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Fat physios have a role
I’d like to respond to Beverley Myers article (Frontline, 3 Aug) regarding the weight of the therapists providing advice on obesity.
Beverley started by saying the ‘CSP tells us we should be getting the message across’. She went on to imply that it would not be authentic for an overweight therapist to provide advice on being overweight.
This opinion, and the question posed in particular at the end comparing it to smoking, is not one I expect a therapist to have.
I am an athletically-built male physio, thus fitting the stereotype to a tee, but I wouldn’t consider my professional opinion to be any different to that of an overweight colleague. In fact they may be able to relate to that patient in a way I never could, thereby providing far more authentic advice than the ‘athletic, non-smoking physio’.
I think we should treat all our patients with compassion regardless of their or our physical status, thoughts or beliefs. It’s our professional knowledge, the words we choose and the emotion behind them that make them authentic, not our appearance.
Had Jessica Ennis-Hill felt Toni Minichiello was too overweight to give his coaching advice on the heptathlon then she may never have achieved her eight gold medals including Olympic gold at London 2012.
- David Virgo
Forty years ago the British Olympic team brought home 13 medals across 17 sports from Montreal. That was before HC(77)11 and physiotherapy wasn’t yet a protected title. Doctors selected the ‘physios’. The notion of a national governing body for physios and other support services was embryonic. There was dysfunctional, palpable politics between various national sports organisations. There was no national lottery funding.
The extraordinary success of Team GB’s 2016 performance (winning 67 medals) is unique and the majority of interviewed medal winning athletes commended their own support services. Since 1976 many CSP members have made individual and incremental honorary contributions both to advancing the profile and quality of physiotherapy services in elite sport and through management and leadership roles in single and multi-sport national teams and international organising committees.
Congratulations to every member who has made positive, personal commitments to this cumulative progress and success. May kindred progress continue to be shown through the Paralympic movement.
- Helen Bristow, former chair, British Olympic Association physiotherapy committee.
On the ball
I am writing to let you know how ‘on the ball’ I believe Frontline is. I recently attended a workshop on ‘interdisciplinarity’ at the medical humanities department, Durham University, and have been reading up on interdisciplinary research. I was curious to read the article titled ‘Physios must get out of discipline thinking’ (15 June).
It is wonderful to see the profession reflecting what appears to be a trend.
- Jane Johnson
AuthorFrontline and various
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