Student Feature: Erin Miller

May 28, 2019
Jessica Boafo

The RSI Student Feature introduces you to some of the interesting people studying in the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute. From leaders in rehabilitation sciences research to providing care to Toronto’s most vulnerable populations, our students are making an impact on communities at home and around the world.

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Erin Miller

Year & Program: 2nd Year PhD
Supervisor(s): Dina Brooks and Brenda Mori

Q. What is your area of research?

My research focuses on improving the quality of care delivered by health care professionals in the area of respiratory practice, specifically through the promotion of safe and effective airway suctioning practices.

Q. What drew you to the field of rehabilitation sciences?

I am a physiotherapist with 10 years of acute care experience. As a practicing clinician, I was deeply engaged with the principles of evidence based practice, using best available evidence, clinical experience and client centered values to help guide the care I provided. While seeking out evidence to support my practice, it became evident to me that gaps in the literature related to cardiorespiratory physical therapy practice continue to exist. A passion towards participating in addressing these knowledge gaps and a desire to continue to grow as a health care professional and health care educator motivated me to pursue a PhD in rehabilitation sciences.

Q. Why did you choose to pursue your studies in the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute at the University of Toronto?

I graduated from my MScPT at the University of Toronto in 2006 and have been involved in teaching in the Department of Physical Therapy for a number of years. Choosing the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute at the University of Toronto for my PhD was a logical choice given my positive interactions with the University of Toronto over the years and my respect for the faculty and wide variety of impactful research being conducted at the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute.

Q. What advice would you give to prospective RSI students?

Pursue a research topic that is meaningful to you; you and your research are going to be spending a lot of time together so it really helps to be passionate about what you are doing.

Q. Do you pursue any extracurricular activities or hobbies?

Outside of school, I am active in Toronto's running and triathlon communities. To date, I have completed four Ironman triathlons. Participating in sport helps me to manage my stress levels and achieve a better work-life balance.

Q. Please share a recent accomplishment!

In April, I had the pleasure of presenting some of my PhD work at the Ontario Physiotherapy Association's InterACTION 2019 conference. I was thrilled to have my research recognized by my physiotherapy peers with the 1st place Poster Presentation Award.