Placement Opportunities in our BC Student-led Clinics

Placement Opportunities in our BC Student-led Clinics

The Department of Physical Therapy is extremely grateful to have the financial and operating support of Fraser Health, Vancouver Coastal Health and Northern Health to form a partnership, and clinical learning opportunities within our five current student-led clinics. Four clinics are located in the Lower Mainland, and one is in Northern B.C. The department also has its own on-site student-led clinic.


The UBC Physical Therapy & Research Clinic offers up-to-date and evidence-based physiotherapy services via two supervising clinicians and physical therapy students. Additionally, the clinic is home to several research programs. Students on placement might have the opportunity to participate in:

  • the Fitness and Mobility Exercise (FAME) program.
  • the GLA:D Canada program (Good Life with Osteoarthritis in Denmark), which follows current recommendations for the management of hip and knee osteoarthritis (OA).
  • the Brain Wellness Program.
  • researcher-led programs in Cancer & Exercise Therapy, Concussion Management, and more.

UBC students may have the chance to work with students from other Canadian and international physiotherapy programs, as the clinic operates year-round and can at times accommodate students from other programs.

Fraser Health operates two student-led clinics:

1: A Student Rehabilitation Outpatient Clinic (SROC) operates out of the Queen’s Park Care Centre in New Westminster. It began as a clinic in Royal Columbian Hospital in July 2009 and moved to its new location in 2017. The clinic provides an opportunity for up to six UBC Master’s of Physical Therapy students to work collaboratively in an interprofessional environment with students from UBC’s Master of Occupational Therapy program. UBC students also have the chance to work with other PT students from Canadian, American and International programs, as the clinic operates year-round and can often accommodate students from other programs. The clinic serves as an innovative and vital service to help bridge the gap for residents of the Fraser Health area, who often come to the clinic with complex multi-system needs.

Refer to this brochure for more information about the QPCC SROC clinic.

2: A Student Rehabilitation Outpatient Clinic (SROC) operates out of Surrey Memorial Hospital. The clinic opened November 2013.

Refer to this brochure for more information.

Vancouver Coastal Health operates three student-led clinics:

1. The Neuromuscular Outpatient Program Student-led Clinic  at the G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre in Vancouver opened in April 2011. Here students have the opportunity to work at BC’s largest rehabilitation centre (serving all of BC and the Yukon), under the auspices of outpatient services in the Neuromusculoskeletal Program, which services the neuromusculoskeletal population (e.g., multiple sclerosis, neuropathies, and cerebral palsy).

Students will have the opportunity to work closely with other fellow PT and OT students as well as collaborate with other team members such as physiatrist, orthotist, recreational therapist, social worker, nurse, psychologist, speech language pathologist, and dietician. Unique opportunities that can be part of the student experience include being able to shadow in other classes and/or programs such as pool classes and Spasticity Clinic.


2. The PT Elder Care Student-led Clinic at Vancouver General Hospital was established to manage the gap in service for  frail elderly patients who have recently been discharged from hospital with multiple co-morbidities and recent functional decline  as well as those with a high falls risk. The Clinic focuses on targeted goal-based functional exercise. Understanding how chronic disease, medications, cognition, environment and social support  affects functional outcomes helps students manage the whole patient experience.

Students have an opportunity to work with patients individually and in groups to improve their strength, balance and mobility. There is a strong focus on the use and interpretation of outcome measures as well as learning to set functional goals.

Refer to this handout for further information about the Elder Care Clinic.

3. The Vancouver Community Physiotherapy Student Led Clinic at the G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre in Vancouver addresses a gap in service for Home Health clients living in the Vancouver area, and provides a unique learning experience for Physiotherapy students.

The Clinic offers rehabilitation services for adults and older adults in an ambulatory clinic setting. The goal of the Clinic is to improve the functional outcomes of Home Health clients by improving their physical function, reducing falls risk, and preventing or delaying hospitalizations.

The Clinic provides client-centred and goal-oriented assessments and treatments, using standardized outcome measures to track progress. Clients will have the opportunity to work on an individualized exercise program, and/ or a group exercise program with a Physiotherapy or Rehabilitation Assistant student, under the supervision of a Physiotherapist.

This Clinic offers students the opportunity to advance their core competencies in Physiotherapy, by providing evidence based care to a diverse client population. Students will develop assessment techniques, clinical reasoning skills, and have the opportunity to implement and progress thorough intervention plans. Students will gain experience in discharge planning, caseload management, electronic documentation, professional communication, and working with a Rehabilitation Assistant.

PRISM clinic with students Jan 2014

The first student-led clinic located in northern B.C., PRISM, opened at Prince Rupert Regional Hospital in August of 2013. The Prince Rupert Interprofessional Student-led Model Clinic is an exciting partnership between UBC, UNBC and Northern Health.

The clinic–which is based on a primary health care approach–operates 26 weeks per year, corresponding to UBC MPT clinical placement dates.

PRISM aims to provide students with a clinical experience that encompasses the full continuum of care. Students will have the opportunity to see clients in inpatient, outpatient and community care settings. Students will see clients with variable and often complex diagnoses and will have the opportunity to engage with interprofessional colleagues to optimize client care.

Unique IP opportunities up here include collaboration with OT, and RA students and staff; observation with the orthopaedic surgeon; IP case review with all acute came team members including mental health, aboriginal liaison, dietician, pharmacy and homecare nursing; collaborative educational sessions with medical imaging technology and pharmacy students.

Additionally there is usually an opportunity for students to visit and provide care in one of our outlying first nations communities.