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Didier A. Dequatre BSc Physiotherapy, 2016

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Hi, I'm Didier A. Dequatre and I studied BSc Physiotherapy within Health Sciences at the University of Southampton.

I knew wanted to pursue a professional career activity that would allow me to progress and change over time, but also one that had the flexibility to allow me to work anywhere in the world.


Before I began my training to become a physiotherapist I spent 11 years working for the charity Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) as a logistics and project coordinator and logistic director. Although I wasn’t working in a healthcare role, the job really helped shape my thinking in that I knew wanted to be part of a positive change in people’s lives.

I chose to study at Southampton because it had the best feedback and a great reputation for Physiotherapy.

So far the BSc physiotherapy program has responded to my expectations and I’ve been immersed in the profession from the start. My lecturers are amazing. They bring lots of experience in education and academic learning, as well as the profession itself.

My three placements so far have been interesting and varied, and in completely different environments, including a dementia ward, MSK outpatients department and a cardiovascular and respiratory ITU unit. This last placement is definitely where I want to be – part of saving lives and buying people time. It’s incredibly powerful and rewarding.

It has also been incredibly fulfilling to work with palliative care patients, where I am just part of the process of giving them quality time. I’ve experienced so much ‘life’ in this environment. It’s been a real privilege.

Whilst studying here, I’ve also been able to make the connection between the route and principles of what I was previously doing for MSF, and what I’m learning as a physiotherapist. By initiating MSF Talk via the ‘Friends of MSF’ group in Southampton, I hope to encourage more healthcare professionals to get involved in the ground-breaking work MSF is doing in the field.

Once I graduate I plan to work in a hospital setting for a few years, but my long term aim is to be able to work in parallel to my NHS career, with forward-thinking charities like MSF, as a consultant advising in the physiotherapy role, and helping to improve lives all over the world.



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