1.Tell us about your background in Physiotherapy.
Both my parents were physios so I grew up playing with students in the physio school or waiting in hospitals for the folks to finish work. I think I always had the desire to help people and to travel so physio seemed the right thing to do. I completed my training in Scotland in 1976 and started work in an acute general hospital in Jersey, Channel Islands. I met a lot of travellers there and it didn’t seem too far to move to New Zealand in 1978 with the idea of eventually working my way back home overland. After two years I had gained different experiences working in specialist paediatrics as well as outpatients and general hospitals. My plans were diverted by having an opportunity to go to Hong Kong for 6 months…which turned into 20 years. Work in local hospitals was fascinating. Vietnamese refugees, hands destroyed by factory machines, Triad fighting injuries and camp beds in the corridors with too few pillows to go round. After that and planning new physio departments to expand smaller facilities in Junk Bay it was a complete contrast to take on a lecturing post at HK Polytechnic University. After 10 years there my new business partner Philippa and I started Sports Physiotherapy International in 1996 and began working and traveling with sports events. With a lot of hard work we created a business that is now operating worldwide. We have provided Physios and personally shared the work for over 2000 professional and national team sports events with world class athletes in different sports but mainly tennis and golf around the world (and slipped a few stage shows and movie stars into the mix as well.) In 1999 I set up our first Physio practice in Beijing, China and am still there managing our joint venture with International SOS (Now Raffles Medical International) and treating patients in the clinic when I am not on the road at events.
2. What are your interests?
Stepping outside of the square!
Unfortunately running your own business and traveling extensively for work doesn’t leave much time for other activities. A lot of my favourite things have become past tense. The days of participating in Trailwalker, 24 hour charity pedal events, scuba diving, field hockey, mountain biking, hiking The Great Wall and studying Karate have been on the shelf for a while!! Now I am lucky to have enough energy to raise a glass of wine at the end of the day – but I enjoy reading and being with friends and family when I can.
3. Tell us about a life-changing experience or adventure you’ve been on.
I think packing that first bag to leave home over 43 years ago….my whole life has been an adventure and it isn’t over yet!! I have met so many amazing people, had so many opportunities and done so many different things it’s impossible to select just one…
4. What is your area of expertise?
I consider myself a hands-on physio. I can pretty well deal with any patient that comes through the door. However over the last 20 years I have specialised in on-field sports physiotherapy, musculoskeletal problems and am interested in pelvic floor disorders.
5. What is the most fulfilling part of the job?
I love the fact that we can change our patient’s lives. When you touch someone’s pain and help them understand what has been the cause and how to deal with it there is no greater reward than seeing them improve.