Case study

Osteopath — Eleanor

Eleanor works as both a human and animal osteopath and lecturer at the European School of Osteopathy. Find out how she combines these roles into a rewarding and challenging career

How did you get your job as an osteopath?

After graduating with an integrated Masters degree in Osteopathy (M.Ost) from the European School of Osteopathy, I worked as a self-employed osteopath. Communicating with allied professionals and a willingness to learn have been key to developing my career.

I've always done my best and never stopped trying, learning and being open to new ideas.

What's a typical day like?

My working week consists of treating animals and humans of all ages (from newborns to patients in their 90s), lecturing and travelling. When I'm treating patients, no two are the same and when I'm lecturing, each group of students brings a different dynamic to the classroom, which allows for great variation and enjoyment.

What do you enjoy about being an osteopath?

I love working with humans and animals to improve their quality of life, to see students' enthusiasm as they grasp concepts and practical work and develop their understanding.

What are the challenges?

Having such a variety of work means that days can be full on, and remembering to find time for yourself is really important. You need to keep up to date as developments in osteopathy are made so, again, ensuring that you continue to read new articles and develop your knowledge and skills is vital.

Being self-employed brings many new challenges with it, so working with a good bookkeeper/accountant and managing your money to accommodate the fluctuations really helps.

In what way is your degree relevant?

My degree was fundamental to my role; it has formed the foundation to all the work I currently do. It has allowed me to develop so much as both a practitioner and as a person.

How has your role developed?

Over the last few years, my role has developed from being a new graduate just out of university, working as an associate to other practitioners and assisting senior lecturers, to now being a senior lecturer myself on an MSc Animal Osteopathy programme. I have the opportunity to explore new countries as part of my work, I run my own business and I am also looking to bring in an associate.

What's your advice to someone choosing a Masters?

Make sure it works for you; the course has to be right, but so does the environment. The work will be hard and it's important you have the time out you need.

What are your top tips for those interested in becoming an osteopath?

  • Shadow an osteopath first and undergo some treatment from a few different practitioners so that you can understand the profession.
  • Be prepared to work hard as the course isn't easy and will challenge you both mentally and physically.
  • Stay true to yourself; everyone will have their own practitioner style. Listen to as many approaches as you can and then combine elements to find what works for you.
  • Never stop learning and developing; the only limits are those you set yourself.

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