May 22, 2024

MScPT Student Spotlight: Iman Yarow

photo of Iman Yarow
Temerty Faculty of Medicine
Iman Yarow

Iman Yarow, a second-year student in the MScPT program, shares what inspired her to pursue a career in physical therapy and how her experience growing up as a child of immigrants gives her a unique understanding of the importance of culturally sensitive care. 

How did you decide you wanted to pursue physical therapy?  

From a young age, my passion for sports ignited a fascination with the human body. This guided me towards pursuing kinesiology during my undergraduate studies where I took a neurology course, delving into the complexities of movement disorders and the role of physical therapy in managing these conditions.

Empowered by this knowledge, I began shadowing and networking with physiotherapists and discovered a sense of belonging within the profession. I realized I could make a positive contribution to this field and so I made it my mission to get into the physical therapy program here at the University of Toronto.

What has been your favourite course in the physical therapy program?

It is hard to pick a favourite course, but if I had to pick one it would be Unit 10, led by Melanie MacKinnon and Euson Yeung, where we learned more about musculoskeletal health. This course was by far the most complex in the program, but in the best way.  

Unit 10 integrates and expands on the skills we learned in our first year and introduces new, more intricate concepts. It provided a solid foundation of knowledge and enriched my critical thinking and clinical reasoning abilities – and the timing couldn't have been better as I was able to seamlessly integrate these skills into my musculoskeletal placement right after.

What is something unique that you bring to the program?

Growing up with immigrant parents deeply rooted in their cultural heritage, I bring a keen understanding of the importance of culturally sensitive care to both classroom and clinical settings.

I am committed to fostering inclusivity, especially in multicultural communities, to ensure every patient receives care that is effective and culturally responsive. By prioritizing cultural sensitivity and welcoming environment, my patients can freely express themselves and receive personalized care. 

What is something you want people to know about physiotherapy? 

Physiotherapy is a more diverse field than many realize. While physiotherapy is often associated with private clinics, there are a range of roles and settings where you can find physiotherapists.  From hospitals to schools, physiotherapists play a vital role in health care including cardiorespiratory care, temporomandibular joint (where the jaw and skull meet) management, pelvic floor rehabilitation and beyond.  

By shedding light on these diverse roles, we can enhance public perception of physiotherapy and empower individuals to make more informed decisions about their health care options.

What has been your biggest accomplishment throughout your (nearly) two years in the program? 

I take pride in being actively involved both within and outside of the program as contributing to my communities has always been a priority for me.  

Outside of school, I am a member of the Black Physical Therapy Association and have participated in the Myodetox Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program. Currently, I am serving as a Future Faces Intern with Foundation Physiotherapy where I am leading a project aimed at providing cost-free physiotherapy services to underserved communities.  

At U of T, I have contributed to a few committees, including the Black and Indigenous Pathways for Admission Committee and the Physical Therapy Program Expansion Plan Student Advisory Committee. I have also been involved in initiatives tailored to high school students, such as student panels, Temerty Medicine’s Summer Mentorship Program and Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) Design Program. I am eager to get involved with similar initiatives in the future!