A day in the life of an osteopath: Chris Wilkes

Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of an osteopath is really like?

We asked Chris Wilkes, osteopath and Clinical Tutor at the UCO to describe a typical day.

My day begins... 

At 6am, I like to get up early have a carefully prepared coffee and get 30 minutes reading in before my 4 year old daughter wakes up!  This usually consists of a journal article or blog post related to osteopathy in some way. Then, after organising breakfast for my wife and daughter I walk about 2 miles to Clinic or Uni listening to a podcast or two along the way.

I became an osteopath because... 

I always had a great time playing sports and being physically active as a youngster and during a short career as a professional rugby player I experienced injuries and also watched team mates struggle with injuries of their own.  

I was fascinated by learning how to prevent these occurring and how to return to playing as quickly as possible afterwards when prevention wasn’t successful.  This lead me to look for a career that would keep me physically active and enable me to explore this process in more depth - osteopathy seemed like a great fit.

My typical day…

I consider myself very lucky that over the past few years I haven’t really had a typical daily routine.

I have been fortunate to work as an osteopath in many varied roles. These have included working in sports medicine clinics and private osteopathic practices in London as well as travelling around the world working on the Ladies European Golf Tour.

I currently have a variety of roles (and this is the way I like it). I treat out of a rural practice in Worcestershire 1 - 2 days per week which is a short walk from home then teach at the University College of Osteopathy 3 days per week as well as travelling internationally teaching osteopaths and other health professionals on CPD courses.

My most memorable moment…

I have had many but perhaps one that stands out is being called out onto the golf course at the Helsingborg Open in Sweden to treat a player on the 9th Tee in front of a grandstand of spectators.  Slightly nerve-racking but happily the player was able to continue to finish the round.

The worst part about my job…

Probably the feeling when you realise you're not able to help someone who is in pain as much as you would like to.  The saying “you remember the small number you don’t help not the many you do” seems true to me.

The best part about my job…

I love the fact that every day you learn something new that helps you do your job that little bit more effectively.

If you're considering a career as an osteopath and want to find out more, come along to one of our open days or give us a call on +44 (0)20 7089 5316.

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