Meet Incoming Assistant Professor, Jackie Whittaker

Dr. Whittaker will join the Department in July 2019 expanding our musculoskeletal expertise.

I undertook my clinical training as a physiotherapist at the University of Alberta, graduating in 1993. Between 1993 and 2015 I worked clinically, primarily in musculoskeletal private practice, in both the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. During that time I received certifications in manual and manipulative therapy (FCAMPT), acupuncture (CAFCI), dry needling (CGIMS), ultrasound imaging and was recognized by the Canadian Physical Therapy Association as one of eight original clinical specialists in musculoskeletal physical therapy.

As a clinician, I encountered innumerable patients with chronic musculoskeletal disorders that I believe would have benefited enormously if it had been possible to either prevent, or rehabilitate fully their condition when it first started. The desire to improve the care of these patients was the motivation for undertaking a PhD in Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation from the University of Southampton, which I completed in 2012. I continued my research training with a postdoctoral fellowship focusing on epidemiological and biostatistical approaches to prevent osteoarthritis after youth sport-related knee injuries at the Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, University of Calgary (Faculty of Kinesiology) from 2012-2015. In 2015 I joined the University of Alberta, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, Department of Physical therapy as an Assistant Professor and served as Research Director of the Glen Sather Sports Medicine Clinic.

The goal of my research is to generate and implement knowledge that will influence a shift in the management of chronic musculoskeletal conditions such as osteoarthritis towards preventing and/or delaying their onset. This includes developing a greater understanding of the consequences of musculoskeletal injuries suffered as a youth or young adult, optimizing healthcare pathways and health outcomes for youth and young adults that suffer a musculoskeletal injury, and optimizing function and reducing disability in adults that develop osteoarthritis pre-maturely as a result of an injury. In addition I have strong interest in the appropriate application and referral for diagnostic imaging by physiotherapists.

Beyond my work, I am a passionate sports (soccer) fan, traveller and enjoy spending time in the outdoors with my partner and our dogs.

I am excited to join the amazing faculty and staff in the UBC Department of Physical Therapy and look forward to re-integrating into the physiotherapy community in the greater Vancouver area and continuing my research.