Macquarie physiotherapy graduate shares her Australian educational experience – Part 1
Are you interested in studying physiotherapy in Australia? Australian university graduate-entry physio degrees are highly sought after by Canadian university graduates with academic backgrounds in kinesiology, health sciences, and human kinetics.
Australia is world-renowned for its leading-edge physiotherapy research and practice, and Canadians enjoy learning from Australian academics who are world leaders in the physiotherapy field, including former OzTREKK student Andrea Luk.
Andrea has recently completed the Doctor of Physiotherapy at Macquarie University and has offered to pass on what she has learned and experience as a Canadian studying in Australia!
What was your educational background prior to enrolling in the Macquarie DPT?
I completed my undergraduate studies at UBC. After graduating from a four-year Bachelor of Science degree (cell biology and genetics major), I decided to pursue a career in physiotherapy. However, as the cell biology and genetics degree was more animal-based, I decided to complete a Bachelor of Kinesiology degree (formerly Bachelor of Human Kinetics) in order to fulfill the requirements for human physiology and anatomy. I completed the Kinesiology degree in two years as I was able to transfer some of the credits from my cell biology degree. Afterwards I enrolled in the Macquarie DPT after I graduated from Kinesiology.
What pulled you toward studying physiotherapy?
I chose physiotherapy as a career because firstly, my grandmother had Parkinson’s disease, and as she was receiving physiotherapy treatment I was there supporting her and I remembered feeling very inspired by the physiotherapists who were treating her. Secondly, while volunteering in rehabilitation departments in Canada, I experienced physiotherapists helping people regain mobility and function from devastating injuries or conditions, while noticing immense gratitude from clients even if improvements were minimal. This gave me a sense of the impact this profession can have on people and truly led me to believe in and be passionate about physiotherapy.
Why did you decide to study physiotherapy in Australia, and more specifically, Macquarie?
I decided to study the Doctor of Physiotherapy at Macquarie because it struck me as a well-rounded program that included business and research components. In addition, I felt that a three-year degree would better prepare me as a health professional with more opportunities for clinical experience. In a three-year program, we were given more clinical hours than a typical two-year program.
During my years of volunteering in physiotherapy departments in various hospitals in Vancouver, I always came across physiotherapists who studied the profession in Australia, and they always raved about the excellent training they received. Studying in Australia will allow you to transfer back to Canada to work as a physiotherapist quite easily as the health systems are rather comparable. As well, physiotherapy programs in Canada only offered limited number of spots, around 50 at the time, and with over 250 applicants, it was definitely a very competitive process.
How would you describe the facilities?
The Macquarie Physiotherapy School teaching facilities were excellent. The department occupied the entire ground floor and was completely brand new, which we really got to enjoy as the inaugural physiotherapy cohort. There was ample room to practice hands-on skills with three rooms lined up with plinths and a small gym area as well as areas to participate in group studies and learning. With the opportunity to conduct research in this program, there was also an attached research lab with offices where our established professors and lecturers reside.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of Andrea’s story!
About Macquarie’s DPT Program
The Doctor of Physiotherapy at Macquarie is an extended master’s level, professional-entry degree and will produce physiotherapists with advanced clinical decision-making abilities to practice person-centred health care in contemporary health-care environments. Students will learn the skills of the physiotherapist based on the best available evidence to effectively assess, diagnose, treat and educate people across all ages with disorders of movement resulting from a range of conditions. Students will graduate with advanced clinical skills as well as business, management and leadership training and will be ready to launch a fulfilling career as a physiotherapist across a broad range of health-care setting.
Macquarie has also recently increased the number of places for international students to 20!
Program: Doctor of Physiotherapy
Location: North Ryde, Sydney, New South Wales
Duration: 3 years
Application Deadline: Applications are assessed on a rolling admissions basis. The sooner you apply the better!