Podiatry: the best kept healthcare career secret in the UK?
How would you like to flex your entrepreneurial muscles and build a successful business, or work as an NHS or private consultant? Or how about working part time from home or gaining surgical skills working in the NHS? You could work in senior management, work with children, become a medical researcher, work abroad or with professional sports teams?
Believe it or not one career choice can give you all of these possibilities and more!
It’s probably one of the best kept healthcare career choice secrets in the UK, but I’d like to tell you a little bit about it.
The career choice I’m talking about is podiatry.
What is it?
Podiatrists are healthcare professionals responsible for assessing, diagnosing and treating problems relating to the lower limb.
They work with a huge range of patients which gives you a great variety at work. Being a podiatrist is incredibly rewarding as we get instant feedback from patients as we relieve their symptoms, treat their conditions and maintain their quality of life.
The scope of practice includes bio-mechanical assessment, using local anaesthetics, providing wound care, undertaking vascular/tissue viability and neurological assessments as well as skin, nail and bone surgery, care planning and health promotion.
There is so much to it, which provides great professional challenges and great rewards.
Podiatrists can work in many settings including high street multidisciplinary practices, NHS GP surgeries, hospitals, in a visiting practice or a professional or amateur sports or fitness club. But it doesn’t stop there! You could become a medical researcher or a university lecturer. You could train in surgery and establishing your own private clinic. You could even work alongside the police in forensics.
You can earn some great money too working as a podiatrist. A new podiatry graduate has a starting salary of approximately £22k in the NHS but the earning potential goes way beyond that and is in excess of £100k, obviously depending on the career route you take.
To qualify as a podiatrist and practice in the UK you have to complete a BSc (Hons) degree in Podiatry at one of the 13 universities across the UK. Courses are NHS funded and for UK and EU students there are no tuition fees. That’s right, I really said it: no tuition fees! Additionally, you may be eligible for a bursary to help with other costs.
So there you have it, a secret healthcare career that not many people know about, but one that offers great personal rewards and one where there is growing demand for.
Photos: Podiatry Careers