Salford and Brazilian physiotherapy lecturers visit former students at Wigan Athletic

Categories: School of Health and Society

Dr Stuart Porter, lecturer in physiotherapy at the University of Salford, was recently visited by Gabriel De Lima, a lecturer in physiotherapy from São Paulo, Brazil.

Over Christmas, Gabriel spent 3 days helping undergraduate students prepare for exams, observing at hospital and meeting the physiotherapists of Wigan Athletic Football Club – who are former University of Salford students.

Gabriel’s visit to Salford follows Stuart’s trip to São Paulo last year, where he was invited as a visiting lecturer. He gave talks on rheumatology and psychology in physiotherapy.

At Wigan Athletic Football Club, Gabriel had the chance to meet first team physiotherapists Nick Meace and Andrew Procter. They had trained with the University’s part-time physiotherapy programme after their own professional football careers were ‘cut short.’

Their job involves presenting a monthly medical audit to the Chairman, Chief Executive and Board of Directors of the club, which they demonstrated for Stuart and Gabriel.

The presentation covered injury rates, training routines and the latest trends in soft tissue injury rehabilitation. They also had a tour of the rehabilitation and training facilities.

Nick said, 'We discussed our clinical approach and it was great to hear the methods used by physiotherapists over in São Paulo. Dr Porter had a huge influence on ourselves throughout the undergraduate course, so we felt proud to show him how far we have come.'

Andrew added, 'We are always truly grateful to the University of Salford and the part-time physiotherapy team who have provided us with this opportunity to do a job that we thoroughly enjoy.'

After catching up with the former students, Stuart said, ‘It was fascinating to see how they have developed and become autonomous practitioners who now have roles at a high level.’

During his visit, Gabriel also attended Wrightington Hospital for joint diseases near Wigan - which is home to a specialist rheumatology unit. There, he observed Dr Jane Martindale as she assessed patients with ankylosing spondylitis - a long-term condition in which the spine and other areas of the body become inflamed.

Dr Martindale said, 'This was a wonderful opportunity to discuss how the management of patients is reassuringly quite similar on an international basis even though there are some differences in how we capture outcomes to treatment.'

On his time in the UK, Gabriel said: 'This experience was certainly remarkable in my personal and academic life. It was incredible to see the differences and similarities of Brazil and England in terms of physiotherapy. I am very grateful for the patience and cordiality of everyone.'

Stuart hopes that he and Gabriel will continue to visit each other’s countries and share their learning. He is also helping Gabriel with his postgraduate studies, where Gabriel is looking to translate, and subsequently validate, some rheumatology outcome measures into Portuguese, for use in rheumatology in Brazil.

Gabriel helps students prepare for an exam

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