Top Contributor Dec 2023 | Pam Versfeld

Meet Pam Versfeld, our Top Contributor for December.  Pam is a seasoned physiotherapist with over 50 years of experience whose journey in the field has been nothing short of transformative.  Hailing from South Africa, Pam has always demonstrated an unwavering commitment to staying at the forefront of her field. Pam has cultivated a passion for sharing her wealth of knowledge with others.

Pam’s commitment to excellence is palpable in her courses, where she leaves an indelible mark on those fortunate enough to learn from her. Known for her strong-willed pursuit of precision, Pam possesses a holistic approach to pediatric therapy that extends beyond the ordinary. As a testament to her impact, 965 individuals have participated in her courses to date.

Pam is not just a teacher but a mentor and guide, embodying the role of a legend in her field. Her dedication is vividly illustrated through her role as a mentor for the Clinical Skills Training group in Myanmar. During the Family-Centred developmental skills training in Early Intervention, Pam’s commitment shone brightly. Whether conducting mentoring sessions or leading a 2-day in-person training via Zoom, Pam’s meticulous preparation, complete with presentations, pictures, and video examples, was aimed at elevating the clinical skills and mindset of the participants.

Pam’s influence goes beyond imparting clinical knowledge; she seeks to instil a profound change in mindset, ensuring that her students not only enhance their clinical skills but also approach early intervention with a different perspective. The gratitude expressed by participants underscores the impact of Pam’s efforts, portraying her as an absolute beacon in pediatric therapy. Pam Versfeld is not just a therapist but a driving force behind the positive transformation of therapeutic outcomes for children worldwide.  For all these reasons and more, Pam is our Top Contributor for this month.

Here is a small sampling of testimonials as to her impact on the world of rehabilitation around the world:

“From our traditional physiotherapy education, we are so used to immediately memorising and looking for pathological patterns in infants. Pam Versfeld shows in adorable and instructive videos what the normal, healthy movement of the newborn looks like – ultimately what we should always be guided by. Her calmness and clarity are able to inspire enthusiasm for paediatrics and always keep a positive outlook”.  ~Annemarie Frank, Physiotherapist

“Dear Pam, Thank you very much for the excellent training. I really enjoyed it and appreciated your preparation and sharing all topics with videos which improved my knowledge to apply in dealing with children with disabilities.” Physiotherapist from the in-person Clinical Skills Training group in Myanmar.

Your name: Pam Versfeld

Time active with Physiopedia:  I have worked with Physiopedia for two years and five months.

Current role with Physiopedia: I am a Physiopedia contributor, a Mentor and a course Instructor.  I also have developed the Family-Centred Developmental Skills Training in Early Intervention Programme on Plus. 

Where did you go to university/college? I have a Physiotherapy Diploma, from Pretoria College of Physiotherapy in 1968 and a Masters’ of Physiotherapy from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Where do you work?  I am fortunate enough to be retired.

Describe your role:  When not spending time with my grandchildren, I am a course Instructor on Plus and Mentor.

What is the most rewarding part of being a clinician or working with Physiopedia?  Working with Plus as a Mentor on the Myanmar Clinical Skills Training Program.

What are some of your professional passions? Translating theory into practice. Providing opportunities for new physiotherapy graduates to gain knowledge in early intervention for infants and toddlers with motor development disorders.

What are a few of your personal passions?  I have recently been diagnosed with early Parkinson’s disease (PD). I have developed an interest in the latest research that shows that PD can be slowed down or even halted by different forms of exercise and the placebo effect.

What would be your advice to a newly graduating physiotherapist?  Physiotherapy is an evolving profession and it is important to keep up with the latest developments and research.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Hopefully, still be active and not stopped in my tracts by my newly diagnosed Parkinson’s disease.

What are the best things about being part of the Physiopedia team? Absolutely the best aspects are the interactions with colleagues.

How has being a Physiopedia team member helped your professional development/career progression?  Developing a series of courses in the Family Centred Developmental Skilled in Early Intervention Programme has meant that I have had to return to the research literature on motor development and intervention.

What are your hopes and aspirations for Physiopedia?  That it continues to provide up-to-date information about the different aspects of physiotherapy practice and rehabilitation as a whole.

What is your favourite Plus course?  The Parkinson’s Disease Programme by Dr Bhanu Ramaswamy, OBE.