So Rachael, a question that podiatrists often get asked, why podiatry?
I was always interested in health and knew I wanted to do something health related but was never set on anything in particular. I think the reason why I ended up choosing podiatry was because of my grandad, he has diabetes and has suffered from foot related complications for a long time now and seeing how it has affected his quality of life really made me realise how important our feet are and I wanted to get involved in making a difference to people’s quality of life.
That’s deep, so how does this philosophy translate to a podiatry consultation in Pascoe Vale?
I am really passionate about helping people and doing what I can to make a positive change in people’s lives and by getting involved in the care of patients here at Pascoe Vale I can help them achieve their goals. Education is a big part of why I enjoy podiatry and helping educate people and getting them to make decisions related to their foot health is important.
How does your personal academic, family and sporting history influence your podiatry practice?
In high school my favourite subjects were physical education and health so my passion for health and activity has been there for a while. After doing well in both subjects due to a strong passion it definitely gave me a head start when studying at university. Not only that but having a grandad who has diabetes and watching how it has affected his quality of life in regards to his feet was a real eye opener for me and made me really passionate about wanting to get involved in other people’s lives.
Growing up with two brothers also meant that I got involved in a lot of sports ranging from football and tennis to dancing and gymnastics. I think coming from a sporting background is a great thing as it has also allowed me to better understand how our feet work when we are active and allows me to create more realistic treatment plans for patient’s.
At PridePlus Health in Pascoe Vale we see many of our valued clients from diverse population groups, with many different problems. How do you personalise your service?
This aspect of podiatry is something I really value and appreciate. Having many clients from diverse population groups means that you need to tailor your patient centred care to that individual and makes every single consultation different. Not only is this extremely important but it also helps you grow as a health professional. Making sure you ask each client what they want to get out of their appointment and setting goals is a great way of personalising each consultation.
We only have to pick up the newspapers, scroll through instagram or facebook and see that almost daily our favourite sports stars suffer injuries limiting their play. Is there anything that we can do as sub-elite and weekend warrior level sportswomen and men to help reduce our own injury risks?
There are many things we can do to help reduce our own injury risk, many of which are simple things which can make a huge difference. Just to name a few; Making sure we are increasing training loads slowly and not doing too much to soon, this is something we see quite often; Footwear, making sure we are wearing comfortable and supportive runners and keeping an eye on wear and tear and knowing when is an appropriate time to upgrade; Making sure that the type of training we are doing is appropriate, for example, if preparing for a marathon and only training on a bike. These are just a few things you can do to help reduce the risk of injury when playing sports or engaging in other types of physical activity.
And at the risk of alienating the majority of our audience, favourite team?
I’ve always been a big fan of AFL football and I try to get down to watch as many games as possible to support the Essendon bombers! I grew up with both parents supporting the bombers and having lived in Essendon most of my life it was inevitable!