Welcome to the Saskatchewan Spine Pathway’s online training course.

 Frequently Asked Questions

The pathway begins with the primary care provider, and this training course is designed to build on providers’ low back pain assessment and management skills. Primary care providers who complete the course learn to recognize patterns of low back pain and treatment protocols that can be incorporated into their own practice to improve patient outcomes. Each pattern of back pain has a corresponding treatment algorithm which outlines medication, exercise and other treatment modality options.

There may be times when patients do not respond to treatment by the primary care provider and referral to the Regina or Saskatoon Spine Pathway Clinic is required. Spine pathway clinic wait times are regularly evaluated, with the goal to keep wait times less than 3 weeks. At the Spine Pathway Clinics, health providers further assess patients, confirm diagnosis and identify ongoing treatment options. When appropriate, patients may be referred for MRI and review by a spine surgeon.

If a patient has red flags, it may be necessary to refer them directly to the spine surgeon on call. However, for non-emergency referrals, the spine pathway process has been proven to shorten wait times and improve appropriateness, compared to conventional referral processes.

The course is intended for primary care providers such as family physicians, nurse practitioners, physiotherapists, and chiropractors who provide care for people with low back pain.

The training course allows providers to confidently take the unknown out of managing low back pain patients. Course participants will be learn algorithms for recognizing patterns of low back pain, allowing providers to improve patient outcomes and provide appropriate treatment and care for patients with low back pain.

Providers will also learn how the Saskatchewan Spine Pathway works, and know when and how to refer to the two Spine Pathway Clinics, located in Regina and Saskatoon.

Dr. Joseph Buwembo, MB, ChB, FRSC

Dr. Buwembo is a Neurosurgeon at the Regina General Hospital and a clinical Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, section of Neurosurgery, University of Saskatchewan. His main interests are the surgical management of spinal disorders and Neuromodulation for chronic pain.

Dr. Daryl Fourney, MD, FRCSC, FACS

Dr. Fourney completed his medical school and residency training in Neurosurgery at the University of Saskatchewan. He later did a fellowship in neurosurgical oncology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. He has a special interest in brain tumors as well as complex spinal disorders including tumors of the spine. He has authored more than 80 published peer-reviewed articles and 10 book chapters. He is Past President of the Canadian Spine Society from 2007 to 2009. He was the Director of the Neurosurgery residency training program at the University of Saskatchewan 2003-2014.

Dr. Hamilton Hall, MD, FRCSC

Dr. Hamilton Hall is a Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto and on the active orthopaedic staff at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. In 1974 Dr. Hall founded the Canadian Back Institute (CBI Health Group), now the largest rehabilitation company in Canada. Dr. Hall continues to serve as its Medical Director. He is co-founder of the Canadian Spine Society and is presently the Society’s Executive Director. In addition to over 130 published articles and book chapters and over 1000 invited presentations, many as Visiting Professor at universities in North America, Europe and Asia, Dr. Hamilton Hall is the author of the best-selling Back Doctor series of books for the lay public.

The web based course is divided into chapters that allow the learner to advance at a pace in which they are comfortable with. Each chapter ends with a quiz to assess learning objectives. In all, most participants can complete the program in 8-9 hours.
There is no cost to take the online training course.
Please click “Register” to begin the online course. After registering, you have access to chapter materials and quizzes. After completing the course, you will be asked to submit your contact information again along with the final quiz. Once this is received, you will be issued a certificate of completion by e-mail.
In-person courses will be offered periodically. For more information on live courses please visit the Saskatchewan Health Authority’s web pages for the Saskatchewan Spine Pathway here.
This program has been accredited by the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Saskatchewan Chapter for up to 8.25 Mainpro-M1 credits. Reciprocal recognition is available through the Saskatchewan Chiropractic Association.
For more information please visit the Saskatchewan Health Authority’s web pages for the Saskatchewan Spine Pathway here.