientation to daily Occupational Performance) – has become a standard throughout the world.

View the presentation >>

Dean Trevor Young

Rehabilitating the World

In honour of the 2016 graduating classes from the rehab sector, The Dean of the Faculty of Medicine’s, Trevor Young, has written an article in the MedEmail publication. Dean Young speaks highly of the international focus of efforts in Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech Language Pathology, and the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute.

Read the full article in MedEmail, Nov. 9

Jill Stier

Theatrical Performance Techniques and OTs

 
At the Richard Reznick Wilson Centre Research Day, on November 4, Jill Stier presented results of the research she and her colleagues have done into OT students’ experiences and perceptions of theatre practice workshops. Prior research demonstrated better communication skills, but more work was needed.

Below is an abstract of their presentation.
 
 
“The emphasis on client-centered care highlights the role of humanities in educating clinicians. Evidence from performance studies and cognitive neuroscience suggest actor training techniques can enhance empathy and self-awareness. Therefore, our group developed a novel workshop utilizing theatre techniques to encourage embodied practice and enhance self-awareness and reflexivity amongst occupational therapy (OT) students. Our prior research demonstrated improved client communication skills in students receiving the workshop. However, students’ perceptions of the workshop, particularly in relation to embodied practice, remain unexplored.

Research Question: To explore how students perceived the learning experiences of the theatre practice workshop and their conceptualizations of embodied practice.

We used a constructivist grounded theory approach, combining workshop observations with interview data. Post-workshop interviews were conducted with students from three OT cohorts at varied points, to explore perceptions and experiences of the workshop, relation of the workshop to practice, and students’ conceptualizations of embodied practice. We adopted the constant comparative method for analysis.

Participation in the theatre practice workshop encouraged participants to develop embodied practice as a key to understanding themselves and others. Students described that their experience in the workshop enhanced their capacity to empathize with clients by recognizing personal contexts, and requiring them to overcome uncertainty and embrace discomfort to learn in this way. A safe learning space was vital in this realization and allowed some students to revisit otherwise suppressed aspects of learning through the arts.

Incorporation of theatre techniques into OT training may enhance students’ communication with clients in important and nuanced ways. Embodied practice is a complex concept; an arts-based approach may help students acknowledge and appreciate such attentive practices in their training.”

Jill Stier M.A., OT Reg. (Ont.)
Laura-Jayne Nelles MFA PhD (c)
Stella Ng PhD.
Catharine M. Walsh MD, MEd, PhD, FRCPC
 
 

For more information about the project, contact Jill Stier: Jill.stier@utoronto.ca
 
Visit the Wilson Centre website for more information about the Richard Reznick Research Day.

Dr. Deirdre Dawson

Deirdre Dawson and “Real World Strategy Training”

Highlighted in the Rotman Research Institute’s Annual Report for 2015-2016, is the work of Deirdre Dawson. Deirdre’s “Real World Strategy Training (RWST)” intervention, based on the goals of the individual, manages cognitive decline and enables older adults to live independently for longer.

Read more about this timely and important work on page 12 of the Rotman Research Institute Annual Report.

Students in the News

OT student Alison Schwartz and her twin sister Lyndsey, a student in Physical Therapy, are heading to Trinidad for an inter-professional clinical placement at the Immortelle Centre for Special Education.

Read about their use of dance in their work with students with special needs as reported by Alyson Musial on the Faculty of Medicine’s website.

Great work!
 

(the photo was taken at Runyan Canyon, LA)