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Radiography Essentials for Physiotherapists: X-ray Understanding, Application, and Requisitions

Radiography Essentials for Physiotherapists: X-ray Understanding, Application, and Requisitions

Radiography Essentials for Physiotherapists: X-ray Understanding, Application, and Requisitions

This course includes
4:30:18 of Course Material (View)
Lifetime access after purchase
Certificate of completion
This course was recorded in June 2024


Radiography Essentials for Physiotherapists will provide the education you need to understand and interpret radiology, learn how to write an X-ray requisition form and interpret the report. The focus is on select musculoskeletal pathologies, evidence-based decision-making, and effective communication with the patient regarding the report.

Modules of the course Radiography Essentials for Physiotherapists: X-ray Understanding, Application, and Requisitions

What this course is

What this course IS:

    • An overview of radiology in musculoskeletal physiotherapy
    • Created by clinicians for clinicians 
    • No bloated content! Clinically relevant information needed for working with physiotherapists
    • An integration of current evidence-based practice for musculoskeletal X-ray requisitions and common pathologies
    • A resource you can immediately use in clinic for X-ray requisitions and patient care 

What this course isn't


 What this course ISN'T:

    • A thorough examination of all skeletal pathologies
    • A biomedical/biomedical engineering course on how X-rays work
    • A detailed analysis of how to interpret radiographs (outside of the scope)
    • Knowledge, application and/or requisitions of other types of imaging (MRI, CT, US, etc.)

Learning Objectives

  1. To understand the foundational concepts of radiographs and their importance in musculoskeletal physiotherapy care.
  2. To understand the risks, benefits, and utilization of radiographs, particularly the musculoskeletal domain.
  3. Appreciate the complexity of decision-making, interpretation, and responsibility of radiograph requisitions.
  4. To acquire the skills needed to confidently and appropriately request radiographs in an outpatient setting, and communicate these with the patient.
  5. To be able to implement these skills with common musculoskeletal pathologies for appropriate patient care.


In Collaboration with

The Nova Scotia Physiotherapy Association (NSPA)


This course is intended for physiotherapists, or any other healthcare professionals that have the ability to request radiographs, or who would like to understand and/or improve their knowledge and application of X-rays. 

The instructors
Dr. Drew Bourret
DScPT, MScPT, HBMSc | FCAMPT, Dip Manip PT Instructor

Dr. Drew Bourret is originally from Thunder Bay, Ontario. After completing an Honours Bachelor undergraduate degree in Medical Sciences from Western University, and a Master’s of Science in PT from the University of Toronto, he was awarded a Doctorate of Science in PT and became a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Physiotherapy (FCAMPT). He has taught at Dalhousie University School of Physiotherapy since 2016, and has been an instructor in the Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy I, II, and III courses since 2021.

Having worked clinically in musculoskeletal physiotherapy for 13 years in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and New Zealand, Drew contributes a wide range of unique clinical skills and experiences. He has a passion for working with students and teaching, with a particular focus on critical thinking and evidence-based practice. When you don't see him involved with physiotherapy, you can find him traveling the world, practicing his Muay Thai kickboxing, or more likely, at a gaming or comic book convention, as he is a true nerd at heart.

Dr. James Campbell
MD, FRCSC, MScPT, Orthopedic Surgeon

James Campbell is an orthopedic surgeon based in Toronto, Ontario. Born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, he moved to London, Ontario to complete a bachelor's degree in kinesiology and nutrition, followed by Masters of Science in Physiotherapy at UofT. After working for a few years, he returned to medical school at Northern Ontario School of Medicine and completed his orthopedic surgery training at the University of Toronto. His fellowship training will be in sports medicine surgery.

James stays involved with teaching med students, orthopedic surgery residents and physiotherapy students. When not working, James enjoys spending time in the gym/powerlifting and playing a variety of sports, hopefully staying out of the surgeon's office.

Course Material included in this course
  • Module 1: Basics of Radiology
  • Lesson 1: What are radiographs?
  • Lesson 2: Views and ABCs of Radiology
  • Lesson 3: Radiation and Patient Factors
  • Module 2: Decision Making for Requisitions
  • Lesson 1: Appropriateness
  • Lesson 2: Ethical Considerations
  • Lesson 3: Integrating your Assessment into Decision Making
  • Supplementary Document - Links to CAR & ACR Guidelines
  • Lesson 4: Delivering the Requisition
  • Module 3: Common Pathologies in Physiotherapy
  • Lesson 1: Spinal Pathology & Imaging
  • Required Reading: JOSPT International Framework for Red Flags for Potential Serious Spinal Pathologies - 2020
  • Lesson 2: Upper Extremity Imaging & Pathology
  • Lesson 3: Lower Extremity Imaging and Pathology
  • Module 4: Provincial Integration (Optional if outside Nova Scotia))
  • Radiograph Requisitions for Physiotherapists Practicing in Nova Scotia
  • Module 5: Interpreting the Report & Communicating the Results
  • Lesson 1: Interpreting the Report and Decisions
  • Lesson 2: Language and Communication
  • Case Studies
  • Case Studies (Upper Extremity, Lower Extremity, and Spine)
  • Assessment Examination
  • Course Assessment Examination
  • Course References Document

No. Reading and interpreting radiographs is outside of most physiotherapist's scope of practice, takes proper medical training, and extensive experience that radiologists acquire.

Indirectly, yes it can. While the focus of this course is radiographs, there is some discussion on when alternate imaging is required, however it is not the focus of the course and further education is suggested.

This course is solely focused on the musculoskeletal component of physiotherapy imaging, and not cardiovascular.

Absolutely! Module 4 is only a very small component of the course, and the majority of the course is structured for any physiotherapists who want to learn the essentials of musculoskeletal physiotherapy.

While not feasible to cover every musculoskeletal pathology that physiotherapists see, commonly pathologies were selected through mine and Dr. Campbell's experience and according to the evidence. There is a focus on pathologies that a) are challenging to discern from soft-tissue injuries; b) are likely to present in an outpatient clinic vs emergency department; and, c) can often be managed within our scope of practice.

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