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My job explained: Chiropodist

My job explained: ChiropodistEmma is a chiropodist and a paediatric specialist. She is also a qualified foot surgeon and is in the process of setting up a new surgical service.

'I knew I wanted to do something paramedical and I thought about physiotherapy, radiology or speech and language therapy. Then I spent a day at a hospital chiropody department, seeing some really serious cases, and I thought it was brilliant. There is so much more to it than people realise.'

How was the training?

'The training was great fun but quite demanding. The depth of knowledge of physiology needed and the medical component really took me by surprise, but I now realise how important it was because I use it all the time.'

Where have you practised?

Emma’s first job was in the community where she did a lot of home visits, working mainly with older people. She then moved to a large hospital where she ran her own rheumatology clinic. 'I had a really good rapport with the accident and emergency department, did ward rounds and became very much a member of the rheumatology team.'

One of her career highlights was a three-month training placement in Chicago, with a famous sports podiatrist who looked after the city’s basketball, baseball and football teams.

'Then I took further exams and went on to do surgical training, qualifying as a Fellow of the Faculty of Podiatric Surgery. I now concentrate on children’s care and I also see patients with conditions such as diabetic ulcers, and do a lot of biomechanics and sports medicine.'

What do you enjoy most about your job?

'One of the great things about chiropody is that we have a very high cure rate. A lot of people come in hobbling and then they go out saying: "I feel as though I’m walking on air". It’s an old cliché but it’s true.'

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(Information taken from NHS Careers)