Why I Decided to Do my PhD

I always really loved academia. The research environment was always something I thrived in. When I was in my undergrad I did some work in a research lab on addiction and was always able to run with my ideas. Even before I graduated from my physio degree, I was talking with professors who had done both their clinical practice and research degrees part time. When I graduated though I just started practicing and focussed on becoming the best physio that I could be.

One aspect I always thought I was weak on was the exercise prescription part of physiotherapy. I came from a neuroscience background not kinesiology and so I didn’t have the same foundations that some of my classmates had. That was when I decided to take my CSCS (certified strength and conditioning specialist) and after that I interned for a year under Steve Lidstone at McMaster University.

With a firmer grasp on exercise prescription and strengthening principles it always felt like there was a disconnect in the rehabilitation world. I began our Boomers program here at Element after I started working with amazing individuals who showed so much progress in their recovery from injury using classical strength and conditioning principles. They have been so successful in transferring the strength training they do at the gym to functional movements they do around the house. William and Joey are 76 and 71 respectively and they squat almost 100 lbs! Tell me after that that taking groceries into the house is going to be a challenge.

So I started looking into it more. Many physiotherapists get into the classic 3×10 model of exercise prescription. Even the research on resistance training in older adults shows this. But why? Is it the best way? Or have they just not decided to blend the two which are so interconnected anyway.

That was when I wrote an email … and the rest is history

I am affiliated with McMaster’s physiotherapy program and decided to email one of the professors about my research question and if it would be feasible. What i thought was an innocent email turned into a connection with a potential supervisor for my project and a start date of September 2015.

Here’s the most exciting part! I can do my studies at Element!

Of course I am going to have to be at McMaster for meetings, research classes etc but the majority of my studies will be right here at Element! My supervisor (Dr. Ada Tang) asked me if I would consider full time studies. I said no because I love the community and work that I do with everyone at Element.

I feel like I have the best of all worlds and I’m so excited to start on this new journey. So really my Boomers were my motivation and now I’m starting at 6 year degree… and I’m pumped about it!!

There’s my ramblings,


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Christina Prevett

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