The profession of Pedorthics was introduced to me at the age of sixteen. Because of my repeatedly sprained ankle, I was referred to a Pedorthist where I received by first pair of orthotics. Little did I know, eight years later I would be assessing for, and fabricating orthotics for patients of my own. Once I graduated with a degree in Kinesiology, an advertisement for the C. Ped (C) program at Western University caught my attention. With my previous orthotic experience, I decided the program looked very interesting and I met with a few Pedorthists to supplement my research into the program.
I was not aware of how many differing aspects where involved in the Pedorthic life at my original meetings with Pedorthists. During my completion of the program at Western University, I began to realize the breadth of skills and knowledge required every day as a Pedorthist. The program’s combination of course work and placement hours allowed me to transition smoothly from a student Pedorthist, to a Canadian Certified Pedorthist.
Life as a Canadian Certified Pedorthist is very rewarding and exciting. Every day is a different experience with a different challenge, which allows me to continually learn. The most rewarding feeling is finding a patient that has given up hope and ultimately relieving their pain. One of the struggles in this profession is convincing people that orthotics do work. I enjoy educating them on why orthotics would help their body, and seeing their perspective change when they return for a follow up.
Working as a part of a patient’s healthcare team is another enjoyable trait in Pedorthics. Similar to the relationship between pharmacists and family doctors, Pedorthists work alongside other healthcare professionals to ensure the best outcome for the patient. I enjoy this collaboration and communication we develop with other healthcare experts to ensure the best treatment plan is provided for our patients.
The variety involved in the Pedorthic profession is another enjoyable quality. Pedorthists can choose whether they would prefer an independent practice, or working with others within a healthcare center. They have the flexibility to work full time or part time, and make their orthotics on site or use an offsite lab. This variety and flexibility allows a career that suits individual needs and preferences.
My career as a Canadian Certified Pedorthist is extremely rewarding and I would recommend this profession to anyone with a degree in Kinesiology or science. I was fortunate for coming across the Western University Pedorthic program advertisement and hope that many students in the future have the same opportunity that changed my life for the better.
By Kerrie Boelsterli, C. Ped (C), St. Thomas, ON