Inspirational Story

James Forrest

Who am I? James Forrest

What do I do? Advanced Clinical Specialist Podiatrist

Where do I work? Leeds Community Healthcare Trust

Which subjects did I study in A Level? Biology, Communications studies and General Studies

What course did you chose to study at university?
Sport and Exercises Science on leaving 6th Form but then went on to study BSc (Hons) Podiatry as a mature student many years later

Pronouns: He/him

What influenced your choice of profession?

I always have enjoyed helping people. I have worked in Health and wellbeing in some capacity and what attracted me to be Podiatry is that we are autonomous practitioners and we have a broad scope of practice.

What were your thoughts before and after starting the course?

I thought that my face wouldn’t fit but persevered anyway. Course wise, I knew a couple of people who had done the course so I knew what to expect and I expected to be working in a progressive, forward thinking profession.

Were you aware of other health professional courses?

Before doing my Podiatry degree, I did look at other courses and had a  good awareness of other health professions due to family members working in the NHS (Nurses) and also in my previous job roles working with and alongside other health professionals. I knew a few Physiotherapists, Occupational therapist and Dieticians who I had spoken too.

Any lightbulb moments experienced during your course/whilst working?

The course was challenging but we had a clinic at the University of Huddersfield where we saw patients throughout the course. I knew early on that I made the right decision to retrain.

The biggest lightbulb moment was seeing the difference some of the simple intervention we did in clinic made to our patients.

I get to help people from different age groups and different walks of life, and I like that kind of variety.

What does your current role looks like day to day?

I recently changed Role from an MSK Podiatrist, but I am now an Advanced Clinical Specialist Podiatrist, and my job role is varied!! Part of my role with be training and development of colleagues as well as seeing a variety of patients. My role can involve assessing, treating and diagnosis a range of problems that affect the lower limb and feet. These can be muscle, bone or joint issues or issues circulation and/or wounds.

Some days I am making orthoses (special shoe inserts that help with pain or help people walk better), prescribing exercises or doing steroid injections. Other days I may be doing minor surgery and removing problem toenails!!

How you come to become in the position you are in now?

Through working hard, having good mentors and focusing on continuing personal development. There is plenty of learning and development opportunities to improve your skills and I always take the opportunity to do these.

Through working hard, having good mentors and focusing on continuing personal development


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