Inspirational Story

Cheryl Evans

Who am I? Cheryl Evans

What do I do? Podiatrist

Where do I work? Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals Trust

When did you start considering a career in healthcare?

When I was at high school in Year 9, I went to a Career’s Fayre, I loved P.E., I played in the Netball and Hockey teams for my high school and really enjoyed learning about the human body.

With this is in mind I went along to the Career’s Fayre interested to know what careers would complement my interest in learning about the human body.

I went along to the Career’s Fayre with my parents, and there, I got chatting to someone from the University of Huddersfield about Physiotherapy. It was such an interesting conversation and I left the Career’s Fayre thinking I definitely want to do something in health care, especially Physiotherapy.


Did a career in healthcare,  impact on what you chose at GCSE and at college?

The idea of being a Physiotherapist sat with me through my GCSE years, gaining good GCSE grades, to go to my high school’s feeder college, Greenhead College. Before going to Greenhead College I chose AS/A Levels that would complement the idea of me studying Physiotherapy at University, choosing A Levels in Human Biology, Sociology and P.E.


What about work experience?

Whilst at Greenhead College, we were encouraged to do a one week work placement with the career we had in mind or around the subject we potentially wanted to go and study at University. Physiotherapy at the time, was an extremely popular choice, and unfortunately I did not get a work placement. However, those who didn’t get a work placement, were encouraged to attend a meeting at College about other options.

I went to this meeting, and the Teacher taking it, said she did have other options for those of us who didn’t get a physiotherapy placement. The Teacher said ‘I have one here for Podiatry.’

I had heard about Podiatry from a Careers Advisor when I was in Year 10 at high school, she told me to read about it when I said I was interested in Physiotherapy. So, I knew it was associated with the lower limb and foot, and thought immediately I need to take this, at least it would give me some sort of experience with a healthcare professional and linked to my interests in the human body.

What was it about Podiatry that sparked your interest?

I spent one week with a Senior Podiatrist in my local NHS Trust. It is truly one week I will never forget.

It was so interesting, from working in the community, health centre and GP practices, seeing a wide variety of patients with different medical problems and podiatric needs.

I found the specific area on the human body Podiatry concentrated on, very interesting, and how different medical conditions have various impacts to the lower limb and foot.

After my week’s placement I went back to College, knowing I wanted to study Podiatry now, at University. I filled in my UCAS form, concentrated on my studies, achieved the A Level grades I needed, and that September started a BSc (Hons) Podiatry at the University of Huddersfield.

15 years on, I have not once looked back, It is a very rewarding career

How did you find studying Podiatry at University?

My degree was so interesting, from learning about Anatomy, Pathology and Physiology, doing Clinical Placements with a local NHS Trust and furthermore learning about Podiatric Medicine, Pharmacology, Sports & Paediatrics, Nail Surgery and the At Risk Foot.

Studying a degree in Podiatry was extremely rewarding.


What has your career looked like since qualifying as a Podiatrist?

I graduated in 2006, with a BSc (Hons) Podiatry. I am a Member of the Royal College of Podiatry and the Health and Care Professions Council.

Since graduating 15 years ago, I have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience, working within the NHS for the last 15 years. My specialist areas are; Diabetes & the High Risk Foot; Nail Surgery and Mental Health, whilst I also have a wide knowledge of Biomechanics & Sports Injuries.

I work in the community, seeing patients in health centres/GP practices or in their own homes and as Podiatrists’ we are involved in working at the hospital too.


What is your one piece of advice for someone considering a career in Podiatry?

It is a very rewarding career and I would advise anyone wanting to studying Podiatry or any other allied health professional role, to definitely make some time to shadow or speak to a Podiatrist, to get a feel about what it is they do and the role they play in the allied health professional community. This is what changed my decision and made me go and study Podiatry. 15 years on, I have not once looked back.

Want to know more?

What is a Podiatrist? Where can they work? What does a typical day look like?

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