Anna Wilson has just completed her MSc. in Preregistration Physiotherapy at Oxford Brookes.

Anna with fellow Oxford Brooks alumi Emma and Amanda

Here, Anna shares her journey and the experience of working as a student alongside the multidisciplinary EPM team.

About me

I’m originally from Halifax, in West Yorkshire. I moved to Birmingham for my undergraduate course, where I studied a BSc in Sports and exercise sciences, graduating in 2016. After graduating I stayed in Birmingham for a further 3 years and worked as a personal trainer.

During that time, I met my boyfriend, who’s from Oxford, and I moved to Oxford about three and a half years ago.

Studying to become a physio

For five years, I worked as a Personal Trainer, and during COVID, I decided to train to become a physiotherapist.

Having already completed a BSc I was able to study on the MSc pre-registration Physiotherapy course at Oxford Brookes, which is similar to the BSc Physiotherapy program but more condensed and at Masters level.

I’m very grateful that the uni put me in touch with Elite.

Anna Wilson

My placements

My first placement was three weeks observational at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital, where I shadowed professionals on the respiratory wards, surgical wards and intensive care.

I had a six week placement in a community hospital in Bicester, followed by six weeks at the Stroke Rehabilitation facility. Then, I had six weeks with the pulmonary rehabilitation team in Oxford.

“I’m so glad that Elite was my final placement because it’s the only Musculoskeletal placement I’ve had, and that’s the direction I’m hoping my career will go in.”

Anna has personal training experience too

“I really liked the setup at Elite with the gym alongside the clinic. Coming from a Personal Training background, I recognised the importance of this to allow patients to practice the exercises they’d been shown, with experts on hand to guide them.

My experience at Elite

I’m particularly interested in musculoskeletal physiotherapy for the general population rather than athletes competing at a very high level.

“At EPM, there’s a great mixture of expertise in the team and a broad range of patients to treat.

A few times a week, I’d see people presenting with things that I’d never even heard of – I learned so much!”

EPM gym

During my placement, I spent a lot of time with Andy and also Clinical Specialist Tom Stainer, which was great because they have got so much experience. Being able to use the ultrasound scanner takes diagnostics to another level.

I also spent some time with physios Emma and Amanda Sussman – who did the same course as me at Oxford Brookes, just one and two years ahead! It was really nice to have someone else around who’s been a student recently.

They were very good at letting me take the lead with a patient but were there if I got confused. It’s less daunting if you can learn from someone who has recently been a student.

“I spent a day observing Dr Moiz Moghul, Elite’s Sports & Exercise Medicine Consultant, and also met Karen, the specialist Neurological Physio. Not many clinics can offer so many perspectives for a student.”

My next steps

I’ve got a job starting September with Oxford Health Foundation Trust, where I’ve had a few placements -I’ll be doing NHS rotations initially. But in a few years, I’d definitely like to explore moving into private practice at a clinic like Elite Physical Medicine, where I can focus on MSK.

I will also be teaching Pilates in Oxford with Pop Up Pilates. The classes are for people who want to ease themselves into doing some exercise or for those with a health condition which means they struggle to exercise and want some support. It’s a very inclusive environment. 

One of the main reasons I went into physiotherapy is because I enjoy helping all sorts of people gain a better quality of life, being stronger and healthier. That is my opportunity to make a real difference.

Anna will be teaching Pilates too

“Personal Trainers need to maintain connections with a good physio who can help diagnose, and Physios really need access to a gym to rehab people properly. EPM showed me how important it is for the two things to go together.”

Elite Physical Medicine is proud to offer Physiotherapy students valuable in-clinic experience with a multidisciplinary team.