Case study

Osteopath — Süheyla Douce

Süheyla enjoys the freedom of working for herself after developing her own osteopathy practice. Find out how she achieved success as an independent osteopath

How did you get your job as an osteopath?

I graduated with an integrated Masters in Osteopathy at the European School of Osteopathy (ESO). The course included hands-on clinical training so when I graduated I could register with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) and start practising.

I decided I'd rather work as part of an experienced team before setting up on my own so I applied for assistant jobs while I was still in my final year at the ESO. I got a job as an assistant/associate working in an osteopathic practice and then went on to work as a self-employed associate in a shared clinic.

I currently work for myself as an independent osteopath, and run my own practice OsteoWellbeing.

What's a typical day like?

I'm in my practice for up to eight hours a day, seeing a mix of new and existing patients, from babies and children through to the elderly, and helping with a range of complaints.

The techniques I use depend on the patient and their symptoms. I mainly work structurally, combining soft tissue, articulation and muscle energy techniques, but I also use gentler cranial techniques, particularly for children.

Interestingly, patients who have the same symptoms can respond differently so it's a case of finding the right treatment for them.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I find it particularly rewarding being able to help others out of pain.

What are the challenges?

The main challenge is having enough hours in the day to treat people, do all the admin and promote my business.

How relevant is your degree in osteopathy?

My degree from the ESO is recognised by the GOsC, which allows me to practise as an osteopath in the UK.

The course gave me the theoretical knowledge, clinical skills and basic understanding of business and marketing so I could set up my own osteopathic practice. It also introduced me to a broad range of techniques, which was important to me.

How has your career developed?

I initially planned to work with other osteopaths so I'd have a mentor, but once I'd gained some practice and management experience I decided to go for it and start my own business. It's great working for myself and being in charge of my own hours, prices, etc. I've recently taken on a part-time assistant so I can start expanding my practice.

Top three tips for becoming an osteopath?

  • Studying is very difficult but worth it, so stick it out.
  • Customer service and communication skills are essential.
  • Experience is key.

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