Comment: you’re more than just a physio

Lynn Eaton on why physiotherapists are more than just their job titles.

‘Let’s ban the phrase: “I’m only a physiotherapist”.’
This plea came from CSP chief executive Karen Middleton at last month’s Physiotherapy UK event.
So what is it about the profession that makes so many describe themselves as ‘only’ a physio? It’s not something you’d hear a doctor or a nurse say, is it? Yet, Karen said she frequently hears the expression.
Perhaps one explanation is that physiotherapy has, traditionally, been female-dominated: that, as a gender, we tend to be more deferential than men and are wary of ‘boasting’. But if that were the only reason, why aren’t nurses backwards in coming forwards?
Maybe physios haven’t had the leaders nursing has enjoyed: the Florence Nightingales who aren’t afraid to stand up and challenge others, creating role models in the process.
Healthcare remains hierarchical, despite all the attempts to make it multidisciplinary and collegiate Physiotherapy was once classified as being a profession that was ‘allied to medicine’.
Carving out the right to be autonomous took time and effort. Confidence doesn’t blossom overnight, but the self-belief and assurance of students – the profession’s next generation – at Physiotherapy UK was palpable.
So if you’ve ever heard yourself saying ‘I’m just a physio’, why not say ‘I am a physio’ from now on?
Now dip into Frontline and see why being in your profession should make you feel proud. 
  • Lynn Eaton managing editor Frontline and head of CSP member communications
Lynn Eaton managing editor Frontline and head of CSP member communications

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