By Darlene Francis
There’s a growing demand for pedorthists in Canada. Addressing lower limb and feet issues is a critical aspect of keeping people mobile, and kinesiology is the perfect pre-requisite to pursuing this profession.
“Pedorthics is a patient-focused career. You really have to be committed to helping others in this line of work,” says Frank Pozzuoli, manager and clinic owner of BioPed in Windsor, Ontario.
Ty Johnson, a fourth year Kinesiology co-op student, used this co-op work term as an opportunity to get his feet wet and find out what career path might work for him. He knew that physiotherapy and chiropractic are well-known options, but wanted to explore pedorthics. Johnson was eager to get involved in all aspects of the business and jumped in with both feet.
With support from the team, Johnson did everything from point-of-sale activities, ordering and fitting shoes, to the clinical work of conducting assessments, fabricating orthotics, fittings and patient follow-up. “It felt really good to make a difference in patients’ lives. Orthotics is more than just a one-time thing—it’s an ongoing relationship,” says Johnson.
“After my co-op work term with BioPed, a career in pedorthics is a very real possibility for me,” he adds.
Pedorthics is still a very young profession. “What makes the job so amazing is that it’s very diverse. No two patient cases are exactly the same,” said Kimberly Rau, University of Waterloo kinesiology alumnus and owner of Kimberly Rau & Associates Inc. “After 32 years, I’m still learning.”