Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream – Clinical Education in Occupational Therapy
The Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, invites applications for a full-time continuing teaching-stream appointment in the area of occupational science and occupational therapy. The successful candidate will be appointed as Director of Clinical Education. This position will be at the rank of Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream and will start on January 1, 2024 or shortly thereafter.The successful candidate must have a PhD or other doctorate degree in occupational science, occupational therapy, rehabilitation science, or a related field at the time of the appointment or shortly thereafter; will have a degree in occupational therapy from a World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT)-approved educational program; at least three years of experience as an occupational therapy educator, and at least five years of experience as a practicing occupational therapist. Eligibility for registration with the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario is required. Candidates must have a demonstrated record of excellence in teaching and evidence of excellence in innovative scholarship, as well as teaching expertise in an entry-level Master of Occupational Therapy program, including lecture preparation and delivery, and curriculum development. Additionally, candidates must possess proven leadership abilities and a demonstrated commitment to excellent pedagogical practices and teaching-related scholarly activities. Teaching will include clinical education as part of the MScOT program. Candidates must also convey a demonstrated commitment to, and appreciation of, equity, diversity and inclusion issues impacting student mental health, learning experiences and access to the program. Visit the University of Toronto Careers website for the full job description and instructions to apply for Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream – Clinical Skills and Theory in Occupational Science & Therapy (Req. ID: 28814).
The University of Toronto embraces Diversity and is building a culture of belonging that increases our capacity to effectively address and serve the interests of our global community. We strongly encourage applications from Indigenous Peoples, Black and racialized persons, women, persons with disabilities, and people of diverse sexual and gender identities. We value applicants who have demonstrated a commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion and recognize that diverse perspectives, experiences, and expertise are essential to strengthening our academic mission.
The University strives to be an equitable and inclusive community, and proactively seeks to increase diversity among its community members. Our values regarding equity and diversity are linked with our unwavering commitment to excellence in the pursuit of our academic mission.
The University is committed to the principles of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). As such, we strive to make our recruitment, assessment and selection processes as accessible as possible and provide accommodations as required for applicants with disabilities.
Join us as an OT mentor and make a lasting impact on future Occupational Therapists!
Q: What is the OCT 1190Y Mentorship course?
A: Mentorship and Interprofessional Education (IPE) (OCT1190Y) is a 2-year, 6-term course. As a mentor, you’ll work with a small group of students to enhance their communication and reflective practice skills while supporting their professional growth in a collaborative learning environment. You’ll play a crucial role by facilitating a space for students to examine and improve their attitudes, behaviours, and skills, contributing to their growth as future occupational therapists.
Q: What are my responsibilities as a mentor?
A: The mentorship program offers a rewarding opportunity for occupational therapists to assist in the development of students’ professional identity. Effective facilitation skills are essential for mentors to guide students and provide an environment that encourages risk-taking and personal growth. The Mentorship and IPE course is an excellent opportunity for OTs who wish to enhance their leadership skills and increase their involvement in the university curriculum. By participating in this program, you can positively impact students’ lives while advancing your professional growth.
Q: What is the time commitment?
A: Mentorship groups meet for 90 minutes approximately every 2 weeks (and do not meet when students are on fieldwork placements). There are 12-14 sessions during Year 1 and 13 sessions in Year 2 (~50 to 55 contact hours over 2 years).Tell us about your interest in being a mentor and to get more information about the role by filling out the form. Contact Daniela Testani for more information: email@example.com, and download the poster to learn more.
Last month, our second-year MScOT students at both the Mississauga and St. George campuses participated in a research study to understand if and how virtual reality can be used to supplement or improve the traditional curriculum.
Students trialed four different virtual reality modules using four different technology options:
- A 360° video designed to teach compassion as students see a video from the point of view of a COVID-19 patient receiving bedside care.
- An animated interactive scenario where students practice assessing a patient in a hospital bed.
- An anatomy learning module about the spatial relationship between upper limb bones, muscles and nerves.
- A 360° video that teaches students about research planning during a team meeting.
After completing each module, students were asked to share their reflections and feedback on where in the OS&OT curriculum VR would be best used to improve student learning outcomes. This study was led by faculty members Andrea Duncan, Behdin Nowrouzi-Kia, and Emily S. Ho from OS&OT and Heather Thompson from Nursing. Faculty shared that students were enthusiastic to try out VR headsets and provide feedback to help future OS&OT learners.
So, will future students be purchasing VR headsets in lieu of textbooks? TBD. While VR is a promising technology and may be a great tool to bring lessons to life in the classroom, Andrea said they are still evaluating if it leads to better understanding of course material.
OS&OT alumna Tina Singh draws on her graduate studies to create helmet for Sikh kidsFor years, occupational therapist Tina Singh felt frustrated when trying to find helmets that would fit her three active young sons – they wear a patka, or cloth head covering, that is smaller than a turban but still covers their long hair – as they began to ride bicycles and play team sports such as hockey.
“As an occupational therapist, of course it was important that my kids had to have a helmet,” Singh says. “But when I tried to put helmets on them and they didn’t fit, my husband and I tried to tie their hair a different way – we tried a bunch of things and still nothing quite fit right.”
An occupational therapist whose work focused on patients with acquired brain injuries, Singh dove into the process of designing a proper helmet that includes a small domed section on the top to accommodate a child’s hair – and found herself thinking back to her master’s studies in the department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy. She says the program’s holistic, comprehensive approach made her realize she could use her skills in many different ways.
“I felt there was a lot of practical application in everything we were studying,” Singh says from her home in Brampton, Ont. “Occupational therapy is such a broad area and we got a little taste of everything in the program. I knew that I would always have the opportunity to do different things within the field, such as universal design, product development and business – all of which I ended up doing for my current project.”
After having an engineer produce renderings of her design, Singh found a manufacturer to produce a prototype that could be tested. A few iterations later, the helmet – which is designed for kids aged five and up and can be used for skateboarding, kick-scootering or rollerblading – passed the required safety testing and is now available for pre-orders in Canada.
Singh, who worked as a rehab coach during her undergraduate years, says she chose to do a master’s degree at U of T after deciding to become an occupational therapist. “The program really felt like the ideal fit. It’s the foundational skills I still find useful to this day, such as looking at the whole person and how we look at everyday life. That way of thinking just sticks with you – and it doesn’t just apply to your work, but to everything around you,” she says.
“Andrea Duncan really helped guide me and it felt like I always had someone to look to when I needed advice on how to move forward. I feel like even if I saw her today, I could have those same open conversations with her about my career.”
Duncan, an assistant professor in the department of occupational science and occupational therapy, says she’s delighted to have made an impact on one of her former students – and to hear how Singh used her learnings in the program to innovate.
“Tina took my professional practice course, which is dedicated to developing systems thinking and business skills for occupational therapy students. Tina definitely stood out amongst her peers, and I am not surprised that she has gone on to become an ‘OTpreneur,’” Duncan says. “We are very proud of her and all her endeavours.”Excerpt of story by Tabassum Siddiqui, U of T News, published February 6, 2023. Read the full story
MScOT student shares her perspective
As we discuss anti-Black racism in our own institutions, the question arises: Outside Black History Month, how does one value Black life, histories and futures?
Grace Videla-Nash, MScOT student, shares her thoughts.
She says, “I celebrate Black life by engaging in educational activities such as reading articles that address systematic racism. A recent article that I came across suggested approaches to building a community for racialized therapists and students, and the benefits of representation in leadership roles.
Another way I am involved with advancing Black life throughout the year is my affiliation with associations such as the Black Occupational Therapists of Ontario Association (BOTOA), which aims to eliminate racial discrimination within occupational therapy. The association advocates for justice issues that affect Black individuals to advance health equity within Black communities.
Lastly, a great way to commemorate Black culture is by sharing newfound information with others, whether through social media or in conversations with friends and family. By spreading knowledge, I can promote the understanding and appreciation for the contributions and experiences of Black people in academic and health settings.”
Read the full story, Valuing Black Life, Histories and Futures: Perspectives from Temerty Medicine
Second-year MScOT student Riya Shah has been selected to receive a 2023 University of Toronto Student Leadership Award (UTSLA).
During her time in the program, Riya has taken on various leadership positions and been involved with several activities to help contribute to the department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. As co-president of the OS&OT Student Association, she collaborates with other students to organize events to improve student life for her peers. She is also the OS&OT Graduate Ambassador where she helps prospective students make a decision about their MSc program and guide them into the right profession. She says, “I hope that I can continue to contribute to student engagement and give back to the OT community and my peers in a meaningful way.”
Congratulations, Riya, on this wonderful achievement and thank you for your contributions to the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy and Temerty Faculty of Medicine!
Pat Fisher (March 18, 1925 – October 25, 2022)
Leaders come in many forms. Some are bold luminaries, visionaries, or fierce disruptors of the status quo. Others, like Pat Fisher, lead by thoughtfully posing questions and taking action with colleagues to apply ideas into everyday practice. Pat’s life offers lessons for our profession today.
Engaged in life
If we were to use one word to describe how Pat Fisher lived her long life, we would say “engaged.” Pat was enthusiastically and persistently engaged with life – in all its aspects: social, environmental, cultural, emotional, interpersonal, and political. Her engagement can be seen in the many friendships she made and kept, in the gardens that she tended, in her volunteer work with her church, and her role with U of T’s Alumnae Theatre. She never fell behind in current affairs. Her engagement was particularly evident in her professional life and her approach to patients.
Living in the nexus of practice and academia
Throughout her long career, Pat consistently found ways to improve occupational therapy practice and contribute to occupational therapy education. From the day of her graduation in 1945, Pat staunchly supported the OT program at U of T and its Alumni Association. She believed that developing an evidence base would be beneficial to strengthen the understanding of how occupational therapists facilitate change, and she also hoped that the creativity and innovation that had been hallmarks of clinical practice would not be lost.
In addition to her regular work as the Clinical Supervisor at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Toronto, Pat and two OT colleagues, Marion Boys and Clare Holzberg, developed the OSOT Perceptual Evaluation Tool Kit and Manual. With the help of research consultant David Reid, they validated the assessment and published their work in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy in 1988. In addition to her work as a Clinical Associate at U of T, Pat led the Department’s Continuing Education Program.
Although she officially retired in 1990, Pat continued to support the profession for another 30 years. Most recently she recruited seniors, who would share their stories in courses on aging, continuing her commitment to supporting excellent learning experiences for students. Believing that we all need to play our part to make sure that everyone feels included, and applying that philosophy throughout her life, she advocated for accessibility in various settings well into her 90’s.
On not fitting In
Pat Fisher was steadfast in her commitment to the ideals and the practice of occupational therapy and championed efforts to ensure its necessary place in the health system. While being frustrated and discouraged at times with the public’s (and other providers’) limited awareness of our offerings, she viewed the problem as a function of the profession’s lack of fit within medical institutions whose focus was on fixing broken bodies and were less concerned about quality of life. As she recounted to us many years ago:
“Encouraging our patients to be active and creative . . . doesn’t always fit with the rules and order that a hospital wants to maintain. Besides, we generally don’t deal with life and death situations; we deal with quality of life – that too, is a different perspective than what is held by many other health professionals.”
Pat Fisher did not apologize for this different perspective, but embraced it.
Persist until you (we) find our place
Pat’s gentle smile belied her fierce determination and ability to persist, to find ways to continue, even when there were many obstacles. Her legacy reminds us to be engaged in our personal and professional lives. It cautions us not to lose sight of our values and beliefs as we continue to build the future of our profession and to celebrate our different perspectives.
Prepared by Lynn Cockburn, Judith Friedland, Barry Trentham
Pecha Kucha means ‘chit chat’ in Japanese. This method of presentation uses 20 slides, for 20 seconds a slide, with visuals only. It is a fun and engaging way to do a presentation, which, we believe, will help develop students’ communication competencies. The students are required to advocate for an issue using this presentation style.
If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact Andrea Duncan by December 15, 2022 (firstname.lastname@example.org) indicating your preferred date/campus as noted below.
Student presentation dates:
- Friday, February 3, 2023, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm at St. George Campus (UTSG)
- Friday, February 10, 2023, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm at Mississauga Campus (UTM)
We are looking for 11 markers at UTSG on February 3 and 5 markers at UTM on February 10. There will be approximately ten students in each group.
Many thanks for your consideration of this opportunity and support of our students. Please let us know if you have any questions.