Networking is a key element of the WCPT Congress programme, with a series of sessions designed to promote international collaboration between colleagues who share a common professional interest.
Many networking sessions cover clinical subjects such as amputee rehabilitation, cardiorespiratory physical therapy, paediatrics, stroke recovery and health promotion.
Others revolve around professional issues such as international work and study, working with support personnel and private practice.
Some are aimed at particular roles for physical therapists: early career researchers, managers, or educators.
“The value of networking at congresses is frequently reported as one of the top reasons for attending,” said Tracy Bury, WCPT’s Director of Professional Policy. “These sessions offer an informal opportunity to meet and talk with colleagues, and complement all the other opportunities for networking during the course of the congress.”
Past delegates consistently report that contacts made and information exchanged with international colleagues at WCPT congresses has changed their outlook and practice for the better.
Shane Patman of the International Confederation of Cardiorespiratory Physical Therapists (ICCrPT) will be chairing the networking session on cardiorespiratory physical therapy. He would like to see physical therapists involved in this field of work be more confident to use the full extent of their skills so that they can help patients achieve better outcomes. This is a subject he will be exploring as a speaker during a congress focused symposium session on “Exercise: special health needs”.
He also hopes that a sense of professional direction will grow during the networking session. “We want to build on the last meeting at the congress in Amsterdam, where the ICCrPT became a formal group. We know there’s great diversity across the world, and we want to show people that there are different ways of doing things – giving them confidence to extend their scope, and give better value to clients. I hope it will be an inspiring session.”
This year, WCPT wants to provide opportunities for those who are just beginning to embark on a career in research to discuss issues and support each other. The networking session for early career researchers will be chaired by Nicholas Henschke from Germany.
“As an early career researcher myself, there are a number of interesting issues which I hope to discuss with participants,” he says. “These include how to build a successful research career, how to create research collaborations, and how to improve research skills. I hope that by the end of the session we will be able to produce an ongoing network of physical therapy early career researchers who can support each other and develop the profession through high quality research.”
The preliminary programme for next year’s congress has been published, including details of focused symposia, discussion panels and debates, seminars, networking sessions and courses.
If you’re planning on going to the WCPT Congress, you can begin networking now by going to the WCPT Congress Connect page on Facebook.