Stuart Maytham, MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-Reg) graduate
Stuart Maythan, 29, from Bristol, graduated with MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-Registration) from QMU in 2015.
Before studying at QMU, Stuart completed his Personal Training level 3 whilst working at a council gym in Bristol. He then went travelling for two years and moved to Edinburgh in 2009 to study Applied Sports Science at the University of Edinburgh.
Whilst studying, Stuart worked as a fitness instructor, as well as volunteering for the Steady Steps programme at Edinburgh Leisure.
Stuart’s experience of working with vulnerable people and the general public was hugely insightful for him. He realised the huge need to help people achieve their health and fitness related goals, not just efficiently, but also sustainably.
Why did you choose to study in Edinburgh/Scotland?
“I’ve always liked travelling and the chance to study in a capital city, in a different country, and at a great university, was too good an option to turn down.”
Why did you choose to study MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-Registration) at QMU?
“I’d already fallen in love with the city. All my friends from my previous university were here and as QMU had a great reputation for its physiotherapy programmes, the decision was an easy one.”
Do you think the course has given you the knowledge and skills to progress your career?
“After studying Sports Science for four years, I was interested more in how exercise science can help the general population and how to get the nation moving more, rather than working primarily with athletes.
“I hoped the course would give me a greater insight into the more clinical application of exercise and movement. It didn't fail to deliver.
“Having volunteered for the Steady Steps programme at Edinburgh Leisure, I got a taste for just how much consistent exercise in a friendly environment can impact people’s quality of life.
“Studying Physiotherapy at QMU seemed like the obvious choice to pursue my interest.
“It helped me to improve my critical thinking skills and opened my eyes to a whole new level of uncertainty which, whilst unsettling at first, is also extremely humbling in an area in which new research is constantly challenging traditionally held beliefs.
“It has allowed me to appreciate the huge spectrum of patients and conditions, which physiotherapy encompasses. Movement really is medicine and the MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-Registration) has certainly helped me understand this in great detail.”
How did you find the workload?
“The workload was manageable so long as you stayed organised, but staff were always on hand to listen to queries or issues when things get tough.
“I enjoyed the independent nature of the studying as I did a lot of extra reading and writing whilst running a Personal Training company during my studies.
“Although I was very independent, there were many opportunities to work with your peers, which is crucial around busy periods with everyone going through the same struggle.”
Did you work during the course?
“Working with the general public on how to improve their health and fitness goals allowed me to appreciate the preventive side of exercise and just how critical it is to the future of our NHS.
“I was also fortunate enough to receive a bursary for the ARNI Functional Rehabilitation and Exercise After Stroke Specialist Qualification from Dr Tom Balchin of the charity, Action for Rehabilitation from Neurological Injury (ARNI). This allowed me to appreciate the huge number of stroke survivors who can still benefit from rehabilitation once they’ve been discharged from the NHS.”
What are your top tips for future MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-Registration) students at QMU based on your own personal experiences?
“Read Bad Science by Ben Goldacre, practice your critical thinking skills and try getting as much experience as you can.
“Get to know your librarian. They have an unbelievable amount of knowledge when it comes to searching for books and literature.
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions and remember that everyone finds it tough!”
What did you do immediately after completing your course at QMU?
“I decided to continue my personal training business and set up a social franchise, which works with stroke survivors.”
How is your business helping QMU students and the wider community?
“I now run a Personal Training and Physiotherapy social franchise called Health by Science with other physiotherapy graduates. We’re currently looking for our own premises, which will allow us to increase the capacity of our work. This will help us move closer towards achieving our goal of becoming a social franchise and get more people moving consistently throughout Edinburgh and eventually the UK.
“All of our profits go towards subsidising the cost of our stroke survivor training for those who have been discharged from the NHS but are still amenable to rehabilitation.
“We’ve been tracking the progress of one of our stroke survivors over the past year and have now produced a short film to share their story." (see film link below)
“The purpose of the film and blogs is to challenge social stereotypes about recovery after stroke and that exercise is beneficial for the majority of stroke survivors. Hopefully, it reaches a good number of people and encourages them to seek out support to participate in exercise services such as that offered by Health By Science.
“We currently work with two volunteers from QMU and are on the look out for more QMU student volunteers from QMU who can benefit from valuable experience with Health by Science. Not only will QMU students gain hands on experience, but they will also be able to take part in our CPD workshops free of charge and see just how we get great results with our clients.”
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