Former professional footballer to lead new Physiotherapy course

A former professional footballer will be returning to home turf to put University of Wolverhampton students through their paces on a new Physiotherapy course.

The BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy course starts at the Walsall Campus in October.

Troy Douglin, who played for Torquay United and Celtic and is now also a part-time Physio at Wolves FC Academy, has been appointed as Course Leader.

Troy graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Sports Science from the University in 2006 and is looking forward to returning to his home turf to lead the course.

He said: “I’m excited as there is such a market for this course – the University consulted with the local healthcare trusts and there was real appetite for us to develop a new Physiotherapy degree. There is a shortage of physiotherapists, especially in the West Midlands, so there are great job prospects available for the students.

“Students could go on to work in a range of settings including treating patients with musculoskeletal problems such as back and joint pain, cardio respiratory issues such as heart disease, neurological conditions such as strokes and with military patients, including amputees.

“The role involves building a rapport with patients, sometimes over a long period, and listening and understanding their problems so we’ll be focusing on communication skills as well as in depth anatomy and physiology. The job is so varied – you can be treating patients who suffer constant lower back pain and no-one knows why, or patients who have suffered a stroke and want to be able to hold their grandchildren. So listening is a really important skill, and getting buy-in from patients to ensure they believe in the Physiotherapy process.”

A specialist Physiotherapy lab is being created at the Walsall Campus to support the students’ training. This will accompany the existing state-of-the-art clinical skills labs within the Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing.

Students will complete seven placements in a range of NHS, sport and private settings. Local NHS Trusts including Wolverhampton, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley, Telford, Oswestry, and Burton have already shown great interest for students who will go out on placement in 2018.

“The university is known nationally for the way that it supports students and the Faculty of Health Education and Wellbeing has an incredible reputation for producing outstanding healthcare professionals. Our goal is to follow the other courses in the faculty and make this one of the best physiotherapy courses in the country.”

Troy Douglin is a musculoskeletal extended scope Physiotherapist with a special interest in Osteoarthritis. Following his football career, Troy decided to work towards becoming a Physiotherapist and graduated from the University of Wolverhampton with a first class honours degree in 2006 specialising in biomechanics within sport and exercise science. Following this, he graduated from the University of Birmingham with a Masters degree in Physiotherapy and went on to become a Trauma and Orthopaedic Research Associate for Warwick Medical School.

Since 2008, Troy has also been part of the Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club medical team and continues to work on a part-time basis as a Chartered Physiotherapist. 

In 2010, Troy completed the AREA emergency first aid trauma management course for the Premier League and went on to work for the England Football Association in 2011. He has also completed his Musculoskeletal Medicine training with the Society of Musculoskeletal Medicine, and was one of the first Physiotherapists in the country to be able to prescribe medicines and provide cutting edge procedures for patients in his care.

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