Former OzTREKK student practicing physiotherapy in Australia

Former OzTREKKer Kyle Mitchell’s pathway to physiotherapy started with a baseball scholarship to study at the New Mexico Military Institute in the US. He went on to study a Bachelor of Science at the University of British Columbia before relocating to Australia and enrolling in Bond’s Doctor of Physiotherapy.

Former OzTREKK student practicing physiotherapy in Australia
Bond DPT graduate (and former OzTREKKer!) Kyle Mitchell (Photo: Bond University)
While he originally planned to return home to practice in Canada, he’s created a new life for himself on the Gold Coast, working in private practice at Pindara Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine, and in the community as physiotherapist for Bond University’s AFL Club and the Major League Baseball Australian Academy Program. He has also travelled with the Australian National under 15 baseball team to the World Championships.

So what’s it like to study physio at Bond?
My favourite aspects of studying at Bond were the small classes, intensive learning and the large amount of practical clinical experience which made up more than 42 weeks of the course.

The faculty staff arranged a variety of placements so I was exposed to all areas of specialisation. This really broadened my perspective on the profession and I nearly switched my pathway from sports to paediatrics, which I would never have considered if it hadn’t been for a great placement that allowed me to see into that domain.

For me, the most satisfying part of being a physiotherapist is developing a plan and successfully implementing a program for patients who have struggled with an injury for an extended period. In some instances, you have quite literally changed the course of their life.

As a physiotherapist in a private practice, I see patients presenting with a wide variety of conditions, from post-operative orthopaedic issues through to vertigo, vestibular and musculoskeletal disorders. I also have a special interest in sports physiotherapy so I work with athletes and teams—mainly AFL and baseball.

On a typical day, I’ll see 10 to 15 patients. With new patients, I’ll do a clinical history and objective assessment so I can develop a treatment and rehabilitation plan. As treatment progresses, I monitor and support their progress while providing education about their condition.

A number of my patients come through the Department of Veteran Affairs and WorkCover. I’ve learned over time that my interactions have a significant impact on their progress so I spend a lot of time educating patients to help them understand their condition. What you say can be as important as the physical treatment.

I’ve also learned that having a business perspective is essential when you’re working in health. You need to understand the financial implications of your treatment, not only for yourself and the practice, but for patients whose financial situation may impact on their access to your service.

For me, the most satisfying part of being a physiotherapist is developing a plan and successfully implementing a program for patients who have struggled with an injury for an extended period. In some instances, you have quite literally changed the course of their life.

My final internship led to my current position working at Pindara Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine. The internship gave me the opportunity to develop a rapport with the team so that practical element of Bond’s physiotherapy program is invaluable in terms of finding employment. In fact, I have yet to meet a graduate who hasn’t been able to find a job in the field of their choice.

Want to get into Physiotherapy? My advice…
Find your passion and follow it. There are plenty of jobs available in private practice but you need to make sure that whatever you’re interested in will be encouraged or is already promoted at the clinic you choose. That way, you’ll always find the right job.

Also, know that people love to teach and educate others. Use that to become a better clinician by asking questions and seeking out further learning that will allow you to progress in your career!

About Bond Physiotherapy Work Experience and Internships

Bond physiotherapy students complete a clinical internship with an embedded research project in their final semester. This placement is designed to ensure graduates are ideally placed for entering the workforce. The first 30 weeks of clinical experiences will be gained in both hospital and community settings and will include working in the clinical areas of
  • orthopaedics;
  • cardiorespiratory;
  • out-patient musculoskeletal practice (hospital or private practice settings);
  • neurological and orthogeriatric rehabilitation (hospital and community settings); and
  • an elective in paediatrics, women’s/men’s health or sports practice.

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