An open interview with Wimbledon podiatrist Brunilda Agalliu.
Wimbledon and Earlsfield Podiatrist | South West Podiatry clinic | Relieving foot pain.
What’s your name, age ( if that’s ok to ask!!) and how long have you been a Podiatrist?
· Brunilda Agalliu
· 29 years old
· I have been a Podiatrist since 2013 (5 years almost)
You have been qualified a while now, you hold a band 7 specialist podiatrist role within the NHS working within musculoskeletal medicine and high risk diabetes, but what made you become a podiatrist in the first instance?
· From a very young age I always wanted to help people and was fascinated with medicine sciences.
That’s great so how long did you study for, was that full time or part time?
· I studied a full time 3 year course at The University of Brighton. It was a challenging period as the course was very demanding and was taught in English which is not my maternal language. However, I thoroughly enjoyed participating in a wide range of learning activities both University based and during clinical placements.
What was the best thing you learnt at University ?
· I grew up in Lamia, a small city in the midlands of Greece and moved to the UK in September 2009. I was accepted to study at the University of Brighton and enrolled into the course of BSc Physiotherapy. During my first year in Physiotherapy my interactions with other students sparked my interest into the field of Podiatry. I found Podiatric medicine fascinating as it combines a holistic treatment approach including surgical intervention and the use of many other technologically advanced methods for the diagnoses and treatment of foot pathologies. After completing my first year in physiotherapy I decided to dedicate 3 more years in studying BSc Podiatry. During this time, I equipped myself with numerous skills taught during the course. If I must choose one to highlight as the best, I must say it is the use of orthotic devices as they can have a life changing impact for the patients receiving the prescription.
So how did that influence you in your current specialist role now?
· From the minute I took a scalpel on my hands and learnt how to use it, I felt that Podiatry was what I always wanted to learn and improve my skills within. I was fortunate to find a job immediately after I graduated and had a mentor that had a big influence on my passion within the profession, which is musculoskeletal injuries, Biomechanics and human movement related problems. I stayed in this role for 3 years and cultivated my passion by employing cutting edge methods such as Video Gait Analysis, Pressure Plate studies and Biomechanical examinations.
You worked with a podiatric surgeon for a while, how did you find that?
· It was amazing to work with someone that has over 28 years’ experience and been exposed to seeing so many different cases. Podiatry and podiatric surgery is an area that is still new in medicine but has such a big influence in peoples’ life and I am very grateful for the opportunity to work closely with a leading podiatric surgeon.
I think you would be an awesome surgeon! But like Tom explained, it’s a lot of dedication and your interest is slightly different, specialising in orthotics, biomechanical examination’s right?
· Podiatric surgery did cross my mind in the early stages of my career but I changed my mind after a few years of working in the profession. As Tom has noted already, the MSc in Podiatric medicine requires a lot of time and dedication to complete the training. I’m certain that this dedication pays off in the end as surgery has a very important role to play in the management of foot pathologies and must be rewarding to practice. However, we should not disregard the need for non-invasive treatment options as often patients cannot or do not want to undergo surgery and seek for alternative treatment options. Personally, I find great satisfaction in practising biomechanics and also find that it suits my current priorities better as it allows me to maintain a good work-life balance.
What lead you to specialise in this field of podiatry?
· I find that my specialisation is a less invasive treatment option that is impactful and effective. Especially when dealing with children and young adults the outcomes are outstanding as we are able to correct gait abnormalities seamlessly.
I bet you get this all the time, but I have heel pain ! what should I do ?
· Heel pain! We see at least 1 in 5 people with heel pain.
· Podiatrists are the people to see when you have heel pain. If someone suffers from heel pain they should seek early intervention and immediate advice. A foot specialist can examine, diagnose and provide an effective treatment plan which may consist of strapping, stretches, loading programmes, orthotics, ESWT or injection therapy. Podiatrists carry out Gait analysis / Biomechanical examinations and at South West Podiatry, we are fortunate to have access to infra-red pressure analysis, a private gait lab and 3 D scanning.
Ok so I clearly need to book in to see you but there is no way you are injecting my heel! Back to the interview, what was your first podiatry job and did you enjoy it?
· My first Podiatry job was in a private clinic in London (3 years) and I truly enjoyed the variety of people I was seeing and treatments that I was able to offer to my patients.
What is the best part of being a foot specialist ?
· That every day I meet someone I haven’t met before, I hear stories that are happy or sad and I can have some influence in people’s life or be influenced by them.
And the worst ?
· I agree with Tom about the unfortunate misconceptions regarding our profession. On the other hand, I am hopeful that this is slowly changing as our patients spread the word about the amazing results they have seen under our care. I think the worst part of the job is dealing with high risk patients that often seek our care too late and the pathology has progressed to the point where there is not much we can do to improve their condition.
And what are the worst feet you have seen?
· The worst feet I have seen were not in Europe and did not suffer from 21st century problems. In 2012 I volunteered with a charity organisation and spend a month at the Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital in Nepal. Many of the patients I treated presented with severe wounds caused by the life threatening disease of Leprosy.
Jeeeeez, how did you manage those feet?
· That’s why we are unique at what we do and essential as a faculty within health allied professionals. We are equipped with skills that allow us to calmly deal with circumstances that others find terrifying.
If you could change on thing about your job what would it be, and why ?
· I do love my job. One thing I would love doing more is seeing toddlers and children as they truly brighten my day.
This question is for our current podiatry students or newly qualified podiatrists, just starting out, what’s the best advise you could give them?
· Observe your teachers and colleagues closely, study meticulously and practice with a patient-centred thinking. It is also crucial to question and re-evaluate and improve our practices so ensure that you have packed with you a fresh pair of eyes.
You work within the NHS and Private sector. To give the newbie podiatrists an idea, how do you find both sectors and what’s the difference?
· In the private sector you will be faced with less limitations in resources in comparison to working in the NHS. You have to be at the top of your game and have the ability to act independently whilst factoring in the needs and the budget of your customers. On the other hand the NHS will provide you with experience in a large cohesive team that on a daily basis is focused on treating a long list of patients.
Which sector do you prefer?
· I think both are enjoyable environments and I enjoy different aspects in each of them. I would advise newly qualified podiatrist to spend some time in the NHS before venturing in the private sector.
Just one more question, same question as tom, so you have a foot fetish right 😊 ?
· Certainly not. That’s like asking an ENT specialist if he has a nose fetish!
sw_podiatrySpecialist Foot & Ankle clinics located in the heart of #Earlsfield, #Wimbledon and #Maidenhead – Schedule online today👇👇👇👇🦶: www.swpodiatry.co.ukHere’s Tom remembering to keep an excellent spinModifying in-shoe medical devices on site at the EDo orthotics occasionally need to be modified whenBack in clinic today after a few days off to watchLoad More…Follow on Instagram
Appointments are available at Earlsfield and Maidenhead clinics. *On-site diagnostic ultrasound is available at Earlsfield and Maidenhead clinical locations.
How to book:
Click the following link to schedule your consultation online 24/7: BOOK ONLINE. Alternatively, speak to our friendly booking team between 9am-5pm Monday-Saturday: 020 7164 6607
Insurance and Fee’s:
We accept most major private medical insurance companies including BUPA, Vitality, WPA, Cigna, AVIVA and Simply Health. A full list of our consultation fee’s including self-pay can be found here: Insurance and Fee’s. Our Podiatry team are health care professional council registered, meaning they are required to maintain professional standards and continued professional development. As an organisation we have invested in the latest diagnostic technology in order to help our podiatry team, help you. We have onsite diagnostic ultrasound available at Maidenhead and Earlsfield clinics. Infra-red pressure analysis available at Maidenhead and Earlsfield clinics with treadmill examinations.