The Trois-Rivières Experience: 2
By André Bussières Martin Descarreaux and Johanne Martel
By André Bussières Martin Descarreaux and Johanne Martel
Part 2: The chiropractic clinic, research, and continuing education.
FACULTY MEMBERS INCREASINGLY INVOLVED IN RESEARCH ACTIVITIES
Over the past 13 years, the UQTR chiropractic department and all its personnel have worked hard to forge a solid academic program as well as to deliver a high standard of chiropractic care to the local population.
Having collectively achieved these two essential goals, faculty members are now devoting an increasing amount of their time to develop fundamental, applied and clinical chiropractic research.
Since the year 2000, a biopathology laboratory has been in place in which Djamel Ramla, DMV, PhD, is amassing a large and impressive collection of histology and pathology specimens that are used in both research and in the creation of pedagogical materials. A multidisciplinary team of investigators, working in the Laboratoire de recherche sur les affections vertébrales, is conducting concurrent biomechanics and motor control studies. Martin C. Normand, PhD, DC, Pierre Boucher, DC, DABCN, PhD, and I are the three chiropractic faculty members involved in this group.
Additionally, under the initiative of André Bussières, BSc, DC, FCCS(C), the development of clinical guidelines in radiology will undoubtedly emerge as one of the most significant aspects of research in the UQTR chiropractic department.
The fact that the chiropractic program is established within a university setting has proven to be a key factor in the expansion of chiropractic research at UQTR. The Laboratoire de recherche sur les affections vertébrales is comprised of researchers from the chiropractic, kinesiology, podiatry and psychology departments who are actively involved in low back pain and whiplash research.
Multidisciplinary collaboration facilitates access to research equipment including surface EMG, force plate, a motion capture and analysis system, as well as exercise physiology and neuropsychological evaluation laboratories. Over the past few years, the Laboratoire de recherche sur les affections vertébrales has played a burgeoning role in the training of future chiropractic researchers.
Undergraduate and graduate students with diverse academic backgrounds are welcomed into the laboratory.
The UQTR chiropractic department is collaborating on innovative chiropractic research with several chiropractic colleges, and Canadian and foreign universities. Faculty members involved in research activities also collaborate with field practitioners, assisting them with clinical research protocols, statistical analyses and scientific manuscript preparation.
With financial support from UQTR and the Fondation Chiropratique du Québec (Quebec Chiropractic Foundation), more professors are conducting independent research, nurturing future chiropractic researchers, and actively seeking funding from provincial, national and international funding agencies.
All things considered, the future undoubtedly looks bright for chiropractic research at UQTR.
–By Martin Descarreaux, DC, PhD
SURVEY SENT OUT TO DETERMINE CE NEEDS IN QUEBEC
Continuing Education (CE), as a means to enhance professional development, skills and knowledge, is a must for all professions. Often providing an opportunity to interact with colleagues and ex-schoolmates, CE should address professional needs, deliver up-to-date information on various topics, and cause one to reflect on personal convictions and old habits.
L’Office des Professions du Quebec, through Quebec’s chiropractic governing body, the Ordre des Chiropraticiens du Québec (OCQ), enforces a mandatory 12-hour radiology course each year for chiropractors to maintain their X-ray licencing. Such a policy does not yet exist for clinical skills. But, 15 years ago, the OCQ began organizing special lectures in response to the need for ongoing clinical education.
As one can imagine, the UQTR chiropractic department was rather busy establishing its undergraduate program between the years of 1993 and 1998. In 2003 and 2004, however, CE courses were offered through the chiropractic department, but attendance was unsatisfactory. So, to better understand the needs of Quebec chiropractors, a survey has recently been sent out to the profession. Results are now being tabulated. Although the Council on Chiropractic Education (Canada) requires the department to offer continuing education, it is not officially part of any professor’s job description to provide CE instruction. UQTR and the chiropractic department, however, now ensure that professors are recognized appropriately for their involvement. The level of expertise among instructors allows for a wide variety of clinical topics.
It is appropriate that continuing education be provided by chiropractic institutions. We welcome an offer from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) to help us launch our CE program.
We will all benefit from the significant experience that CMCC has acquired over many years.
UQTR is currently looking into the possibility of approving high-quality CE programs leading toward postgraduate certificates and a master’s degree.
The formidable challenge for clinicians to stay current is easier then ever before, with rapid access to good information on the Internet. However, since the quality of that information is variable, it is crucial to know where to look for it, develop the ability to select what is needed, and succeed in properly analyzing and incorporating the relevant information into clinical practice. Since the Internet is well-suited to the future delivery of continuing education programs, UQTR is also planning online courses. Radiology CE hours can already be obtained in this way.
In this day and age, because higher learning is generally associated with added credibility, CE should be a priority for all chiropractors in Canada. The chiropractic department at UQTR is confident it will rise to the challenge of offering such education and that DCs will become better health-care providers in this ever-changing information age.
–By Andre Bussières, BSc, DC, FCCS(C)
PATIENTS EXTREMELY SATISFIED WITH UNIVERSITY CLINIC SERVICE
The UQTR chiropractic program offers care to the Trois-Rivières community through the Clinique universitaire de chiropratique (CUC). Interns in their fourth and fifth years of the chiropractic program see patients in the clinic, under the supervision of chiropractic practitioners. During the 16 months of internship, each student must examine and treat a minimum of 40 new patients and perform a minimum of 500 treatments (adjustments).
Since the CUC is well-established in Trois-Rivières, advertising is not required to generate the 1,400 to 1,500 new patients and 25,000 treatments per year. The satisfaction rate of our patients is extremely high, and at certain times of the year there is a waiting list to get in. Even so, the CUC is engaged in implementing a full quality control program to enhance the care received by our patients.
The CUC is equipped with a full radiology service, and modalities such as ultrasound, IFC, muscle stimulation, etc., are available to the interns. In widening the services available to the public, a project is presently underway to develop a low-tech rehabilitation centre at the clinic.
A very exciting computerized exercise prescription program, soon to be implemented in the clinic, was created by Dr. Martin Descarreaux. The program will not only help interns review their knowledge, but will assist in the design of an appropriate exercise plan for each patient. Patients walk away with their own printed copy.
The chiropractic department hopes to develop off-campus treatment externships to facilitate students’ exposure to different styles of practice and clinical settings. Possibilities are inherent through the other health-care disciplines taught at UQTR, including midwifery, podiatry, nursing, psychology, medicine, and kinesiology.
Many projects are underway that will continue to improve the learning experience of our interns and students.•
–By Johanne Martel, DC, FCCS(C)