Catriona is a first-class graduate after a 10-year pause

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One University of Northampton (UON) Podiatry graduate is standing tall after a longer than expected walk toward qualifying for her dream career, with a First Class honours degree to boot.

Catriona Doyle is from Northern Ireland, and her interest in becoming a lower limb specialist stems from her schooldays as she explains: “As part of her job, my Mother used to manage healthcare teams, and she used to talk about some of the professions such as podiatry. I didn’t know what the term meant, but it stood out for me. I was intrigued by it and wanted to know more about what podiatrists did.”

Studying podiatry took a few more steps than she originally planned, as Catriona adds: “I started my first podiatry degree back home in 2010, but I left soon after because I wasn’t 100% sure it was the course for me.

“I started another degree but as that course continued, I realised I missed podiatry. I know it’s a very niche area of health, but I was hooked on how much value podiatrists can bring to us. After all, if you suddenly find it uncomfortable or painful to walk, your quality of life is seriously impacted.”

Now fully determined to ‘walk the walk’ with podiatry again Catriona spent the next few years developing extra skills to make sure she hit the ground running when she re-started her dream degree. This time around, she upped sticks and moved to England to study at Northampton.

It’s a decision she hasn’t looked back on and has been very busy during her time at UON. Aside from her undergraduate work, she has worked with the University’s Interprofessional Education lead on a project to get students and academics collaborating to add to the learning experience here.

Following this, she co-created a research poster about the experience and their findings that was shown at a recent Royal College of Podiatry conference. Catriona’s undergraduate dissertation is currently being prepared for the College’s 2022 conference.

She also took part in the Council of Deans of Health and Burdett Trust’s Student Leadership Programme to develop extra materials to support students as they communicate with patients.

More recently, her time as President of the Students’ Union’s Podiatry Society saw them win the Society of the Year prize at the national Tomorrow’s Podiatry Awards.

Although she now has her degree under her belt, Catriona has been bitten by the ‘learning bug’. The next items on her agenda are a postgraduate course at UON in The Lower Limb at Risk before heading back home to start a Masters in Sports and Exercise Medicine later this year.

Of her time at the University of Northampton, she concludes by saying: “I have really enjoyed the teaching and learning here, particularly orthopaedics and sports. The sessions given by the lecturers were excellent and really well thought out. The Orthotics/Insole lab at the Podiatry Clinic also helped spark my interest in the area and I am hoping to publish my dissertation in this area, a really great opportunity for a recent graduate.”

Find out more about Podiatry at the University of Northampton.