In 1969 UBC initiated its first combined degree program in Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy, establishing the Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Medicine (BSR). The class of ’74, fourth to graduate as combined trained, recently celebrated its 40th reunion, with a luncheon at the Point Grey Golf Club. The years peeled away as colleagues rekindled their friendships and fondly remembered both the challenges and satisfactions of our time at UBC. Although the combined trained program was relatively short lived academically speaking (approximately 15 years of graduates), many of it’s graduates have been ardent advocates of their combined trained perspective. Indeed, this was one of the recurring comments at the reunion. Even after 40 years, the passion for the professions remains strong, based on the core values of patient centred-ness and advocacy.
While most have practiced within the professions, several graduates have taken a related career path, building on these same core values. As one colleague articulated, “we were blessed to find a flexible, engaging career and our clients were blessed to have the interest, hope and enthusiasm that we brought to the professions”. The luncheon was followed by a tour of the Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy educational facilities, kindly provided by Program Directors Dr. Janice Eng and Dr. Catherine Backman, a sharp contrast to the ‘army huts’ in which we practiced our clinical skills. While the educational style and facilities are markedly advanced from our day, we noted with satisfaction the focus on evidence-based practice and the enduring focus on the core foundations of both professions. We left feeling proud to be members of the professions and part of this special community of UBC trained therapists.
Contribution by Barb Saunders, FCAOT