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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

Amy Curran BSc (Hons) Podiatry, 2017

Amy Curran's Photo

We caught up with Amy Curran at graduation and asked her to share her experience study podiatry at the University of Southampton

Coming to university was the best decision I made as it has enabled me to grow in confidence, make long term friends, and have a rewarding career.

Why did you want to study podiatry?

I wanted to study podiatry because I wanted a career where I could help people and through Podiatry I have the opportunity to see the immediate effects of treatment which is unique to our profession providing a sense of reward and accomplishment in clinic.

What made you select the University of Southampton for your undergraduate study?

Southampton appealed to me because it is the only podiatry school in the UK with a Russell Group status. I wanted to study somewhere where I would be taught by internationally recognised professors in podiatry and there was support towards a research based career. Studying podiatry at this University also provides unique employment opportunities at the point of graduation.

Southampton itself is a really social city with lots of shopping, eatery and events which I also considered attractive. Since coming to University I have attended the Common People festival and Soundclash festival every year.

What is it like studying here?

I was worried about settling into University life as I am originally a country girl. Coming to university was the best decision I made as it has enabled me to grow in confidence, make long term friends, and have a rewarding career. The atmosphere around the University and the city is really relaxed. There are always students and familiar faces around which makes it feel like home.

What other activities did you take advantage of while at University?

Whilst at the University I engaged in the volleyball society and fashion society, aiming to find a work-life balance. As part of the fashion society I went to new forest for a photoshoot and to the London fashion show. I also took advantage of CPD events within podiatry, enabling me to shadow inspiring professional practitioners in Basingstoke and London. From this I gained knowledge in different areas such as how to formulate complex treatment plans.

What do you think about the facilities at the University?

The Jubilee Sports centre was one of my favourite places. The membership includes gym access, sports membership, classes and access to the pool so it is certainly value for money.

The Hartley Library has different sections to suit your work approach, for example group areas or silent zones which are really useful.  I stayed in Glen Eyre halls which was one of the most sociable areas and where I met my best friends. We shared a kitchen but had our own bedrooms and toilets. I couldn’t have wished it any other way.

What elements of your degree have you enjoyed the most?

One of my main highlights was the University placements for podiatry. You get allocated somewhere and have the chance to immerse yourself into a new city, social and work life. The networks and experience you gain will help you later on and see different approaches to care that you may not witness within a clinic-based university. I was placed all over the country; Southampton, Sheffield, Berkshire and Surrey across my 3 years at university. I loved seeing different approaches to care between the different NHS Trusts and being able to treat people from diverse backgrounds; that is something that has stayed with me.

Were there any modules or topics that stood out during your course?

I have loved learning about human biomechanics. It is so interesting and once you are tuned into watching gait, you can’t help but notice different gait patterns when you are out and about! I loved the communication modules. We learnt about the patient-practitioner relationship; this involved motivational interviewing techniques to help patients adhere to prescribed treatment plans, trying new exercises and advice. We also explored how we can work in harmony with rather than as different professions within a clinical setting.

I have been inspired to use these both inside and out of clinic and have seen how the techniques can bring out the best in someone.

How did your course at Southampton prepare you for your future career?

Southampton has great networking opportunities because of the lecturers. Some of the professors are world renowned in podiatry and help set you up and support you for your future.

Professor Cathy Bowen motivated me to apply for the Arthritis Research UK Internship scheme following completion of the course. This was something I had not considered and has led me to pursue a career as a clinical academic podiatrist- something I didn’t realize existed before university! I love researching alongside clinical work because you can provide your patients with a gold standard of care. I enjoy designing the question and analysing the results, following my internship I would like to spend more time in the future investigating arthritis in the foot and ankle.

What are you career aspirations for the future?

Following my internship I will be taking up a podiatric role in a private practice in Bath. After gaining a year of clinical experience I would like to pursue a masters in podiatric sports medicine. Ultimately, I hope to become a clinical academic podiatrist combining clinical work with research. I didn’t realise this was where I wanted to take my career until I was introduced into the exciting world of research at Southampton.

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