What was the inspiration for you to start on this journey?

Just some personal reflection around a growth mindset asking myself, ‘How can I be a better podiatrist?’ and, ‘How can I improve myself?’. This led me to initiate the journey I’m now on as I work towards becoming certified as a sports podiatrist. I also wanted to set an example for my podiatry team and inspire them to consider the same journey.


Were there any surprises along the way once you started, compared to your expectations? 

I was surprised by just how few certified sports podiatrists there are, given how popular that part of podiatry is in day-to-day practice. I was also surprised at how easy it was to fit this into a busy schedule of driving multiple clinics, a young family and sport. It only took just a bit of commitment and planning!


What is one thing you wish you could have known before starting on this path? 

I found learning and adapting along the journey was the enjoyable part to be honest. But I didn’t realise the extent of just how deep the content would be. Knowing this beforehand would have helped as it turned out that breaking down each aspect of the case studies and having generally good attention to detail was really important.


What do you see as the main personal or career benefits this experience has given you?

It has given me a great opportunity to challenge myself and I have felt part of a ‘bigger cause in the sports podiatry realm’. The experience has driven me to both broaden my sports medicine knowledge base in general and also reassess or refresh my current techniques to ensure they are correctly aligned with the latest research.


What would you say to podiatrists considering doing similar?

The common belief that the process is ‘too time consuming’ or ‘not worth the outcome’ isn’t true. The entire process is very rewarding and I found that pushing myself out of my comfort zone allowed me to grow as a clinician. I feel that this process gives you an appreciation of how important podiatrists are in sports medicine, when it comes to the big picture. This clinical journey has given me more hunger to make a difference!


What’s been the greatest single lesson or learning you have gained from this experience? 

It reminded me that the inspiration to make a difference starts with each individual, and collectively we really can lift the profile of sports podiatry in Australia.


Can you share any useful links or resources?

Brukner and Khan have written a very useful book, and the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research is open access and Bartold Clinical has some podiatry pearls.


Anything else you wish to share? 

I’m happy to share my experience with anyone wanting more information! You can find me at matthew@podiatryprofessionals.com.au