Gemma Fisher is a Human Performance osteopath and consultant working in Formula 1, and Clinic Director of Formula Health.
Having always been fascinated by the human body and wanting to play an active part in helping people understand their health, studying osteopathy appeared to be a route that would satisfy an analytical mind that always sought to answer the ‘Why’ aspect of diagnoses and provide me with the tools to deliver effective, personalised healthcare.
My career path
Prior to becoming an Osteopath, I was already qualified in gym instructing and personal training but the initial role certainly presented different challenges whereby many of your clients were expected to be mechanics 90% of the time, yet perform like elite athletes for an extremely important 10%! My former work with the emergency services and advanced life support provided the skills needed to identify and respond to medical emergencies. I’d previously studied Psychology and I’m now a qualified Nutritional Therapist with a specialist interest in Nutrigenetics, all of which helped prepare me for the wide-ranging applications of this unique job role, based upon an appreciation of the human mind and body.
I was initially brought into Williams as their Human Performance Specialist after being headhunted from the driver performance programme I was working on in endurance motorsport with Aston Martin Racing. Gaining a reputation for delivering World-Recording breaking achievements in the motorsport industry now means that head-hunters from other F1 teams find me and I am deployed as a consultant to revolutionize the corporate Human Performance programs that are responsible for the Pitcrew, drivers and the wider team. Currently working for Alfa Romeo Racing F1, I split my time between the Team’s HQ in Switzerland, International Grand Prix racetracks and my clinic in the UK.
Who I work with
Nowadays, the multidisciplinary model is fundamental to how I operate. The whole premise of the clinic I have opened in Pangbourne, Berkshire, is built upon being a centre for Integrative Medicine. Working alongside a large spectrum of Health, Fitness and Complementary Therapy experts enables a truly holistic approach to be taken to develop bespoke packages of care to meet the varying needs of each individual.
The course not only provides you with a thorough appreciation of all systems within the body and how they are interrelated but also teaches you a mindset and a philosophy about a holistic approach to problem solving. You can go on to specialise in a particular field but the fundamental understanding of ‘the body as a whole’ is a crucial foundation to the start of your career as an Osteopath.
The best thing about being an osteopath is
I enjoy the detective aspect of making a clinical diagnosis, analysing all the potential contributing factors and getting to the root cause of a patients symptoms, alongside understanding the unique lifestyle components that are impacting the presentation. Having the autonomy to then deliver a comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation plan that is bespoke to the individual needs of the patient allowing you to facilitate often life changing results, gives job satisfaction that’s hard to beat.
Advice to those wanting to study osteopathy
This is a career that will always keep you on your toes. You’ll need an open mind about the opportunity to continue to learn and be prepared to accept that you’ll need to adapt and evolve your practice as working with human body is an ever-changing art as we continue to expand our knowledge of how we function, heal and behave.
The human form will continue to confuse and amaze you throughout your life as an osteopath but building on your experience whilst acknowledging the limit of your professional abilities will pave the way for a dynamic and rewarding lifelong passion.
19 Reading Road