On Wednesday November 21, 2018, Dr. Kathleen Norman, PT, PhD, delivered a captivating talk titled “Reflections on our profession’s history and possible futures” as the Inaugural Speaker for the Quinte-St. Lawrence District’s 2018/2019 Speaker Series.

Dr. Norman earned a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from Queen’s University (1987) and a PhD in Rehabilitation Science from McGill University (1997). She has been on faculty in the Queen’s University School of Rehabilitation Therapy since 1998 and currently holds the titles of Associate Professor and Associate Director (Research and Post-Professional Programs).

During her doctoral and post-doctoral work, and early research after becoming faculty, Dr. Norman focused on neurological rehabilitation topics, related to people with spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, or stroke. In the past decade, Dr. Norman’s research has become increasingly focused on topics related to physiotherapy education, regulatory matters, and physiotherapy practice patterns.

As part of her lecture, Dr. Norman delved into the roots of the physiotherapy profession in the late 1800s/early 1900s, the role physiotherapists played during major world events (including the Great War, the polio epidemics, and World War II), and how the physiotherapy profession has evolved over the past century. She also reviewed the evolution of physiotherapy professional associations and how physiotherapists’ codes of conduct and scope of practice have evolved over time.

Dr. Norman finished her lecture by highlighting possible future roles for physiotherapists in an increasingly technological world, as well as for the need for physiotherapists to understand their social capital in the health care realm. Following the lecture, a fantastic question and answer period ensued, largely due to the diversity of those in the audience (e.g. clinicians with entry-to-practice degrees from four different countries).

The purpose of the Quinte-St. Lawrence District’s Speaker Series is to create opportunities for physiotherapists, physiotherapists assistants, and trainees in the region to engage in informal learning collaboratively in a collegial atmosphere.

Join us at Queen’s University on January 24, 2019 at 5:30 pm to hear Dr. Thomas Abrams, PhD, from the Department of Sociology at Queen’s University discuss “Critical Approaches to Physiotherapy and Disability” at the next Quinte-St. Lawrence District Speaker Series Lecture.

Special thanks to Dr. Norman for serving as the Inaugural Speaker for the Quinte St. Lawrence District’s 2018/19 Speaker Series!

Written by Sarah Lavallee (QSL District Secretary) & Kyle Vader (QSL District President). Photography by Mohammad Khan (Queen’s University MScPT Student & QSL District Communications Officer).