PRINCIPAL OSTEOPATH AND CLINIC OWNER
I wanted to find a career in healthcare with opportunities for being self-employed. Most osteopaths in the UK are self-employed, and the freedom to make decisions about where, how and who you work with really appealed to me.
The course was very intense. I came to study osteopathy straight from Sixth Form College at 18 years old, and compared with friends at other universities, I had a lot more contact teaching hours, and clinical work to complete.
The Masters’s degree takes four years, but being part of a small cohort makes your friendships very strong. You’re all in it together and rely heavily on your course-mates to help one another out –especially in your clinical training. Studying and living with the same people is intense, but it means you always have someone to practice on!
“After graduating, I started working for myself right away. I took my first associate osteopath on board in 2016 and now work as the principal practitioner of a very large multi-disciplinary team
MY CAREER PATH
After graduating, I started working for myself right away. I moved back to my hometown of Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands and rented a small office above a coffee shop to get started. You have to complete 1000 hours of clinical work as a minimum before graduation, so while I was very fresh, I did feel prepared to work alone. I supplemented my own practice for about a year by working in other clinics nearby. I took my first associate osteopath on board in 2016, and now work as the principal practitioner of a very large multi-disciplinary team. We have six osteopaths, four sports therapists, three administrators and a podiatrist on our team, and we all work together across the two sites.
WHO I WORK WITH
The scope of practice at our clinic is very wide. We have Osteopaths who like to treat babies and children, and others who work with commuters, desk workers, manual labourers or older people with arthritis. We have developed a reputation for great sports injury and performance work, and most practitioners at our clinic are comfortable in this arena. I have a particular interest in working with people with brain and spinal cord injuries or diseases, like parkinson’s disease, strokes or cerebral palsy. I also have a particular love for working with people who have suffered limb loss, or limb differences – I’ve met so many dynamic people through this work, and their stories are so inspiring.
THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING AN OSTEOPATH IS...
Definitely, the best thing about being an osteopath is the difference you can make in a person’s quality of life and confidence in their body. A lot of people in chronic pain feel let down by their bodies and have a poor mental relationship with it. Seeing this change through treatment and movement is really magical.
MY ADVICE TO THOSE WANTING TO STUDY OSTEOPATHY IS
Research your course options and University thoroughly. There are so many full and part-time options available to those wishing to study osteopathy, there’s certainly a way you can make it work! Know that the course has more contact hours of teaching than other university courses, and that you’ll also need to be available for clinic hours during the holidays. This usually happens in a block for a week over Christmas and Easter, or three or four weeks over the summer. Although it sounds like a big-time commitment, it’s these periods that really accelerate your development as a practitioner.
Sutton Coldfield Clinic: 3 Coleshill Street, Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, B72 1SD
Lichfield Clinic: 141 Burton Road, Streethay, Lichfield, WS13 8LS