We’re a close-knit team here at Midtown Physiotherapy and each of our therapists brings a unique set of skills and backgrounds that make our clinic such a wonderful place. Brianne has been working at Midtown Physiotherapy for two years and we wanted to give our clients the opportunity to get to know her a bit better. Brianne is unique amongst our physiotherapists in that she actually started out in engineering before beginning her education as a physiotherapist. Read more about how she made that transition below!
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I started my path to becoming a physiotherapist in a way you might not expect, studying engineering. After getting my Bachelor in Materials Science Engineering with a double major in Biomedical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, I went on to do my Masters in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto. Afterward, I decided to further my passion for healthcare by doing my Masters of Physical Therapy, also at the University of Toronto.
Once I completed my education, I started working in private practice but knew I also wanted to work with children. Since 2016, I have worked part-time at the Hospital for Sick Children, first as a pediatric therapist for burns, plastic surgery and general surgery, and currently as part of a multidisciplinary team at the Ehlers Danlos Syndrome clinic.
Why do you enjoy working at Midtown Physio? What makes it different from other clinics?
One of the reasons I love working at Midtown is the focus on the patient. I’m able to work with a patient one-on-one for the entire session. We allow an hour for assessment and 30 – 45 minutes for follow up sessions, which is necessary for a comprehensive approach to physiotherapy. The space is also beautiful and calming, with everything we need to assist all levels of patient ability.
What made you want to become a Physiotherapist?
Throughout my education as an engineer, I was drawn to biology and medicine. Along the way, I realized that while I value my engineering background, I really wanted to be working directly with people. As an athlete myself, I’ve always been interested in biomechanics, movement, and a holistic approach to overall health. My experience in medical research and technology development gave me a unique and creative approach to problem-solving and has fostered a life-long passion for learning and innovation. For me, being a physiotherapist is the perfect way to put my skills and passion to use, while working one-on-one with people.
What is the most rewarding part of being a Physiotherapist?
For me, the most rewarding moment of working with a client is when they are able to learn something new about their own body. I find that creating an understanding of what we are doing in our sessions (and more importantly why!) is a big part of what helps someone improve, recover, or prevent injuries. One of the things I love most about being a physiotherapist is sharing my passion for biomechanics, movement, and a holistic approach to overall health with others.
Do you have a focus or specialty; areas of the body, certain types of injuries, or particular treatment methods?
I have specialized training in Orthopedics and advanced training in manual and manipulative therapy. In the past, I also participated in varsity level swimming, coached swim teams, and taught one-on-one swimming stroke technique. As a physiotherapist, I have worked with many swimmers of all abilities who have sport-specific injuries or goals.
At my position in the Department of Genetics at the Hospital for Sick Children, I work with patients with complex joint hypermobility and heritable connective tissue disorders to manage symptoms, improve function, and prevent injuries. I have gained 2.5 years of clinical experience on a specialized multidisciplinary medical team (the only of its kind in Canada), completed workshops, attended an international scientific conference, and most recently was a featured speaker at a patient wellness conference addressing chronic pain management for complex orthopedic conditions. In connection with this work, I am a clinician member of the Chronic Pain Working Group at the University of Toronto in the Department of Physical Therapy and I am a teaching assistant during labs and facilitate interactive sessions for students in the Physical Therapy Master’s degree program at UofT.
What should a new patient expect on their first visit with you?
The first visit will be an assessment. We will start by going through a history of the issue or the patient’s goals and from there we will look at a variety of things, such as range of motion, strength, flexibility, gait, or other functional assessments, to gain a better understanding of the issue and what factors contribute to it. With the information we gather from the assessment, we can make a plan and start treatment, which may involve manual therapy, pain relief strategies, soft tissue release, stretching, therapeutic exercises, or movement retraining.
Midtown Physiotherapy is a Toronto Physiotherapy clinic offering client-centred and evidence-based treatment to help you get back to what you love. We offer appointments at our Yonge and St. Clair location, as well as home services for those unable to come to us.