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Podiatrist strapping a foot

Where could a podiatric medicine degree take you?

13/01/2021 |
3 mins

You might think life as a podiatrist is restricted to working in a practice – but you’d be wrong. Meet four professionals in the field who have proven a career in the industry is as exciting as you make it.

Be your own boss: Lane Sanderson

In 2007 I was the second year group through the new Bachelor of Podiatric Medicine course at UWA. Like most Year 12s, I had no idea what I really wanted to do with my life but always had a positive experience at the podiatrist for various issues as a teenager, so I decided to give it a try.

Lane Sanderson

I fell in love with the UWA campus the first time I saw it. There's something about the history in those sandstone buildings and that iconic Winthrop Hall that I wanted to be part of.

There are so many things I enjoyed about my degree, but the relationships forged through those years of study are what I cherish the most. Through both the course and interactions with the medical faculty at large, I developed friendships that continue to this day more than 10 years later. From a professional perspective this has been immensely helpful, as I have been able to employ this varied group of health practitioners as a referral network for my patients and vice versa.

I've been fortunate enough to use my degree in a range of settings, including working with skiers in Hokkaido, Japan, and elite athletes in a sports-oriented clinic in Melbourne.

To increase my skill set in managing sports injuries, I returned to UWA to complete the Master of Podiatric Medicine. My ultimate goal was to be my own boss and, in my seventh year of practice, I was able to achieve this, founding my own clinic in Subiaco.

Both my degrees at UWA provided extensive theoretical and practical skills to hit the ground running and continue to develop through my career. When it came to getting a job, I found most employers sought UWA graduates based on the good reputation of the course. This was particularly the case in the eastern states. Having a well-respected institution with state-of-the-art facilities and excellent teaching staff goes a long way in both preparing you for the workforce and, equally important, getting a great job at the end of it.

Explore rural WA: Zuhairah Zulkiflee

I was keen to pursue a postgraduate degree in the health and medical sciences field after my undergraduate degree – a Bachelor with Honours in Biomedical Sciences from the National University of Singapore.

Zuhairah Zulkiflee

I came across podiatry and it was fascinating to me. I researched courses offered by universities in various countries and chose UWA because it was close to home (Singapore) and the only university that offered podiatric medicine at postgraduate level in Australia.

Furthermore, I knew graduates from UWA podiatric medicine (via podiatry shadowing in Singapore’s public hospitals) and they highly recommended studies at UWA.

I am currently working as a podiatrist in the Wheatbelt region of WA. I took up the opportunity to explore the country and it has been an amazing decision.

My job sees me drive to treat patients in 11 northern and eastern Wheatbelt towns, covering Northam to Moora to Westonia (3 hours from Perth). I am always on the move.

As one of the few podiatrists who works in the country, I am constantly exposed to various conditions, which includes high- risk cases. Often, I am challenged with difficult cases, which then requires me to fall back on the advice my professors imparted. The UWA professors did teach me well to go with best practice and they still do provide mentorship post-degree.

Overall, I can say that I have grown to become a better clinician in my first working year which can be attributed to the rigorous training I received at UWA.

Live your passion for sport: Hassan Karim

Hassan Karim

I came to UWA because of a high school trip and just fell in love with the campus. I initially graduated from a Bachelor of Biomedical Science in 2013 at UWA and followed that with the Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) at UWA – the only place that offers podiatric medicine in WA.

The DPM was enjoyable for many reasons. Most importantly, there was a decent amount of clinical exposure that started as early as first semester. This exposure was great and many of the staff went the extra mile to help you.

Since graduating I have been working at Peak Podiatry for four years now and really love it. I am working as a sports podiatrist, getting a great variety of cases.

Share your experiences: Dr Burke Hugo

I completed a Bachelor of Science, Biology, at Murdoch University and a Bachelor of Science, Podiatry, at Curtin University before working as a general podiatrist.

Dr Burke Hugo

I then studied the Doctor of Clinical Podiatry at UWA, which recently changed names to the Doctor of Podiatric Surgery. This postgraduate degree enables podiatrists to register with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) as a specialist podiatric surgeon.

UWA has fantastic resources, such as CTEC, and connections with public hospitals that contribute to a very rich student experience. The degree directly related to my work as a podiatrist and provided an advanced scope of practice that is a recognised specialty by AHPRA.

UWA’s professional association helped prepare me for the workplace. The Australian Association of Podiatric Surgeons offers UWA graduates the support they need post-graduation.

I have run my own private practice as a podiatrist and podiatric surgeon, and am now working in a shared practice with another podiatric surgeon part time, while working at UWA within the Podiatric Medicine and Surgery discipline as Deputy Head.

Keen to step up and build a career in podiatric medicine? Check out our Doctor of Podiatric Medicine or Doctor of Podiatric Surgery.

At UWA you can design your own degree. Learn about our range of courses and career options at an upcoming information session being held throughout July and August 2021. Explore our sessions and register today!


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