Clinician's Commentary

Assistant Professor, Physical Therapy Program, University of Texas at El Paso, 1101 N. Campbell Street, El Paso, Texas 79902-0581 USA, .
Physiotherapy Canada (Impact Factor: 0.77). 07/2010; 62(3):274-5. DOI: 10.3138/physio.62.3.274
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: To describe international clinical internships (ICIs) for Canadian physical therapy (PT) students, explore the experiences of individuals involved in ICIs, and develop recommendations for future ICIs based on these findings.Methods: This study employed a mixed-methods approach. An online questionnaire surveyed academic coordinators of clinical education (ACCEs, n=14) on the availability, destinations, and number of ICIs from 1997 to 2007. Semi-structured telephone interviews were then conducted with eight PT students, seven ACCEs, and three supervising clinicians to investigate their ICI experiences. Interview transcripts were coded descriptively and thematically using NVivo.Results: ICIs are currently available at 12 of 14 Canadian PT schools. A total of 313 students participated in ICIs in 51 different destination countries from 1997 to 2007. Over this period, increasing numbers of students participated in ICIs and developing countries represented an increasing proportion of ICI destinations. Key themes identified in the interviews were opportunities, challenges, and facilitating factors.Conclusions: ICIs present unique opportunities for Canadian PT students. Recommendations to enhance the quality of future ICIs are (1) clearly defined objectives for ICIs, (2) additional follow-up post-ICI, and (3) improved record keeping and sharing of information on ICI destination countries and host sites.
    Physiotherapy Canada 07/2010; 62(3):261-73. DOI:10.3138/physio.62.3.261 · 0.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Globalization and internationalization are related but not the same thing. Globalization is the context of economic and academic trends that are part of the reality of the 21st century. Internationalization includes the policies and practices undertaken by academic systems and institutions—and even individuals—to cope with the global academic environment. The motivations for internationalization include commercial advantage, knowledge and language acquisition, enhancing the curriculum with international content, and many others. Specific initiatives such as branch campuses, cross-border collaborative arrangements, programs for international students, establishing English-medium programs and degrees, and others have been put into place as part of internationalization. Efforts to monitor international initiatives and ensure quality are integral to the international higher education environment.
    Journal of Studies in International Education 09/2007; 11(3-4):290-305. DOI:10.1177/1028315307303542 · 1.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background and Purpose. Reflecting increasing globalization, some physical therapist educators are incorporating international service and learning opportunities in curricula. This study had 3 purposes: (1) to determine the frequency/location of international service-learning (ISL) and other international volunteer service (OIVS) in United States and Canadian physical therapist education programs; (2) to explore the program differences between those with and without ISL or OIVS; and (3) to examine faculty’s perceptions of barriers to and benefits of ISL. Subjects. The program directors from 213 physical therapist education programs in the United States and Canada were surveyed. Methods. A questionnaire was developed, frequencies were calculated, and chi-square analysis was utilized to compare programs with and without ISL and/ or OIVS. Results. Ninety-five questionnaires were returned, for a response rate of 44.6%. In the past 10 years, 29.5% of the programs had ISL, 23.2% had OIVS, and 43.2% had ISL and/or OIVS. Of those that did not utilize ISL in the past 10 years, 14.9% planned to add ISL in the next 2 years. No significant differences were found between the programs with ISL and/or OIVS compared to those without either ISL or OIVS in terms of private versus public, Carnegie classification, and professional degree. Lack of funding and faculty time were the greatest perceived barriers. The greatest perceived benefits of ISL were positive effect on student personal development and cultural competence. Discussion and Conclusion. Despite significant barriers, ISL exists in United States and Canadian physical therapist education programs, and modest growth is expected. Perceived benefits are consistent with core professional values of altruism, professional duty, and social responsibility. With the transition towards a doctoring profession, programs may consider promoting physical therapy’s role in the global health arena through incorporating ISL into their curricula.


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