Owner of The Physio Clinic – Ben Corso, shares his personal story of what led him to physiotherapy, the challenges he confronted, plus key insights and experiences learned along the way…
GAINING ENTRY INTO THE WORLD OF A PHYSIO
I got into physiotherapy by accident! I remember chatting to a neighbour when I was just 17 and she was a neurological physiotherapist. This sparked my curiosity about one month before my year 12 result offers were due in 1994.
Believe it or not, I originally wanted to be a chef, followed by architect! I did well with art in high school and have a history of artists in my family. But I also loved sport and thought sports science could be a direction, but other than biology I never thought much about it.
Then when I received my year 12 results that were good enough to explore many opportunities, I decided to get serious about my future career. Physiotherapy happened to be the path that suddenly stood out.
I started physio thinking what have I got myself into! Yet it didn’t take long for me to gain interest and my favourite subject soon became anatomy – I was known as the anatomy guru in the early years. Although daunting at first, I found my feet on clinical placements and enjoyed the patient interaction and applying the knowledge I had learnt.
Another life changing moment occurred in 3rdyear, where I met my wife to be – Michelle, as many physio couples have done over the years.
I graduated in 1995 from the University of South Australia school of Physiotherapy and was awarded prizes for the highest academic achievement in the course and the prize for the best human relationship skills.
All the years of study felt worthwhile and I was now confident that this was the right path for me. My family was very proud, yet it was them that instilled in me a strong work ethic from early on in life. Growing up in Adelaide, I had several hard working, committed people around me and they taught me the value of hard work and achievement.
THE WORKING LIFE
I was lucky enough to gain one of the five new graduate positions at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and this experience sparked my interest in acute care and particularly acute orthopaedics.
Some of the relationships built at that time have followed me through to today and hence relationship building was an important value learnt early. As was working across a variety of areas – gaining broad knowledge that I would call upon later in my musculoskeletal practice.
I worked in the hospital for two years, predominantly in orthopaedics and outpatients and this is where my interest in shoulders began as I worked closely with some of Adelaide's leading orthopaedic surgeons.
The importance of keeping things simple was drilled into me – doing basic things well such as assessment, treatment planning and timeframes of recovery and rehab.
I was then led overseas by my wife Michelle. We spent two years in 1998 and 1999 performing locum work around the UK and travelling.
It was here that I recognised the value of physiotherapy training in Adelaide, the reputation it had internationally and the high esteem that Australian physiotherapists had overseas. This further reinforced that I had taken a positive career path.
Due to working in a variety of hospital and outpatient settings I experienced both good and bad examples of physiotherapy practice. Many of which were run inefficiently with long waiting lists, poor therapists and a system that didn't seem to care. Again some valuable lessons learnt.
The travel remains one of the greatest experiences of my life to date and the opportunity to work to travel was invaluable.