Peacocks Medical Group, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
The two challenges to learning and professional development of an individual are time and resources. I have been most fortunate in that the time offered by my employer has been complimented by financial support from OETT.
This has developed my orthotic knowledge and understanding by allowing me to attend short courses in several areas including functional foot orthoses and diabetes.
My special interest in adult neurology has been enhanced by learning the associated skill of application of functional electrical stimulation at the approved course at Salisbury. My breadth of knowledge and understanding was further broadened by attending a physiotherapy “Bobath” course on posture and balance.
My interest in gait anomalies and links with ORLAU and our local gait laboratory in Newcastle where enhanced by completing the Strathclyde University Postgraduate certificate in clinical gait analysis.
More recently I have been involved in both my London orthotic interest group and the ISPO consensus conference on orthotic management of stroke. Both of these involvements made me aware of the importance of supporting our work with good quality research and evidence. To this end I was fortunate to be funded to extend my Post Graduate certificate to a Master of Science degree. This both gave me an understanding of research quality and how to perform it well and to carry out a piece of in depth research.
My research embodied my learning of clinical gait analysis and stroke as I investigated the effect of rigid AFOs on knee alignment and muscle recruitment in the early recovery of stroke. This was considered to large a project for a MSc and consequently I co-opted a fellow student to carry out the muscle recruitment study. We hope to publish our findings in a peer reviewed journal later in 2006.
I am delighted to have this opportunity to thank the OETT for the support in my career development and would encourage all orthotists and their employers to take advantage of this superb support and opportunities offered.