Working in pedorthics, for some in the industry, can best be described as being second nature; it’s as if they were born to do it.
Never has this been more so the case than with Nick Caravaggio, Jr., a second-generation pedorthist in Peterborough, ON. From an early age, Nick Jr. was already becoming interested in pedorthics, wanting to follow in his father’s foot steps.
“When I was a kid, probably around five years old, I was like most kids who wanted to do what their dad did when they grow up; I didn’t quite understand what he did but I wanted to do it too,” Nick says. “It wasn’t until I was nine or 10 years old and I started to spend more time at his clinic that I began to understand what it was exactly and how important his job was”.
“I think that’s when I really began to fall in love with the profession. It just seemed to be very fascinating work and I thought it was a very good way to make a living because I could help people recover from pain.”
After graduating from Lakefield College School, Nick really began his path to pedorthics. He attended Lakehead University, earning his Bachelor of Science and spent his summers learning the trade alongside Nick Sr. Each year, as he describes, Nick Jr. would learn more and more aspects of the industry.
In particular, Nick Jr. recalls that one of the most important lessons he learned under his father’s guidance was in patient interaction. “Working with people is pretty challenging,” he comments. “It takes quite a lot of experience and its almost an entirely different line of work.
“Sometimes patients can ask some pretty strange questions that can catch you off guard” he adds, remarking that the strategy he was shown is to break down how the human body operates and how a problem can be rectified in a way that the patient(s) can understand.
After Lakehead, Nick Jr. went on to do course work from Western University while working with his father; and this past spring he completed his exams. Now, Nick Jr. and Nick Sr. work side-by-side at Caravaggio Orthotic Therapy Clinic.
But just because school ends, it doesn’t mean the education has as well. Over the last few months, Nick Jr. was mostly watching his father work while getting a good feel for the business end of operating the clinic. The technique has been effective, with 40 years experience. “My dad has probably the most experience of anybody in the Pedorthic profession in Canada so I’m very fortunate to still have him involved as I am still learning from him everyday.” Nick Sr. has developed a close relationship with his clientele. Nick Jr. is slated to take over the operations. It’s a delicate transition to enact, especially when some patients have been used to seeing Nick Sr. for years.
“It has to be a gradual process,” Nick Jr. comments. “The people who he’s been seeing for 10-20 years are so used to dealing with him so naturally it would be hard if a young face suddenly took his place – it might scare them a bit; so our plan right now is to gradually bring me into the fold.”
Outside the office Nick is an avid soccer player and enjoys hitting the gym regularly and spending time with his close friends and his girlfriend Chantel. He’s also a big fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto FC as well his hometown Peterborough Petes junior hockey team.