Poster Abstract

Reaching an Inter-D Clinical Community through Online Continuing Professional Education (P056)

Shawn Drefs (University of Alberta); Elizabeth Taylor (University of Alberta)


The Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Alberta is taking a forward thinking approach to continuing professional education through provision of a variety of online educational offerings to suit the various needs of working clinicians.


In 2009 the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine began its professional development outreach to rural and urban clinicians across Canada by developing several continuing professional education initiatives. Program development guiding principles have been; fully online format, accessibility via a range of devices (computer, smartphone, tablet), synchronous learning strategies, interdisciplinary focus, evidence based and high clinical relevance.


To obtain guidance the faculty conducted a needs survey of Alberta clinicians and held a symposium which included key stakeholders. Based on survey and symposium findings the Faculty proceeded to develop and now offers online; regular webinar series events, interdisciplinary graduate level certificate programs and a radiology course for physical therapists.


To date the faculty has partnered with others to offer 14 webinars between July 2010-June 2011. Overall, these sessions have drawn in several hundred participants from Alberta and across Canada and have been highly rated.

Certificate program registrants have been a diverse mix of clinicians from across Canada including PTs, OTs, Pharmacists, Psychologists, Nurses, Social Workers, Physicians and others. Since May 2010, over 50 individuals from across North America have begun a certificate program in either stroke rehabilitation or pain management.

The online radiology course for physical therapists has been oversubscribed since inception.


The faculty of rehabilitation medicine responded to the growing need for evidence-based clinically relevant learning opportunities that could be offered in a variety of formats, from one hour interactive webinars to more in-depth interdisciplinary graduate course on high priority topics, in order to suit various needs of the clinical community.

Target Audience Level

Intermediate to Advanced.