Friday, 12 April 2013

Street Talk : Jo the Podiatrist.

Eden has asked me to keep Street Talk going, it's a project that she holds very close to her heart. I hope I can do it justice. Peace. Linda

I walk into Jo's office, and I'm immediately struck by how young, bright and cheerful she is. Her bubbly personality just doesn't match the stereotype I had in my head for a 'Foot doctor'. She's 28, comes from the Central Coast, and has her own Podiatry practice, Rose Bay Podiatry. She's married, but has no kids yet, she says she's waiting to grow up herself first. Listening to her though, I reckon she's a very mature, determined and wise old soul...

So Jo, why feet?

Well I always wanted to get into the medical field, and Podiatry was a 4 year degree which meant I could study and then start working in the field much faster than training to become a doctor. I completed my degree in 2007 and I now have my own practice. I really love the diagnostic aspect of it. Podiatry is the end of the road for alot of patients as they may have been to a GP, a Physio and possibly had other treatments along the way. 

What's the best part of the job?

It's hard to pick just one aspect, there's so many good things! I love being my own boss, I get to meet really inspiring people and I get great job satisfaction as I usually see the end results/outcome for my patients. People come back and say thanks and they are so grateful for the treatments I've provided - especially if they've been in alot of pain. I see all walks of life - such a variety of people come through the door. I also love helping people become more aware of their feet, and how they came to have the problems they presented to me with.

What's the worst part of the job?

Most of my patients are elderly, and I've seen many of them decline in their health over the years of me treating them. It's hard sometimes to see patients who were once quite lively, independent and relatively healthy gradually (or sometimes rapidly) decline health-wise and end up in nursing homes or pass away. Some patients I've treated for years, built up a lovely rapport with, end up forgetting who I am. It's a constant reality check really, I'm so young yet I spend alot of my working hours with elderly patients - I can get quite close to them.

Surely you must need a bad sense of smell in your line of field?

Oh it definitely helps to have NO sense of smell!. It's not a glamorous job, and there's a certain stigma attached to 'working with feet' but I don't care about that. You have to have a genuine love for it to do it, I think that most of the great Podiatrists out there are genuine people - you just couldn't do this job if you didn't love it.

She goes about her work with such efficiency, picking away at my stubborn 23 year old plantar wart whilst keeping up the banter. She's very good at keeping my mind off the discomfort I'm feeling during the treatment. I ask her what's the best piece of advice she's ever been given.

It's actually a quote that someone told me once "Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people" Eleanor Roosevelt.

My treatment complete, Jo walks me out and I see an elderly gent stooped in a chair in the waiting room. She greets him warmly and asks him about his wife as she gently guides him into her room.


Friday Street Talk is an unfolding art project. I'm so grateful and blown away that people say yes to talking with me, trusting me with some snippets of who they are. 

Previous Street talks:

1. Noelene the Young
2. Megan the Mouse
3. Harpal the Australian
4. Darren the Artist
5. Jo the Interesting
6. John the Telstra Guy 
7. Michael the Photographer
8. Peg the Lady
9. Jeff the Preacher Man
10. Andres the Cobbler
11. Honey the Prostitute
12. Mark the Masseur
13. You the Blog Reader

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Write to be understood, speak to be heard. - Lawrence Powell

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