Log In

Reset Password

Atlantic Podiatry celebrates anniversary with $47,000 scholarship

Investing in the next generation: Matt Francis wants to attract more young people to the podiatry profession, using his own money (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

To celebrate a year running his own podiatry clinic, Matt Francis will hand out a full podiatry scholarship, with a value of $47,000.

The recipient will be chosen based on academic achievement and need.

“We are investing in the next generation of healthcare providers,” said the founder of Atlantic Podiatry.

Over the course of a decade working on the island, Mr Francis noticed a dearth of young Bermudians coming into the industry.

He could only think of two operating on the island.

Mr Francis said most podiatrists here are spouses of Bermudians, like himself.

He estimated the average age to be 50 or older. At 36, he thought he was the youngest podiatrist on the island.

“With podiatry, and even healthcare, in general, we are not very good at advertising what we do,” he said. “There is not really much discussion about it, even within the schools. Even when I was coming up in school, we knew about doctors and nurses, but not about other options in healthcare.”

He thought healthcare was a good career path.

“It is one of the few professions where you are always guaranteed work,” he said. “You almost never hear of someone in healthcare being made redundant. There is not really any downsizing.”

In a career like podiatry, you can also travel the world.

“Everyone always says we need more healthcare providers, but we do not always take the initiative to encourage people,” he said.

After university the chosen student will be able to work with Dr Francis in his practice.

“Often students are worried about getting a job after university,” he said. “This will guarantee that they have one when they come home.”

He is not sure yet if the scholarship will be a one-off, or a regular occurrence.

“Awarding it will be a way to gauge interest,” he said. “There is room in the practice to grow. I’m hoping there will be someone out there who knows that podiatry is something for them.”

He would like for the scholarship recipient to go to Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he did his studies.

“It is a great university,” he said. “They would be looking at doing an undergraduate master’s, an intensive, four-year degree.”

When he started Atlantic Podiatry last April, he had to share space in the Dallas Building at 5 Victoria Street.

Since then, he has moved into his own office in the same building. One of his early challenges was getting the word out there that he was open.

Many of his clients are diabetic. He offers both mobile, and in-office treatment.

What is a podiatrist

Manicurists are generally focused on aesthetics. Podiatrists are doctors who treat conditions impacting the foot, ankle and lower limbs — including injuries, pain and balance issues. They may give you specific exercises, custom-made inserts for your shoes or medicines for your condition.

“Some people do not know that regular podiatry visits are covered under major medical,” he said. “Some people are paying their premium every year and they don't realise that they could be going to see a podiatrist.”

Mr Francis said sometimes people take their foot and toenail problems to a manicurist instead.

“Manicurists do a very good job, but they are not at the medical level,” he said.

He said some people pay thousands of dollars to get ingrown toenails or fungal infections treated by non-medical professionals.

“Often these treatments do not work,” he said. “A podiatrist can usually fix them up quickly and easily.”

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published April 03, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated April 04, 2024 at 8:26 am)

Atlantic Podiatry celebrates anniversary with $47,000 scholarship

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon