I have volunteered with Physiopedia for many years and typically the articles I edited or created were selected based on the needs of PP, not necessarily topics that I would have chosen out of my own interest, but interesting to work on nonetheless. I’d learn about conditions or treatments I didn’t know about plus I always enjoyed the technical side of the volunteer work as well as the connection with the global PP community.
During my first maternity leave, it was disconcerting how quickly I felt disconnected from our profession. Thank goodness for the various physio-related groups I volunteered for, including PP, to keep me somewhat anchored. Even so, once I returned to work, there was still a transitional period during which my old friend Imposter Syndrome seemed to swell to the size of a giant. I worried that all the time and money I’d spent on post-grad education was wasted. It was like any skill…if you’re practising regularly, the information’s in the vault, but step away from it for a period of time, especially a whole year, and you start to get a bit paranoid about what you know, or rather, how much you’ve forgotten.
I felt like I needed to immerse myself in the literature and courses to try to stay up to date but cripes, it’s overwhelming! There is so much information out there between social media, educational platforms like Physiopedia and of course, traditional journal articles. And that’s before you have to try to parse the data when you read conflicting information, which you inevitably will. Gradually, though, Imposter Syndrome settled back to his usual size and life returned to normal, or as normal as it can be with a toddler!
Now I’m on my third maternity leave and all these feelings have just multiplied, exponentially it seems. At this point, it’s important for me to be realistic with what I can feasibly contribute to PP and also what I can achieve with my attempts to stay in the know, and I’ve recently had an epiphany. Physiopedia, the platform I’ve happily volunteered for for so long, is just what I’m in need of. There’s a global team of volunteers constantly adding and upgrading content to articles and accredited courses. I still love to volunteer but I don’t have to only work on articles for the Topic of the Month; I can focus on topics that I have a more specific interest in and that are most relevant to my practice.
So here’s the quest I’m setting myself. I want to go back to work in September feeling confident in my recharged knowledge base therefore I’m going to work my way through some of the courses available on Physiopedia Plus. I’ll treat myself as an almost-blank slate; refreshing my memory on things that I know (or have forgotten), learn some new things that other Phyiospedia volunteers have contributed and, if there’s some evidence I know of that doesn’t seem to be in the relevant article, I can update it. Win win. And throughout, I’ll document my progress, my experience, my thoughts, on Physiospot which will hopefully turn up some interesting food for thought for you. Triple win!