Journey to Physiotherapy
Updated: Sep 11
Hi there :) and welcome to my website. As you may have recently learned, my name is Claire Yorston and I'm a registered physiotherapist. I wanted to start writing this blog as a way to connect with my people, to give them a place to learn more about me and how I like to treat. I figured giving myself more of an online presence would allow my clients to feel that much more comfortable, especially when coming to see me for the first time. SO, let's dive right in, I would like to start by sharing a bit about me and my journey to becoming a physiotherapist. I hope you like what you read!
To give you a little bit of background I'm originally from Dartmouth, NS. Although I'm currently living and practicing in Toronto, ON I'm a very proud maritimer who, when asked where 'Home' is, will always say Nova Scotia. I went to Acadia University and if you meet me in person you'll notice I proudly wear my axe necklace, as I played for the Axewomen Soccer Team throughout my undergraduate degree in Kinesiology. I was far from a star player and spent a lot of time proudly cheering the gals on from the stands, that said I thoroughly enjoyed my time learning and growing in Wolfville and wouldn't change my experience for the world.
In my fourth year at Acadia I tore my Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)- an important ligament in the knee. I stopped playing soccer so I could rehab properly and underwent surgery in February 2016. I had the joy of going to the Acadia Sports Therapy Clinic where I met Emily Sheppard, who was a physiotherapy resident at the time. She had recently completed her masters of science in physical therapy and was studying to write her final licensing exam. In our MANY physiotherapy (PT) sessions before and after my surgery we talked about the program and her experiences. It was during that time that I decided I wanted to pursue PT. I applied to a few programs and ended up at the University of Toronto. I moved to Toronto in August 2018 with two massive suitcases, my carry on, and a backpack. I'll never forget arriving at Billy Bishop and driving up Bathurst Street to the apartment I had not yet seen. I was a bundle of nerves and at the same time so excited about what the next two years would bring.
I spent my time in PT school in labs and lectures, in hospitals and rehab clinics, working with cadavers, studying at the library, playing intramurals, enjoying various sporting events/concerts and spending lots of time with friends and classmates. While playing intramurals in my second year I unfortunately ended up tearing my meniscus, which resulted in a second knee surgery. The frustration was real. Looking back I believe my experience rehabilitating my own knee injuries, advocating for myself, and undergoing surgery x2 has given me a unique perspective when working with my clients. My past has allowed me to form stronger connections and at least in part understand what my clients are going through when they come into the clinic.
Another important piece that has shaped who I am as a clinician is that I was lucky to have a number of wonderful placements throughout my degree. I am forever grateful to those special physios who provided me with mentorship and guidance when I was trying my best to learn the ropes. After two years, lots of stressful days/nights, written and practical exams as well as a couple of licensing exams I'm happy to say I finally became a registered physiotherapist.
After working for a few years in Toronto and taking a number of post graduate courses in pelvic health and orthopaedics, I decided it was time for a change. I have recently begun working at Regent Health & Chiropractic Centre in Hamilton, ON. I'm so lucky to work alongside an INCREDIBLE rehabilitation team where I receive tons of support.
In the midst of COVID-19 I am practicing what I preach to all of my clients and using my time away from clinic to slow down. I have been really enjoying getting in touch with my creative side with watercolour paints, hosting at home workouts for my family in NS and Ireland, doing virtual pilates, and going for walks with my partner, Jack (also a PT), and our dog, Rooney!
Thanks for taking the time to read this far, comment below if you're from NS (love finding fellow maritimers), if you have any questions about my life in Hamilton or if you're interested in pursuing physiotherapy yourself!