A question I get asked often when I tell someone I’ve been studying for over six years is, “Why go through all that effort, all the stress and all that time?”. I’ll be the first to admit I’ve asked myself that question over the years. You could say my original plan went slightly off the rails, and by slightly, I mean over five extra years of study off the rails. When I finished high school in 2008, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I loved sports and thought something in that industry would be great. I started work at Amart Sports at the end of 2008 which filled my gap year. I didn’t know at the time that this would have a big influence on my future study choice.
To start off, I decided to write this blog post to share some of my experiences of what it’s like to be a podiatry student on hospital placement. In the fourth year of the podiatry course, there are a required number of days of public (hospitals and community centres) and private (podiatry businesses) placements which must be completed before the end of the year.
Compared to some other health science courses, you start treating patients pretty early on in podiatry. This can be both scary and exciting which is why I’m here to share my experiences with you. At QUT we have the QUT Health Clinics which is a multidisciplinary clinic that includes optometry, podiatry, exercise physiology, nutrition and dietetics and psychology. You can find out more about the clinic here. The podiatry clinic is where most of the clinical placement part of the course is done.
Now you’re probably wondering how is it possible to study feet for four years. Feet look simple, but the foot itself is a very complex mechanical system that requires bones, ligaments and tendons to all work together. For that to happen, the leg has to function correctly. For the foot and the leg to function correctly, both the hip and spine have to function correctly. This means there is a lot to learn.
Before I talk about what you study in podiatry, here are some facts about feet:
- Each foot has 26 bones – both feet contain nearly one quarter of all the bones (206) of the body.
- Each foot is made up of a complex network of over 100 tendons, ligaments, and muscles.
- Every step places 1.5 times your body weight of pressure on your foot.
Just a quick note, at university “subjects” are called “units”. I must admit I still use the term subjects at times (once a school student always a school student!).
Now for the good stuff, what are some of these cool subjects/units you study in podiatry?