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Podiatry in Finland

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Sasu H., Mar 21, 2012.

  1. Sasu H.

    Sasu H. Member

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    For three and a half years I´ve been studying podiatry in finland and now the road has come to an end. On December 20th 2012 I graduted to be a Bachelor of health care having a degree in Podiatry.

    The year 2012 has started out realy well for me. I´ve been working as a podiatrist ever since january and now I am looking forward to what future may bring for me, professionaly at least.

    Education in Metropolia University in Helsinki has given us a great deal of tools to work with where ever we may live. Now the thing is that today in Finland there is around 350 podiatrists divided in public health care, the third sector and businesses operation in the field of podiatry.

    Our name as a well-known and recognized profession is not as respected as we and our patients understand. The curriculum of the degree programme is based on the international guidelines of the field. That being said, podiatrists in Finland are able to do a various rehabilitational assessments and techniques for various pationts as a podiatrist in Belgium. But at this moment only a hand full is doing most things that´s been thought in Universities. Why this situation is what it is? Well, it is simple to answer. We have not been fighting for our rights!

    We have our place firmly in public health care at least what comes to taking care of patients with diabetes, rheumatism and other diseases that can lead to a high risk for foot disorders. We do wound care ,ulcers/corns, hyperkeratosis, fungus treatments and so on. But as a rehabilitation expert who could do mobilisation, functional rehabilitation, sport/myofascial massage and individual insoles we already have a nation full of physiotherapists and the doctors are using their experties to help people who have problems in lower extremities.

    I do know we have a lot of good work places and workers in the field of podiatry, but still in this thread there is a sad truth of other health care professionals un-acknowledging what podiatry is and, of course, how podiatrists have not taken their place in the ´house of professional health care´. This may be continuing for many years from now.

    What do you think as a podiatrist? How should we expand our work and work methods to reach the point where we are acknowledged as a highly educated health care professional?

    Thanks for reading this.
  2. Heather J Bassett

    Heather J Bassett Well-Known Member

    WOW SASU, what a fantastic introduction!! Thank you. Yes in some countried Podiatry is newish to the Health Professions and this can make it a bit tough.
    RESPECT yourself and your skills and others will follow. :)

    as I have mentioned already today 1/2 of our year got together today 30+ years after graduating! We are all still in the field and are passionate about it. Enjoy!

  3. Sasu H.

    Sasu H. Member

    Thanks for your supportive reply.
    We all know it is a long road to go before others will understand how important work we do!

    Future will show how we as group of professional health care workers will take our place in the community.

    take care,

  4. Kenva

    Kenva Active Member

    Hi Sasu

    I'm not sure we saw each other during the conference last week. We had a couple of colleagues joining us from the podiatry department where you graduated. We've been teaching in Savonlinna a couple of times and what I could understand from our talks with the students and staff there, is that it's still early days.

    Your story is one which is even not so long ago for us in Belgium. Evolution takes time, and making a strong name as podiatrists needs time. I have to agree with hj that this process only goes forward if you work hard and take your job very seriously.

    Make sure you get a good association up and running, get out there and try to get as much possibilities you can to present your work to allied professions.

    Now after 20 years, we start to get the feeling that 'podiatrists' are known to the public. They start to understand that we actually really are the foot specialists, but i still remember the days that everywhere i went and had to say that i am a podiatrist, people would say: 'a what???'...

    Probably still long way ahead, but from what I can say - looking brighter every day!

    keep up the good work there - looking forward doing some more teaching in Finland in the future.
  5. Sasu H.

    Sasu H. Member

    Hi Ken,

    I was not attending that conference, but I have heard rumors of foreing (Belgium) people teaching poadiatry in Savonlinna. Hope to catch your lessons someday.

    I´ve been trying to build some sort of network between physiotherapists and us to help me and my colleges to get the most out of the actual work. Let´s see how it goes!

    What do you Ken think, how should we come out as podiatrists compared to physiotherapists?
    What more could we give to the actual rehabilitation process that they do not already have? Insoles?->they do them too. Functional training->spiradynamik would work because it´s not that known in Finland and we have had the privilidge to learn it in the university. That might work, but why advertise it? for an alternative option only? Then there´s also hyperkeratosis removal and fungus nails and so on, but to tell you the truth we have a lot of people doing pedicure treatments (not in a cosmetic way) and wound care and we, podiatrists, are trying to get our name known as lower extremities professionals who have quite wide education.

    Well here I go again.. (sigh...) :)

    Busy work week ahead.
    I will go to bed now.

    I love to hear and know more about all the different ways to expand our field of work to get our name where it belongs..


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