CLINICAL LECTURER IN PODIATRIC RHEUMATOLOGY
Simple tasks that are important to Lindsey:
- • Driving
- • Walking the dog
- • Walking at work
Lindsey has a double life as a clinician and academic researcher. Spanning these areas allows her to build productive links between research and treatment, and advocate for the development of specialist treatments to address foot problems related to rheumatic conditions.
Lindsey’s career: Lesser-known foot problems
Lindsey completed a BSc degree in podiatry, but it wasn’t until starting a research internship in Southampton that she encountered the issue of foot problems for people with inflammatory rheumatic conditions.
Lindsey now works in a job with two distinct parts – leading a clinical podiatric service in the NHS, and undertaking academic research in podiatry. (Plus, there is the extra task of bridging the gaps between research and health services).
“The majority of my degree – and the majority of podiatric practice – focuses on people with foot problems caused by diabetes. During my research internship I first realised that the academic field for specific rheumatology foot problems was much less developed, and there was therefore huge potential to make a difference to these patients.”
The working life of an academic podiatrist in rheumatology:
Lindsey’s job combines direct patient care in two general hospitals (working with rheumatology teams) plus 5/6 community clinics (working with general podiatrists), and academic research in a university setting.
Both types of work involve different cultures and ways of commutating, and Lindsey has a key role in bringing together these two areas for the ultimate benefit of patients. Lindsey also identifies with the problem of awareness in her profession: “Rheumatology has a low profile within podiatry. Podiatry services are already stretched to meet the growing demand caused by diabetes, so it is now more important than ever to make the case for this unmet need in rheumatology patients”.
Lindsey’s Window of Opportunity: Removing the question marks
Lindsey is currently researching the effects of biologic drugs on the foot health of rheumatology patients.
“Being a researcher, it’s good to be able to tell patients that we are actively doing things to answer the questions around rheumatology and podiatry. And it’s great to be able to get patients involved – it enables them to become empowered in solving the problems.”
Lindsey also enjoys the teamwork in her role, and being able to bring together people from different backgrounds to work towards a common goal.
Lindsey is sharing her story to highlight the links between rheumatology and foot health, and that if patients are seen by podiatrists sooner, there is more chance of them remaining active and on their feet. Delayed podiatric treatment can have major implications on mobility and lifestyle.
The window of opportunity is key in finding the right treatment for millions of people with rheumatic conditions.
*If you are inspired by Lindsey’s story, visit the "Take Action" section to learn about your window of opportunity to help.