Physiotherapists help patients to prevent and deal with injuries. They plan and carry out individually designed treatment programs to maintain, improve or restore physical functionality and mobility.
$70,000 - $90,000+
Like this career?
Winta Desta PT, MScPT, CSCS
Physiotherapist – Basketball Coach & Health Educator
I was born and raised in Ottawa, ON where I was a multisport student-athlete at St. Patrick’s HS. My love for all things movement led me to Lakehead University where I played varsity basketball and studied Kinesiology. I then went on to complete a Master of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Toronto. I currently practice at several pediatric clinics throughout the GTA where I treat kids and teens with musculoskeletal injuries. In all my work, I strive to empower kids, teens, and athletes to reach their full potential in all aspects of life.
What is your educational background?
Honours Bachelor of Kinesiology (HBK), Lakehead University
Master of Science in Physical Therapy (MScPT), University of Toronto
What are your daily responsibilities?
– Work at two pediatric physiotherapy/medical clinics (Boomerang Health and Kids Physio) where I provide physiotherapy asssessment and treatment to kids and teens – Provide private in-home physiotherapy – Coach youth basketball players; provide sideline medical coverage and support (Bill Crothers Senior Boys Prep Team and Northern Kings AAU)* – Mentor and supervise kinesiology students from the University of Toronto (injury prevention program for Northern Kings Academy) – Manage MayeHealth, a digital health education platform for Eritreans – Assist in strategic planning and creation of the Black Physiotherapy Association (Canada)
What hurdles did you face?
– My father passed away when I was in elementary school. Money was tight but we made it work. Learned a lot about resilience early on in life. – In second year of undergrad, I was frustrated with my lack of playing time (in basketball). I was outworking my teammates and still couldn’t catch a break. My grades started to take a bit of a hit as well. Eventually, my mental health started to suffer. After one practice, I had an anxiety attack. I had no idea what was happening. Thankfully, I was going to be OK but I slowly started to change where I placed my value in myself.
– Start of 4th year (of undergrad), my coach communicated with me that after working hard to get into the rotation the season prior, I was going to go back to the end of the rotation. I quit. It took me 4 years to realize that I wasn’t valued. Instead, I dedicated that extra time into myself. I learned new skills, focused on school, and volunteered. It was one of the best decisions in my life.
– In my 4th year of undergrad, I applied to medical school and unfortunately wasn’t accepted. I was crushed. Felt like a failure. A lifelong dream felt unattainable in that moment. I did think of quitting. For a long time, I thought I did. But in hindsight, I realize I pivoted and created my own lane where I still do what I always aspired to do: help people bounce back from injury and reach new heights.
– I was in month 5 of working as a physiotherapist and… BAM! I was involved in a serious car accident that took me away from work for several months. I was so lucky that my head was untouched but my lower body was in rough shape. I was now the patient and had to relearn how to walk, to climb stairs, and manage my pain. It was a tough time becasue I was still relatively fresh out of school. I wasn’t making any money…. and my body wasn’t working. It tested me both mentally and physically. It made me reconsider continuing working in a physically intensive job with long hours. Thankfully I rehabbed well and 1 year later, I ran my first half marathon just to remind myself that the body is resilient. It was a good learning experience for me, as a therapist, to have a better insight in what my clients deal with on a daily basis.
What advice would you give to the 15-18 year old version of yourself?
Do not place your self-worth in your achievements; instead be proud of how you treat and support others.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela
Asses and treat client injuries
Develop rehabilitation programs for clients recovering from injury
Educate clients about injuries, rehabilitation, pain management and exercise
Private clinics, hospitals, home care, universities, doctors’ offices, fitness centres, sports teams, and sports medicine facilities
Those who work for sports teams usually travel with the team
Often work evenings and weekends
The work can be physically demanding
Cooperative Education (Recommended)
Mathematics (MHF4U or MDM4U/MAP4C)
*Additional 4U/M Courses For University Candidates*
Have a questions about this career?
(647) 968 – 3304
4 Aquila Court
Etobicoke, ON M9W 5J2