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We need more attention from GP's

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Tin, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. Tin

    Tin Active Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm fairly new to the forum but have recently read about our profession being at crisis point in Australia.

    Furthermore, I have noticed with speaking with my peers and colleagues that our exposure and what we have to offer as a profession is little known to the average person. GPs, beauticians, orthotists and chiros carry out treatment for conditions we specialise in (those concerning the foot!). I personally believe our presence is important if not crucial in the health of the community and we need reinforcement.

    How could awareness be raised? Could our association fund a campaign?

    I would love to hear your opinions on the matter.

  2. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    What crisis? I have been reading we in a "crisis" for 30 years now. The sky has still not fallen on us yet. Instead we have gone from strength to strength.

    What do you think the APodA's and APodC do on a daily basis? WHat have you done to help? You need to get involved.
  3. DaVinci

    DaVinci Well-Known Member

    Where did you read this? I am with Paynie on this - "we been there; done that"
  4. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    They might have read this thread from 2005:
    Podiatry crisis point in Australia
    1. Look at the positive responses in that thread!
    2. Look at the long list of gains that have been made since then.
  5. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member

    Personally I feel the tide is slowly turning and much like Craig I think we are going from strength to strength.

    Its obvious that the more we believe in ourselves, the better we get! I don't know what area you practice in Tin, but where we are GP's constantly ring us for advice...

    Maybe turn the way you think about yourself and your expertise around - you are the foot specialist (if you are a Podiatrist) - the GP, Physio, Chiro and anyone else who cares to be, is watching what you do and trying to find rationale for it - not the other way around!

    I was fortunate enough to have attended the Parker Chiro Conference recently in Melbourne and I can tell you I had Chiro after Chiro after Chiro assistant come up to me and happily share their infinite wisdom on lower limb conditions - when they found out I was a Podiatrist they quickly kept their opinions to themselves and asked for mine. Why? Not because my opinion means anything in the long run, but simply because when we got to discussing the evidenced based research behind footcare, mechanical position of the lower extremity and how that effects pelvic function - they quite happily pointed out the "chiro" research is sorely lacking in this department. In fact most of them quoted Podiatry research particularly when it came to individual pathology treatment such as heel pain.

    I was also speaking to a friend who is an emergency medicine specialist recently and he had spent some time rotating through Podiatrists Leah Cooks practice in Byron Bay... Our practice has taken on several Med Students through rotations as well. So even in their training medicine students to get exposed to Podiatry.

    It will be interesting to see where Podiatry ends up. We are constantly in a state of change and as Craig pointed out the only person that can influence that change is YOU. So what are you waiting for? Jump in!
  6. pgcarter

    pgcarter Well-Known Member

    We need to catch the doctors while they are young, while still trainable?. I am giving a talk at the local division of general practice in a few weeks in order to explain podiatry and it's sphere of practice to all the trainee GP's from the Monash rural school. In EAST Gippsland one of the issues is that they have not had a pod in the area trained more recently than 25-30 years ago(until me), so that all the evolution that has occurred in the training of the profession has not really made it out to this district. Due to a lack of Pods there are a significant number of nurses Div 1, Div 2 and Tech school certificate people doing foot health care, and to some extent the local GP's have not really been informed of the difference. It really is our job to drag them into the future, and when you catch them young it is very easy to do.
    regards Phill Carter
  7. medisrch

    medisrch Active Member

    The sky may well fall in if England loses the last test match due to start today being played at the Oval - just opposite the headquarters of our regulator in the UK who does do a good job - the Health Professions Council.
  8. Spike

    Spike Member

    Campaigns are all very well, but it is what we do on a daily basis locally that will make the real difference.

    Make it your business to get to know all the local GP's - let them know what you do and how patients can access you (online/phone etc)

    Every new patient - ask if you can do a simple cover letter to their GP to let them know about the treatment session/plan discussed with pt. - raises awareness that you are there and what you do......constantly.

    Pods seem to think that it is always the professional body that should be doing all the work..... well every pod has a mouth - so every patient contact /GP/Pharmacist etc are PR opportunities.

    if we can't run a business properly we should be working for someone who can.
  9. Unfortunately the podiatrists in the US may be ...screw it, they are the blame for this! And nothing and I mean nothing not PR; not campaigning will change anything until they stop thumbing their noises of general podiatric work. That's why you have these nail places doing nails, orthotists doing AFOs and chiropractors doing orthotics. These US podiatrists are doing such a job promoting only surgery that the board I am certified by is a JOKE and I have not been able to get privileges at hospitals or a full time position at VAMC where there are back logs of patients waiting to see podiatrists for BASIC podiatric care; not bunion corrections or flat foot procedures! The board by the way is ABPOPPM. I was denied recently a full time position with the Lexington VAMC in favor of someone who was not only NOT born in the US but was only board eligiable (for the surgical one) while I was board certifified for nearly a decade. In addition when the post went up for the position it specified board certified including non-surgical!But the VAMC only caters to surgical podiatrists because that is all that is "pimped out" with regards to podiatry. So until these guys embrace all that is podiatry the mundane as well as surgery, I believe we will become a very obsolete profession.
    Dr Brooks
  10. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member

    Is this still in the Australian forum?
  11. jabr

    jabr Active Member

    Yes but it comes up in everyone's weekly newsletter with just the thread title not the forum. Anyway it's a worldwide problem. So hi from the UK :D

    Personally i see this problem as being due to many things but one of them is just the nature of our profession, it allows a lot of slack for people who want to drift along doing only the most simple work and often not very well.

    How many times a day do people ask "how can you do this job?" etc etc etc. Entry to the profession is not very difficult as the demand for courses is low. Some not very motivated people end up in our field. In fact quite a lot seem to. That's very bad news for the profession and i expect it'll remain like that indefinitely. But the good news is if you shine you are going to stand out a long way off. A good podiatrist stands out and GPs will remember you. Remember it's a privilege if a GP refers their patients to you, it's not our right. Just think how careful you are when referring. It'll take some time to earn their trust but when you do you'll not only get more work but you'll have a more varied and interesting case load. Send the letters, be available to talk to them, don't be afraid of them - you are the specialist, but at the end of the day respect their position of overseeing that patients health.

    I had a GP the other day say "podiatry is a really up and coming profession" but i don't know. Realistically i expect just as we've been at "crisis point" since anyone can remember we've probably been "up and coming" since then as well. Sort of stuck in limbo with an image problem and "can't get the staff" issues. We do seem to be making some slow progress though which at least isn't backwards :cool:
  12. LuckyLisfranc

    LuckyLisfranc Well-Known Member

    There is soon to be yet another 'once in a generation' reform that will help solve this problem: Divisions are to change.

    No longer will we have "Divisions of General Practice", with only associate membership for non-medical professions (with no Board representation or voting rights", but "Divisions of Primary Care".

    See this report from the Australian Doctor:

    This is a big step in the solution for GP perceptions about non-medical roles...

  13. Tin

    Tin Active Member

    Thank you for all your responses. Craig, I did read the 2005 article, except I thought it was a fairly recent one. It's great to know it isn't in crisis!

    Don't you all worry, I've been doing my 2 bobs, and I know if everyone does their own little bit it paints the whole bigger picture. :) I've set aside days of promoting podiatry in the area I work in and that's well and truly paid off. Word of mouth seems to be the winner. I definitely agree with local promotion and want to continue to do more.

    I work at 2 different sites and at one of them, it is as some of you have described - constant support and queries on a daily basis. A the other end, I've had people who have a history of ULCERATION, diabetes, frail aged (90+), legally BLIND etc. who've gone for years without podiatry care. Some of these cases were recommended for the EPC program and were REJECTED and most self referred! It's cases such as those that got me twitching to raise the issue. It definitely seems like a locality thing to me - but it is improving with perseverance.

    Just a small stroke of paranoia is all - should've checked the date of the damn thread that got me started with the worry!
  14. Heather J Bassett

    Heather J Bassett Well-Known Member

    Hi Tin, forget about the dates, histroy keeps reinventing itself all the time. Good to hear how you are managing your workload, thanks

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