Where can a degree in podiatry take you?
While some may not be immediately drawn to podiatry as a career
path, it has proven to be an extremely rewarding and flexible career
which can take you almost anywhere in the UK and beyond.
A SIDE FROM the ability to transform patients’ lives, one of the great things about the profession is the incredible choice that podiatrists have to carve out their own career path. Podiatrists can choose to work as an NHS employee in a hospital or community setting, run their own private practice, work from home, become a self-employed locum in private practice, or as a lecturer or researcher in a university. With the flexibility to work full-time or part-time, often without the need for night shifts or emergency call outs, a podiatrist can often create a role which works around personal commitments and fits with their career ambitions.
So, where can a podiatry career take you? Six of our graduates and lecturers
give us an insight into their journeys.
From the Scottish islands to lecturer in the capital
WITH A DEGREE in podiatry you can choose to work almost anywhere – from a role working in an inner city to a peripatetic position working across the Scottish islands.
Joseph McIntyre has held several positions with the NHS in Scotland. He worked as a podiatrist with Greater Glasgow and Clyde, before moving to the Shetland islands to experience life as a podiatry specialist. He has also experienced working as an advanced
podiatrist in rheumatology with NHS Ayrshire and Arran, and as lead podiatrist in orthopedics with NHS Lothian.
With such a well-rounded background, Joseph now leads the Master of Podiatry (MPod) at Queen Margaret University. Not one to stand still, he’s currently juggling his lecturer commitments with studying towards his doctorate!
From a care background to a health professional in the NHS
COMING FROM a care experienced background, Daniel Pauley found that
no-one had any ambitions for him – he was just a kid from care. But he found his place at QMU and had a transformative experience during his degree.
With fantastic support from the University’s podiatry department, he excelled during his BSc (Hons) Podiatry, graduating with a first. He said: “QMU believed in me, so I started to believe in myself.”
Daniel now has a job he loves - working as a podiatrist with NHS Lothian. Within that role he is a practice educator for current QMU students, and he has just been promoted within Lothian to a Band 6 position.
He continues his connection with QMU through the volunteering work he does with Senior Lecturer in Podiatry, Evelyn Weir. Both Daniel and Evelyn have provided specialist foot care for homeless people in Edinburgh, on and off the street, and continue to do so
From volunteering in refugee camps to working as a diabetes specialist
WHILST STUDYING PODIATRY at QMU, Christine McSweeney volunteered to work in refugee camps across Europe providing foot care to those in need. It was this exposure that led her to develop an interest in wound management. She then completed an MSc Diabetes.
Having worked in both private practice and NHS, Christine now lives and works in Cork as a diabetes specialist podiatrist for Diabetes Ireland.
Running a private practice in Fife
PAUL SHARPLES set up his own podiatry business immediately after graduating from QMU. His private clinic runs from the health club at the beautiful Keavil House Hotel in Crossford, Fife. He also provides home visits in the Dunfermline area.
Paul focuses on a holistic approach to podiatry care, taking account of medical history, lifestyle and footwear. His all-inclusive approach involves making sure his patient is fully involved in their individual care plan.
He said: “The most enjoyable part of being a podiatrist is watching someone who walked in with severe pain, walking out pain-free with a smile from ear to ear!”
Improving foot care in the Middle East
ANDREW GILMOUR, QMU graduate, works as a podiatrist in Kuwait where he provides lower limb education and foot screening, as well as ensuring there are diabetes policies and pathways set up for GPs, medics and nurses.
He trains doctors and nurses on specialist equipment that detects any vascular abnormalities in the lower limb, as well as liaising with vascular consultants to try and
improve foot care in the Middle East.
A career in surgery
ASURGICAL PODIATRIST deals with the surgical management of the bones, joints and soft tissues of the foot and associated structures.
William McMurrich was keen to develop his podiatric career in surgery, so he studied
the MSc Theory of Podiatric Surgery delivered jointly by QMU and Glasgow Caledonian
University, followed by the podiatric surgical training programme delivered by QMU and
NHS Education for Scotland.
Surgical podiatrists work with vascular consultants, diabetologists, orthopaedic surgeons and other members of multidisciplinary teams to ensure each patient receives the best clinical outcomes.
William now works as a surgical podiatrist for NHS Tayside. He says the most exciting
and rewarding part of his job is working in a team to have a positive impact on his patients by correcting painful foot deformities and removing pain.