Does the physiotherapy profession do enough to bridge the gap between university education and working in sports physiotherapy #Physiotalk 7th Sep

Our next chat (after our Physiotalk holiday in August!) will be on Monday 7th September at the usual time of 8pm BST. This chat will be hosted by @thrivepes (Liam and Matt – scroll down to find out more about our guest hosts!)

Are students well prepared to work in sporting environments or with athletes? University education is generally geared towards working in the NHS with placements mostly in the MSK outpatient, respiratory or neurological settings. More often than not, graduates will leave university and enter onto rotations in the same environments. Can universities and career pathways be better situated to aid students and junior physiotherapists who are seeking a career in sports physiotherapy?

Sports physio

With a large proportion of MSK problems seen by physiotherapists being sports related, is the profession well equipped to tackle these issues and adequately rehabilitate sports related injuries.

In our experience we felt that there was a lack of clarity and direction for those that wanted to pursue this route post-graduation, with no clear “established pathway”. Access to teaching and resources on clinical skills, roles, responsibilities, and expectations in this field is often limited, particularly for students.

An unclear pathway and lack of robust governance in the area can lead to a large disparity in the quality of physiotherapy patients receive in both NHS MSK clinics, private practice and sporting environments! Can physiotherapy as a profession, support students and new graduates onto this career pathway, in a more aligned and consistent manner?

Chat questions:

  1. Do universities adequately prepare individuals for working in sports physiotherapy through their teaching (and what could be improved)?
  2. Did you have any university placements in a sporting environment as part of your physiotherapy degree?
  3. Did you feel the quality of sports placements or MSK placements were appropriate to prepare individuals for a career as a sports physiotherapist?
  4. Is there enough learning opportunities post-graduation and how could these be improved?
  5. What advice would you give to students currently pursuing a career in sports physiotherapy?
  6. Should physiotherapy students go straight into working in sport or are rotations and experience of other environments essential?

Thrive Complete No Back


FIFA Diploma in Football medicine

Professional pathways towards excellence in sports physiotherapy: opportunities and barriers

Thrive Physiotherapy Education Services


Our guest hosts

Liam and Matt are Sports Therapy BSc graduates from the University of Kent who transitioned onto the pre-reg Physiotherapy MSc at the University of Essex.

Matt says: I graduated in September 2016. I subsequently spent one year at a band 5 at UCLH and NHNN, 1 year as a band 6 at GSTT, 6 months as a band 7 at the Royal Free and now work as an integrated clinical services manager at Nuffield Ipswich. My undergraduate degree was in Sports Therapy Health and Fitness. I have worked part time as a physiotherapist at a two different Premier league football academies and have further experience in elite multisport clinic environments. My post graduate qualifications include an MSc module in Applied Orthopaedic Radiology and an MSc Module in Musculoskeletal Medicine: Injection Therapy. I am currently enrolled for a PGCert in MSK US

Liam says:  I have worked as a sports therapist and physiotherapist in academy football for the past 6 years with experience at 4 different clubs ranging from league 1 to the premier league. On graduating I completed 6 months working in the NHS, completing a single ITU rotation whilst working part time in sport, before moving onto to a full-time role in football. I am currently completing a further masters in sport and exercise psychology at the University of Staffordshire

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