I was fortunate to visit East Coast Podiatry Clinic (ECPC) in Singapore during my final year of studies at Huddersfield University (England). During the 4-week placement, I had an in-depth experience of private practice and shadowed podiatrists at all three locations; Orchard, Novena and Kembangan. During this time, I was able to view different conditions such as posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, gout, planter fasciitis as well as a range of client groups such as high-risk, sports and paediatrics. It was beneficial at each location to view the podiatrists and assessment methods and styles utilised by each.
The podiatrists were highly motivated, and it was evident they were integral to maintaining the standards and atmosphere of the clinics. During consultations, I was able to listen and watch their assessments, and thus I was able to consider their methodologies for my own future assessments. Whilst doing so it was evident the demands and expectations of clients in private practice were raised and thus I was able to develop my understanding of the complexities of this and consider the high intensity treatments required by the clientele.
As patients wanted fast effective treatment, it is therefore essential that an accurate diagnosis is made. Part of this involves the use of advanced diagnostic methods such as diagnostic ultrasound with the ultrasound machines. I was able to practice with the diagnostic ultrasound technique on the podiatrists, which allowed me to improve my understanding on its use and application. Diagnostic ultrasound allowed the podiatrists to make accurate and effective clinical decisions for the patient. Additionally, it allows therapeutic responses to treatments to be monitored to ensure treatment plans were effective.
As the patients are paying for the treatments, they have greater levels of expectations for the treatment outcome. The treatments utilized by East Coast Podiatry are advanced, of high intensity, and specifically chosen for effectiveness. These include extra corporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT), super inductive system (SIS) and the Photodynamic Antimicrobial Therapy (PACT). As I had not utilised these treatment modalities previously, I am now more aware of their methodology and the effects produced by them after observing the treatment of numerous patients. I can now take this into my future practice and incorporate this to optimise patient experiences and treatment plans.
While customised orthotic therapy is not new to me, I enjoyed East Coast Podiatry’s musculoskeletal assessments for this as it was systematic and encompassed both physical checks and technology such as 3D foot scanners and gait analysis system. As I had not utilised these technologies, I am now more aware of the benefits of systems such as these and the benefits they can have in developing customised orthotic therapy.
Throughout all assessments and consultations visual aids, software applications and foot models were utilised. These helped to improve patient education by providing relevant and visualising information for the patient on their condition. Furthermore, it has highlighted the usefulness of technology in improving patient care.
Throughout my month placement I was encouraged to complete a log of cases I had seen and complete reflections for my personal development. This has assisted in understanding the cultural differences in Singapore which contributed to the high intensity treatments. Further to this we were encouraged to complete a presentation on a case study we had seen, which has assisted in improving my presenting skills.
In summary, my experiences at East Coast Podiatry Centre will allow me to improve my patient care and has further enhanced my motivation in striving for excellence and thus improving my skills and clinical knowledge. Overall, the experiences I have had at ECPC will influence and benefit my future practice as a podiatrist.