Go spend time with people just entering our profession and I challenge you to not enjoy a renewal of your own passion for Podiatry. This was brought home to me when Salford hosted the 2018 ENPODHE congress in March. More than 100 people including 70 Podiatry students from 20 schools across Europe joined us for 2 and half days of workshops, discussion and learning (see #ENPODHE2018).
I kicked off our welcome reception (fueled with ENPODHE cakes) by taking issue with Professor Stephen Hawking’s suggestion that we should “look up at the stars not our feet”. However, I reminded students that his other mantra to stay curious, that there is always something to be successful at, and to keep going even when it gets hard work, are exactly the qualities they need to be successful professionals.
Visiting podiatry students enjoyed tours and demonstrations, including our “baby lab”, 3D and 4D foot scanning, ultrasound imaging of the foot (click here), exercise prescription and use of ankle foot orthoses. Salford students were outstanding “congress makers”, looking after visitors and fostering their own networks too. They toured visitors around campus, made sure workshops were interactive, were volunteer “patients”, took selfies and manned the registration desk. They were fantastic ambassadors, thanks to you all.
Podiatry teaching staff met to discuss links to international podiatry organisations, joint curriculum activities, current and future EU projects, and my colleague and ENPODHE co-host Veronica Newton was voted onto the ENPODHE Board. The Thursday “teachers conference” provided an opportunity to discuss co-designing curriculum, Podiatry career spines, innovative teaching methods for anatomy (thanks Dr Sarah Curran), and authentic assessment in Podiatry education. The day was rounded off with dinner at Old Trafford football ground.
On Friday we hosted our own Scientific congress. Dr Sicco Bus illustrated how research can inform clinical off loading practice in feet affected by diabetes. Aimee Patience and Richard Collings shared their experiences of advancing research careers in Podiatry, and undergraduate students from Southampton presented their dissertation work. Contributions from Belgium, Spain, Malta and our own research team at Salford brought the whole event to a close.
We will be joining our ENPODHE colleagues again in Brussels in 2019, I am already looking forward to having our professional passions lit once more.
ENPODHE is here: www.enpodhe.com