Georgia: Physiotherapist in the Republic of GeorgiaTbilisi, Georgia 285 views

Closing Date : 2019-12-04
Duty Station : Tbilisi, Georgia
See all 7 jobs in Tbilisi, Georgia
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Organization: Emory University
Country: Georgia
Closing date: 04 Dec 2019


The Emory University School of Medicine is a leading institution with the highest standards in education, biomedical research, and patient care.
We are committed to recruiting and developing a diverse group of students and innovative leaders in biomedical science, public health, medical education, and clinical care.
We foster a culture that integrates leading-edge basic, translational, and clinical research to further the ability to deliver quality health care, to predict illness and treat the sick, and to promote the health of our patients and community.

For our Rehabilitation in Georgia Programme we are looking for 2 physiotherapists.

Job Context

Georgia is on the edge of transitioning to the social model of disability, widening the narrow focus on a person s impairment to his/her functioning and independent living. Currently, many persons with disabilities remain outside the state registration system with few opportunities for integration and inclusion. The Government of Georgia (GoG) does not have sufficient availability or quality of rehabilitation services. There is a lack of knowledge and skills in the field of physical rehabilitation as well as low general awareness about its benefits amongst the general population, policymakers and professionals. Information about and referral mechanisms to state- and non-state funded services do not exist, and protectionist policies prevent the diversification of and access to wheelchair services.

Emory University School of Medicine is the primary implementer of the Physical Rehabilitation Project in Georgia together with its main partners, Tbilisi State Medical University (TSMU), Coalition for Independent Living (CIL) and MAC Georgia. The overall goal is: Expand access to quality, affordable physical rehabilitation services and assistive technologies in Georgia.

The main objectives of the activity are:

1) Strengthen the capacity of existing and emerging physical rehabilitation professionals;

2) Strengthen physical rehabilitation and AT services and referral pathways; and 3) Improve state policies on physical rehabilitation

Physical Therapy in Georgia

Physical therapy in Georgia is mainly known for the use of passive techniques like massage and stretching and the application of modalities such as ultrasound or electrotherapy. A typical practice includes no formal patient evaluation and most physical therapy intervention is dictated by physician recommendations. Education is rooted in the former Soviet Union system and methodology in content and teaching techniques and a shift towards functional/person-centred rehabilitation education and practice is recently started and is not well understood yet by most practitioners and educational staff. The majority of education received by PTs at this time is primarily theoretical with minimal hands-on clinical experience and taught by physicians.

In Georgia PT is not yet an independent profession with physicians still being the gatekeeper. The profession is not regulated and no license is required, which leads to a broad variation of quality amongst service providers. The multidisciplinary team approach is mainly not practised or if then it is heavily guided and influenced by physician decisions rather than a team discussion involving all members. Therapy is mainly provided for paediatric clients as a State Programme provides vouchers for a maximum of 80 sessions per year, mainly for Cerebral Palsy and other neurological conditions. The voucher system is very rigid and does not provide much space for individual and tailored treatment plans and frequencies. Currently, there is no such State programme for adults, which leads to a severe under-serving especially in acute and sub-acute care but affects all levels of care.

There are a variety of professional associations, but their level of activity varies from next-to-nothing to being easily motivated but lacking some own initiatives. The Georgian Association of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation (GAPTAR) is a full member of the World Confederation of Physical Therapy (WCPT) since May 2019.

Role and Responsibilities

S/he would be working as part of the programme team, composed by the programme director (technical and project management), the expat occupational therapist (OT, position currently vacant), the national PT/coordinator of Partners for International Development (PFD) and the PfIDs director in charge of overall logistics and finances.

S/he would be reporting directly to the programme director with strong functional links to the programme OTs (both expat and national).

Main external interlocutors include the GAPTAR, the lecturer team at the TSMU as well as local teams at the supported clinics (currently the programme provides technical support to three clinics in Tbilisi-3, Batumi and Zugdidi).

Main areas of intervention include:

Improve the clinical skills of rehabilitation professionals by through mentoring and providing training courses and overseeing others providing training courses (these are students from previous courses). These include MDs, who serve as faculty in PT/OT programs, PTs and OTs. The biggest patient population needs are stroke, TBI, SCI, amputee and musculoskeletal. There is a bachelor s and a master s program in PT taught in English and Georgian at Tbilisi State Medical University (TSMU) and a bachelor s OT program at Tbilisi State University. These programs do not have a history of providing lab course work or clinical education.

Provide a model for PT practice in a clinical setting, and especially, clinical education. The current level of PT practice can be rated as below or at the level of a PTA in the US, with the exception of some associated with military practices and paediatrics. There is a significant lack of evaluation and active individualized treatment techniques in physical therapy practice at this time.

Support rehabilitation centres in Tbilisi Batumi (and likely one other location) in clinical, managerial and administrative processes including, but not limited to development of documentation systems, safety procedures and data collection.

Support the institutional development of the professional association

Particular emphasis needs to be on promoting the social model of disability, as well as a strong functional and person-centred approach to treatment with a long-term vision to the inclusion of the clients in all aspects of society.

Skills and Competencies


Bachelor Degree in Physical Therapy (Master degree is an asset) with a minimum of 2 years of professional experiences (including international professional experiences)

Experiences in inpatient and outpatient settings with adult and paediatric populations

Strong teaching skills and experience of training material development and provision (i.eteaching, supervision, mentoring, etc)

Ability to evaluate and monitor clinical processes to improve rehabilitation service delivery

Strong understanding of person-centred, functional and multi-disciplinary team approach, the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and the social model of disabilities

Strong oral and written English communication skills


Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including the ability to communicate and work with a wide range of people of different cultural background in a participatory and respectful manner

Strong team approach

Approachable, good-natured and responsive to people’s needs, and therefore able to enhance effective work relationships

Ability to transfer skills and knowledge through formal or informal training and skill-sharing and to adapt skills and knowledge to the local context and work with existing/limited resources

Able to set realistic expectations, flexibility, thinking outside the box

Willingness to adapt to the local context


Starting date: January 2020
Length of contract: One year renewable
Salary: From USD 45.000 annual salary depending on the qualification and experience of the candidate
Insurance: Local health insurance

Accommodation: Individual provided by the organisation
Holidays: 24 days paid leave per year

How to apply:

If your qualifications match the job requirements, please send your CV and Cover Letter to

Please include the job title in your email subject.

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