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I hope to make a significant contribution to the physiotherapy profession — Abolade 

Recently appointed as co-chair of World Physiotherapy Future Network, a network for early career professionals, Aminat Abolade, a fourth-year physiotherapy student at the college of medicine, University of Lagos shares her volunteering experience and goal to make significant difference in the lives of others.
Photo: Aminat Abolade
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Aminat Abolade is a fourth-year physiotherapy student at the college of medicine, University of Lagos, Nigeria, who was recently appointed as co-chair of World Physiotherapy Future Network, a network for early career professionals. In this interview with Edugist, she explains how her volunteering experience has translated to creating social impact and making a significant difference in the lives of others. Excerpts: 

Please share with Edugist, a little about yourself and your education background leading to physiotherapy.

My name is Aminat Abolade. I am a fourth-year physiotherapy student at the college of medicine, University of Lagos, Nigeria. 

I had my basic primary education at Living Spring Montessori School and secondary school education at Mandate Private College. In secondary school, I was the assistant head girl, so I represented my school at academic and sports competitions and was among the top five best West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) students in my school.

After writing my Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), I chose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in physiotherapy as I am passionate about helping others and improving the quality of life in my community.

Recently, you got appointed as co-chair of World Physiotherapy Network. Tell us about your role as co-chair and how you came about this feat.

The role of co-chair in World Physiotherapy Future Network involves working collaboratively with the World Physiotherapy and the team of facilitators and key contacts from around the world to develop and implement strategies for advancing the goals of the network. 

These include engaging physiotherapy students and early career professionals with World Physiotherapy and their member organisations, facilitating global collaborations, advocating for the profession, and encouraging, promoting and facilitating the interchange of ideas and activities of common interest.

With my background as a physiotherapy student and support from the Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy, I had achieved a track record of success with my past leadership experience as a facilitator in the Africa Region and represented the network at local and global webinars, outreaches and conferences. 

What other physiotherapy forum’s membership do you have?

I am a member of National Association of Physiotherapy Students (NAPS); Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy (NSP); NeuroRehab Academia; Rehabica; member of the content team at Physiopedia and communications admin at Physiomentalis.

You work part-time as a research and data scientist. How do you balance this with your undergraduate physiotherapy programme?

Balancing work and study can be challenging, but effective time management and prioritisation help. I am a big fan of productivity apps, like calendars and to-do lists, which help me to stay organised and on track. I prefer working on research or data projects relating to physiotherapy and health care so that I can integrate my findings and insights into my coursework. 

Also, it is important to communicate well with employers, colleagues and academic advisors to ensure that expectations are clear. With dedication and resilience, one can balance multiple commitments and achieve success in both academic and professional pursuits.

photo 2023 03 04 17 37 52
Photo: Aminat Abolade

What does a physiotherapist do and how does physiotherapy differ from other health professions?

A physiotherapist is a healthcare professional that aims to help people restore, maintain, and improve their physical function, mobility and quality of life. Physiotherapists work with people of all ages and backgrounds who have a range of conditions, injuries, or disabilities. Compared to other health professions, physiotherapy is unique in its focus on movement and function and uses non-invasive approaches to restore, maintain and improve quality of life. 

What lessons have you learnt volunteering for organisations?

One essential lesson is the significance of teamwork, as it enables individuals with diverse skills, experiences, and perspectives to come together, divide up tasks, share ideas, and utilise each other’s strengths to achieve a shared objective. Also, volunteering enables one to realise the rewards of giving back. 

By contributing even small actions, one can make a significant difference in the lives of others and to the success of the organisation which brings about a sense of satisfaction and fulfilment derived from helping others and making a positive impact on the community. 

If you had to take a gap year, what would you do?

I would love to travel and explore unique cultures, landscapes and cuisines while also dedicating time to personal development and self-care. This will include activities like meditation, exercise, and painting. Additionally, I will pursue an internship or work experience in a field of interest to enhance my practical skills and knowledge.

What contribution do you hope to make to the field of physiotherapy?

I hope to make a significant contribution to the physiotherapy profession by advocating for its benefits, representing it on a global scale, conducting high-quality research that advances the field, developing innovative products that enhance physiotherapy delivery and inspiring and mentoring the future generations of physiotherapists. I hope to have a positive impact on the field and improve patient outcomes through my efforts.

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