Gareth McMullan – Happy Feet Foot Clinic
Name: Gareth Mcmullan
Organisation name: Happy Feet Foot Clinic, Dungannon
Job title: Podiatrist
What does your job involve?
My daily job involves me looking after peoples’ feet and making sure they can comfortably get around. I do this by providing nail management, removing painful corns or hard skin and treating any other foot related problems. This means that I see a whole range of ages, from babies through to people in their 90’s.
What is the best part of your job?
Being able to make a difference to people. They might walk in with pain and they can walk out pain free in many cases.
What aspect of your job do you find the most challenging?
Many people want to be fixed instantly without doing the rehab required. Sometimes they have already diagnosed themselves on the internet. It then becomes a struggle when they don’t believe my diagnosis because it may not match up with what they have read.
What are the key issues facing your sector at the moment?
The recent introduction of prescription only medicines and their availability to podiatrists. On completion of a new course, podiatrists can now prescribe medicines such as antibiotics, steroids and painkillers in order to help save GP’s time. This has been met with both opposition and commendation and will continue to be an issue until everything is ironed out.
How is your organisation responding to these issues?
By updating the courses available and making podiatrists aware of the new medications we can prescribe. We are constantly learning to ensure our knowledge base is up to scratch so that we our using our new endorsements correctly and with proper care.
What is the biggest goal on your agenda for the year ahead?
To make sure that I am up to date with all the current treatments available in foot care today and that I am able to provide advice to patients on such treatments.
If you had to give one piece of business advice, what would it be?
Take things slowly. Start off small and grow as you can afford to. Do not bite off more than you can chew when first starting out as there can be many hidden costs that you will not have accounted for. Be sensible and take on what you can manage.
What work experience and qualifications helped you to get to your position?
I studied for four years at university to attain my honours degree in Podiatry and then returned to university a few years later to continue learning with a further four year masters programme.