My name is Caroline McWilliams. I am a UK-qualified podiatrist with experience in both the UK private sector and the NHS. In late 2014 I was presented with an opportunity to move to New Zealand. As you can appreciate this was not an easy decision to make.
Besides New Zealand being on the other side of the world, I had to leave a secure NHS job, with no guarantee of podiatry work in the future. To top this off, while I was lucky enough to be travelling with my partner, neither of us had ever been to New Zealand before, we had no knowledge of the country and we had no family or friends to speak of. However, I decided the opportunity was too good to miss. I packed up my life and landed in New Zealand in February 2015.
I was incredibly anxious when I got off the plane, but looking back now, I could never have imagined how many incredible adventures lay ahead of me. I have managed to; camp beside waterfalls, climb various mountains, hike volcanoes, kayak with seals, swim in natural hot pools, swim with dolphins, snow board, and the list goes on….
I did all this while holding down a full-time job as a podiatrist for Resonance Podiatry Wellington. Without the team’s support I never would have been able to create so many amazing memories.
Resonance Podiatry is a multidisciplinary and collaborative sports medicine clinic in the Central Business District of Wellington city. The fact that my background was predominantly high risk foot care, and my knowledge in biomechanics was limited, did not prevent Resonance offering me a position. My diary was individually tailored to my needs, and they offered me extra support throughout my professional learning and development. I can honestly say that, in the past two years, I have worked alongside a team of incredibly talented podiatrists at Resonance Podiatry and thus I have grown with confidence and expanded my knowledge in every field. Contrary to popular belief, a private podiatry position in New Zealand, is as patient-focused, and busy, as an NHS podiatry role in the UK. The medical system here is such that a day in my life as a private podiatrist covers all areas of podiatry; from the high-risk foot that needs urgent medical attention, to the young injured athlete who requires immobilisation, and an evidence-based treatment plan – I work to the limits of my scope of practise. Moving to New Zealand has been the best professional and personal decision I have made.
It is with great sadness, that I say goodbye to New Zealand and the team at Resonance Podiatry, who I look upon now as not only my colleagues by my friends as well. My time here has flown past, I have made many amazing friends and seen so many beautiful places, that my life has been changed forever.
If, like me, you are lucky enough to get the opportunity to move and work in New Zealand I recommend you take it. I have never regretted it, not for one second.
Resonance farewell Caroline and wish her all the best for the future. We are seeking a new team member to come and join us. More details of how you could be a part of our dynamic and fun team can be found here.