A history of the professional and educational development of physiotherapy in Saskatchewan
A study and analysis of documents has been conducted to establish the history of physiotherapy in Saskatchewan. Abraham Flexner's model for determining professional development has been applied to physiotherapy in Saskatchewan to evaluate its professional development. This thesis examines the gradual development of physiotherapy in Saskatchewan from 1945. The study is divided to describe (1) professional development, (2) educational development, and (3) the evaluation of physiotherapy as a profession in Saskatchewan. Before 1945, physiotherapy lacked organization and direction. Anyone could call himself a physiotherapist and practise physiotherapy, which gave no protection to the public. In 1945, the provincial government established a regulatory, or, licensing body for physiotherapists in Saskatchewan, for the protection of the public against unqualified practitioners. This action had the effect of compulsorily organizing physiotherapists. From this step, a professional association was established in the province in 1960. The functions of professional organizations are described, these being basically regulatory, and professional. The former relates to the protection of the public, while the latter relates to the advancement of the profession and its members. These functions are discussed in relation to the physiotherapy regulatory and professional associations that were established in Saskatchewan. Abraham Flexner described six characteristics that an occupation must possess if it wishes to style itself a profession. These criteria are applied to evaluate physiotherapy development in Saskatchewan, and the resulting strengths and weaknesses are discussed. The historical development of professional education in Canadian universities is outlined, particularly at the University of Saskatchewan, to describe the acceptance of the physiotherapy programme at the University of Saskatchewan. The background circumstances which led to the programme's establishment are described, along with the gradual development of its curriculum, and levels of training. The physiotherapy educational trends in other Canadian universities are described, with their gradual transition from diploma level training, to baccalaureate degree level only. The thesis of this study is that the professional development of physiotherapy has contributed to the development of the physiotherapy programme at the University of Saskatchewan.