What is the difference between a Kinesiologist and Physiotherapist in Ontario?

Since kinesiology became a regulated health profession in Ontario in 2013, kinesiologists continue to add to their professional experience and knowledge and are making ground further into the scope of practice overlap not only with physiotherapy, but also with medicine and occupational therapy. An experienced kinesiologist may provide assessments and treatments that look exactly like what someone would receive from a physiotherapist. This would depend on many factors, not only including the client’s status, medical history, needs, and payer, but also most importantly on the training and education gained by the kinesiologist in order to provide these services safely.



The problem with the “kinesiologist vs physiotherapist” debate:


As one of the newest regulated health professions in Ontario, kinesiology is not as well-known as more established professions, like physiotherapy. Although many other articles written on this topic outline specific duties or skills each profession offers, they are more of an example of how the professions can work together in a specific environment, such as a rehabilitation clinic, and don’t really define either profession’s role in health care. These job descriptions are based on business practice, not scope of practice, put in place to make the company operate smoothly and efficiently.


So, it’s not hard to understand why many people think that a scope of practice is a list of protected techniques and therapies owned solely by one group over another. Actually, a profession’s scope is supposed to define its range of responsibility to the public: the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in Ontario, who sets the scopes of practice for Ontario’s health professions, deliberately ensured that related professions’ scopes overlap so that the public may choose their healthcare based on their individual prerogatives. This reportedly also controls health care costs by creating a competitive environment between providers, which ultimately benefits both the individual and the system.