Seven Different Paths to their MRSc and Enhanced Practice
2010 Winter Graduates

MSRc Grads Winter 2010
From left to right: Clare Faulkner, Claudia Hernández Riaño, Jennifer Stephenson and Maureen Duggan.
Unable to attend: Caroline Jones, Margaret (Meg) O'Brien and Peter Rowe.

To repair and rehabilitate the human body, mind and spirit requires the expertise of many different professions in many different practice settings. Members of this graduating class represent their colleagues who practice in the armed forces in Afghanistan, acute care hospitals, rehabilitation centres, private clinics and educational programs. And each of them has made a direct and immediate impact on their workplace by focusing their research on everyday practice. Congratulations to the Winter Class of 2010!

About the Graduates

Maureen Duggan from Burnaby, BC originally began the program to facilitate greater involvement as a Clinical Faculty member in the Department of Physical Therapy at UBC. She recalls as she worked through the program, her work became more evidence-based and reflective, and she was keen to guide others in this direction. The result was securing a position as a Practice Lead at Vancouver Coastal Health where the results of her research project are already having an impact. Maureen explored the facilitators and barriers to using outcome measurement in the treatment of patients recovering from total joint arthroplasties. Through this project she built a network of people passionate about improving practice through outcome measurement. She looks forward to continuing these relationships and expanding her roles in teaching and supporting therapists in practice. 

Read about Maureen's research: Outcome Measurement in the Total Joint Arthroplasty Patient: Identifying Barriers and Facilitators of Use


Clare Faulkner from Sidney, BC is well known to BC therapists as the owner of Island Hand Therapy Clinics on Vancouver Island. Naturally hand therapy became the focus for her major project research where she compared the Norwich Regime to the Static Splinting Protocol for Extensor Tendon Injuries. As a Clinical Faculty member in the Department of Physical Therapy at UBC, she has also taught and mentored many therapists. She plans to continue in these roles and also seek out opportunities to do more formal teaching. Clare describes herself as a life long learner so we look forward to watching her next learning adventure

Read about Clare's research: Comparison of the Norwich Regime to the Static Splinting Protocol for Extensor Tendon Injuries


Claudia Hernández Riaño is currently the Patient and Family Education Leader at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, a position she pursued with confidence, once she had completed her MRSc. Educated as a physical therapist in Columbia, Claudia began her studies by taking courses in the Graduate Certificate in Rehabilitation program to establish eligibility to take the Physiotherapy Competency Examination to practice in Canada. After much hard work and perseverance she secured her registration to practice and transferred into the Master of Rehabilitation Science program. Claudia moved from clinical roles to practice leader to her present role, and she attributes the knowledge gained in the master’s program as giving her the confidence to pursue these positions. One of her ‘give backs’ to Toronto Rehabilitation for their support was her research which explored clinician’s experiences related to a patient safety initiative.

Read about Claudia's research: Clinicians' experiences and lessons learned implementing S.A.F.E. A patient safety initiative in rehabilitation


Caroline Jones from Aurora, Ontario progressed steadily through the program, applying much of her learning to her physical therapy practice at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. Her research focused on the usefulness of the WOMAC and the MDHAQ Questionnaires in an Outpatient Osteoarthritis Clinic.

Read about Caroline's research: The Clinical Utility of Using Both the WOMAC and the MDHAQ Questionnaires in an Outpatient Osteoarthritis Clinic


Margaret (Meg) O’Brien, originally from Newfoundland and now living in Kanata, Ontario, is a physiotherapist at the Queensway Carleton Hospital. Meg is the first graduate to complete the program in two years. It is no wonder that she described the biggest challenge as “striking a satisfactory balance between my master’s work, my clinical practice and my daily life.” It seems Meg found the right balance. Her research enhanced understanding of both the meaning of job rotation experiences among physiotherapists in an acute care hospital and the relationship of job rotations to job satisfaction and role behaviors among physiotherapists. Equipped now with a rich understanding of research design and the significance of communicating research outcomes, Meg feels more confident to pursue leadership and educator positions.

Read about Meg's research: Understanding Physiotherapists’ Experience of Job Rotations


Lieutenant Colonel Peter Rowe from Ottawa, Ontario is the National Practice Leader and Physiotherapy Advisor for the Canadian Forces. Canada’s presence in Afghanistan created new challenges for his colleagues and this became the focus of Peter’s research. During his three years in the program, Peter found every course exposed him to new ideas and tools that he could immediately relate and apply back to his practice environment. As with others in his graduating class, he found the greatest challenge was time management. Peter describes himself as a life long learner and looks forward to continuing to access “the multitude of new knowledge and ideas that are literally at ‘his finger tips’.”

Read about Peter's research: Recent Experiences and Challenges of Military Physiotherapists Deployed to Afghanistan: A Qualitative Study


Jennifer Stephenson from Kelowna, BC is an occupational therapist and instructor in the Therapist Assistant Diploma Program at Okanagan College. As a face-to-face educator she was not so sure she could be a competent online learner because of her strong auditory learning skills. She also hadn’t been in a formal learning setting since graduating in 1981. Neither proved to be a problem. Jennifer wrote, “I did it and was successful!” Jennifer’s reflections on her master’s carry a common theme of enjoying the diverse opinions and experiences of the learners and instructors, and how this broadened the content and perspectives in the online discussions. It is a phenomenon that she experiences daily in her work, and her research focused on the characteristics of successful intraprofessional relationships between therapist and therapist assistants. Jennifer has found that the experience has reinforced her commitment to clinical and professional development.

Read about Jennifer's research: Characteristics of Successful Intraprofessional Relationships between Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists, and Therapist Assistants