Diversity within Physiotherapy #physiotalk Mon 8th June 8pm BST

The tweet chat on Monday 8th June at 8pm BST has been suggested by Emmanuel Ovola @Manni_O  who asks ‘How does lack of diversity affect the minority populations in Physiotherapy?’
The lack of diversity in physiotherapy is having a direct impact on BAME communities. The issues encountered starts within physiotherapy pre-registration education, with a study by Hammond et al just last year finding that ‘studying physiotherapy as a student from BAME background requires persistence to overcome a series of many implicit challenges’.
I’m sure these challenges continues throughout a physiotherapists professional life – We need to ask ourselves what can increasing diversity do for the profession of Physiotherapy and healthcare? Diversity in the workplace is essential to the way we live, we can harness the minds and experiences from all walks of life. We need role models – something that Manni highlights himself –
Ovola tweet
To truly understand the challenges we have to encounter we need to understand our environment. This is illustrated by Nixon (2019) who states that:

“There are norms, patterns and structures in society that work for or against certain groups of people, which are unrelated to their individual merit or behaviour. Put another way, there are (often invisible) systemic forces at play that privilege some social groups over others, such as sexism, heterosexism, racism, ableism, settler colonialism, and classism. These unfair social structures have profound effects on health, producing inequities in morbidity and mortality. Racism is well demonstrated to adversely affect the health of non-white people through interconnected structural, institutional, cultural and psychosocial pathways.”

To delve a little deeper then Nixon explains further in this webinar about health equity and what we need to really understand about the history that has created our present. We are learning everyday during the COVID pandemic that the health and wellbeing of our BAME colleagues within the NHS is more affected as well of course in the wider population. Accessing secondary care can improve the health of our BAME communities; this will enhance the ability for our NHS to thrive.
Manni says that during the chat ‘I want to unravel the reasons why diversity is limited within the profession, if we know that, then we know how we can improve it.’

Chat questions:

  • How does lack of diversity affect physiotherapy?
  • What implicit challenges do BAME physiotherapists encounter?
  • How do we understand the institutional problems within our profession?
  • What steps can we take to increase the diversity within physiotherapy?
  • How can we ensure fair representation at every level within physiotherapy?
  • Who is your BAME role model?

Chat transcript

If you missed the chat – here is the transcript. A very thought provoking chat and I would really recommend reading through the tweets


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