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Helen Rees BSc (Hons) Podiatry, 2011

President of the Canadian Federation of Podiatric Medicine

Helen Rees's Photo

Hi, I'm Helen Rees and I studied BSc  at the University of Southampton.

A Skype interview led me from Southampton University directly to Ontario, Canada, where I worked in a private Podiatric practice for my first year as a newly qualified Podiatrist.

What made you choose the BSc Hons Podiatry at the University of Southampton?

The University of Southampton is renowned for its excellence in its Podiatric programmes and is located within a vibrant and historic port city. It is the only Russell Group Podiatry Course available, providing research led training.

What has it been like to study with Southampton so far?

The podiatry and associated subject matter lecturers were great. They're knowledgeable in their subject field(s) with some being global leading lights within their specialist spheres. Access to the library and working with peers made studying at Southampton a breeze.

Can you highlight any modules that you have found especially beneficial to your practice?

Is there anything special about the programme you would wish to highlight?

Clinical Placements provided amazing hands on experience, putting research knowledge from lectures into clinical practice. Clinical placements provided an opportunity to explore the Podiatry profession and discover my personal interests. The clinical leads and staff provided clinical and academic expertise. They ensured their students were taught current research in the foot and ankle.

What have you enjoyed most about your course?

The practical aspects of the course and the hands on tutoring brought the podiatry course to life and reinforced my desire to become a practicing professional.

Would you recommend the programme to anyone considering studying BSc Hons Podiatry? What advice might you give?

I'd certainly recommend the University of Southampton BSc (Hons) course in Podiatry. If I were to offer any advice to prospective students for this course, I'd say that they need to learn more about the Podiatry lecturer's research, white papers and influence within the profession both within and outside University life.

You have recently taken up the exciting post of President of the Canadian Federation of Podiatric Medicine (CFPM) – many congratulations. Could you tell us a little about this, what the appointment means to you and how you hope to help shape the future of podiatric medicine in Canada?

The Canadian Federation of Podiatric Medicine (CFPM) was created in 1999 with the specific role of unifying and supporting all independently practicing Podiatrists across the country. The CFPM lobby the Government and represent the profession with educational and regulatory bodies. The CFPM supports the profession with a code of ethics to help maintain the highest standards of podiatry practice.

As President, I would like to provide a collaborative approach and professionalism, along with leadership to grow the Podiatry profession in Canada. I will ensure the CFPM and its team of professional negotiators works with Government to secure the best outcome for individual Canadian Podiatrists through a unified CFPM.

Presently, in Canada, there is a Podiatric title consolidation and increasing demand for Podiatric services, as President I will work to ensure our profession develops and grows. I envisage a Canada that is viewed by others as having a world class leading Podiatric profession with futuristic policies that engages in people centric services with clinical excellence at its core.

Read the full news story about Helen's achievement here.

Could you tell us a little about what you have been doing since you graduated and your ambition for the future?

A Skype interview led me from Southampton University directly to Ontario, Canada, where I worked in a private Podiatric practice for my first year as a newly qualified Podiatrist. Work permitting and immigration has been a real challenge, but having gained permanent residency status, I relocated to Saint John, New Brunswick and have established my own 'office', (as it's known in Canada). Business growth is great and new patients are continually finding us through word-of-mouth and via their family doctors on a daily basis. I also travel to other offices throughout the Province and thoroughly enjoy travelling through the ever-changing forest, lake and coastal landscapes on the way to work, keeping a watchful eye open for Moose, Bears, Porcupines, Eagles and a host of other wildlife. Learning new business operating skills has proved a steep learning curve, but one I am thoroughly enjoying.

Additionally to running my own business, I am the Podiatric lead within a multi-disciplinary team in New Brunswick's capital city hospital, Fredericton. This provides me with an alternative, interesting and rewarding additional perspective to my work as a privately funded, independent, practitioner.

I would like to continue to grow as a practitioner and encourage new and future Podiatrists to lead the way for our profession.


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