Gillian Gibson

Current employer: Self-employed

Current job title: Podiatrist RGN, Director

Current location: Somerset

“Studying at University of Plymouth gave me an opportunity to extend and consolidate my life skills both personally and professionally.”

Tell us about your career path since graduation.

I was already working with my own established domiciliary care agency. However, being able to offer podiatry has enhanced the service. My role involves working with the staff, providing care, and the reputation of the company has definitely grown since I’ve been working more within the community as a podiatrist. A client found me a suitable clinic space within the local town and it has been so advantageous for business. It has really helped putting podiatry on the map.

Has your career path changed since graduation?

The domiciliary care is very hard work as the UK faces ever increasing numbers of elderly (and others) who require help at home. When I graduated, the business was more care orientated, but now a better understanding of the provision of podiatry has moved that perception.

What is the most difficult thing which you have faced in your career?

Learning to work in isolation has been difficult. When you become self-employed, you can be treated with some suspicion by other health care workers. You have to work hard at networking and always work at optimum level.

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?

Taking the jump and going to university as a mature student: it opened many doors both personally and professionally.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get in to the same line of work?

For anyone of any age that believes they want a career in health, go and do voluntary work or work as a basic care worker in an environment where there is going to be daily contact with people: people who require assistance with all aspects of daily living, including actual contact.

How did studying at Plymouth help you?  

Studying at University of Plymouth gave me an opportunity to extend and consolidate my life skills both personally and professionally. It has given me the opportunity to make credible an area of healthcare provision that is struggling, thereby educating the public about who is the best clinician for their treatment.

Would you recommend undertaking a course with University of Plymouth, and why?

I have recommended people to Plymouth. I have always felt that Plymouth was not quite as daunting as some large city universities. On my particular course, the lecturers and team work hard at supporting and giving guidance to students.

Is there anything else which you would like to share with our current students?

Never think that because you have a degree, the work will come to you. Now the real work starts. You have to make the commitment and put in the time if you want to succeed.

Inspired by this story?

For more information about studying podiatry please visit our BSc (Hons) Podiatry page. For more information about our range of courses within the School of Health Professions, please visit the school page.

Want to find similar alumni?

If you would like to find out what other relevant alumni from the School of Health Professions are currently doing, please visit the health and social work interest area.

BSc (Hons) Podiatry - image courtesy of Shutterstock