Article Text

Download PDFPDF
On the bright side of PhD life: the perspectives of physiotherapist clinician–scientists
  1. Carolyn A Emery1,2,
  2. Christopher Napier3
  1. 1 Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  2. 2 Departments of Paediatrics and Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  3. 3 Department of Physical Therapy, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Christopher Napier, Department of Physical Therapy, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3, Canada; chris.napier{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

In a 2018 editorial, the challenges of bridging the gap between current practice and evidence in sports medicine were highlighted.1 Establishing and perpetuating evidence-based practice is the responsibility of individuals across all disciplines within sports medicine. Clinician–scientists are an important bridge between research and clinical practice because they have a foot in both worlds. Clinicians understand questions that are faced in daily clinical practice and are ideally situated to develop and undertake clinically relevant research.2 There are several key barriers to clinician engagement in research, but Esculier et al 1 argue that a model with more clinician–scientists would avoid clinicians criticising researchers for the lack of clinical applicability of their research and researchers criticising clinicians for not using the latest evidence in their practice. A call to action by the authors included recommendations for greater involvement of clinicians in research design, completion and dissemination; funding clinicians’ research contributions; creating combined clinic and research positions and facilitating organic collaboration between clinicians and scientists through smart working space design.1

Most clinicians learn through private unaccredited courses, rather than from scientific journals or postgraduate university courses.3 While clinicians may strive to enhance their clinical skills through courses, few courses prioritise critical appraisal skills, integration of best evidence into practice and contribution to research through collaboration with researchers. Lander et …

View Full Text


  • Twitter @CarolynAEmery, @runnerphysio

  • Contributors CE and CN contributed equally to the writing of the paper.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.