A big thank you to Konya Kayet for answering our questions
1. What is it exactly that you do? I am a foot specialist; I deal with everything foot related from nail care to bacterial/viral/fungal infections to sports injuries to biomechanics. I can do soft tissue surgery, but bony surgery falls under the orthopaedic surgeons’ scope of practice here in Ontario.
2. How did you discover this chiropody? I was finishing P&O and was searching for something I could put my knowledge toward; I knew at that point that P&O wasn't for me. Gord put me in touch with a chiropodist that he knew, and after I shadowed him I knew I found my calling!
3. What attracted you the most to that profession? I enjoy being in a clinic setting, interacting with patients, and the best part is how rewarding it is. Patients often come into my office in pain and leave pain free. It is the best feeling.
4. Does it require additional education or specialized training? If so where did you receive it? You have to have a BSc (of any major) or a BA (specifically in kinesiology). You have to have credits in anatomy and physiology, minimum grade of B-. You have to have a GPA of at least 70%. http://michener.ca/admissions/applying/admissions-requirements/
I have a BSc in biology and kinesiology from York University. While I was in the Michener program, having a P&O background wasn't a big advantage over my classmates, but now working in the real world, it is a huge advantage. I can do my own orthotic modifications in office instead of sending them back to the lab every time. It saves time and money, and is convenient for my patients.
5. If someone wanted to pursue a career similar to yours, how would they go about doing that? I suggest shadowing someone to make sure it is what you want. A few people every year have no idea what they are getting into and end up dropping out within the first year. After you apply to the program, they award interviews to a certain number of applicants. It is called the MMI (you may want to look more into this as some medical schools also use this method). It is a series of short interviews and challenges (some involving actors who put you in strange situations), and none of it applies to feet at all. They measure your empathy, your ethics, and your problem solving skills, among other things.
6. What sort of challenges do you face daily? I deal with some potential life and death situations at work, it is important to know how to act appropriately in an emergency situation or how to treat patients in order to save a foot. You also can't be squeamish about blood and pus; I see these on a daily basis.
7. Is there more area for growth within the field? If so, what is the next step? We have to do 50 continuing education credits every 2 years. This is the equivalent of 50 hours of lectures (conferences) and self-study.
8. What can one expect for an hourly wage? If you do not wish to answer this question, simply answer N/A. In the public sector the wage is around $60,000 a year. But in a private clinic it can be much more.
9. What is the work-life balance like? How many hours a week do you work? Right now I work between 25-30 hours a week. I am self-employed, so the job is very flexible. This works very well for me as I have a young child, and I am able to take 2 hour lunch breaks to go home and spend more time with him.
10. If you have anything else you'd like the share, please let us know. The more information we receive the better! You can find more information about the program on the Michener website. http://michener.ca/program/chiropody/