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The University of Southampton
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Alex Townsend BSc Podiatry, 2015

NHS podiatrist

Alex Townsend's Photo

The University of Southampton was my first choice university due to its outstanding reputation across the board. I also had a number of close friends who had studied here before me and they were always so positive and enthusiastic about the experience in general.

I thoroughly enjoyed the course, and now I’m working in the NHS I understand just how brilliantly it set me up for the future challenges ahead.

When I came to visit as a prospective student I fell in love with the University’s campus. The staff were extremely friendly and passionate about the course and many people within the Faculty made the effort to come and talk to me. This was a really warming experience and showed the friendly nature of the University.

I thoroughly enjoyed the course, and now I’m working in the NHS I understand just how brilliantly the course set me up for the future challenges ahead. The NHS hospital placements in particular were a fantastic approach to learning how to do the job in a pressured environment, a scenario in which I now feel I thrive. University staff were always kind and passionate about their profession which certainly made studying the degree much easier.

One of the highlights of the course for me was the musculoskeletal and biomechanics module in the second year. This has proved to be a personal interest of mine and a field I want to specialise in over time.

I also really enjoyed the placements. The University of Southampton is different from any other podiatry school in the country due to the fact that all its placements were in the community, rather than a clinic run by the University. I found this really beneficial. After speaking to students from other universities I have come to understand that many struggle when entering the NHS due to the demand of the service, but since starting work I feel that Southampton’s course structure has helped me settle in more easily than I was anticipating.

Southampton was also fantastic in providing opportunities for us to get involved with the Student Union and other activities. In my final year I held the role of academic president for podiatry, representing the course with the Students’ Union. This enabled me to become involved with the College of Podiatry and the filming with the Faculty of Health Sciences to help promote the course and increase public understanding about what podiatrists do.

I am glad to say that I walked straight into a job within the NHS after graduating. Within my Trust I am focusing mainly on musculoskeletal work as well as routine podiatry care and diabetic management. I have ambitions to qualify as a podiatric surgeon and/or a sports musculoskeletal biomechanics specialist. Following that I’d like to open my own clinic in Harley Street and then hopefully a chain of clinics providing healthcare solutions to those in need.


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