Physiotherapy: Wilfred Ly

Wilfred is a Physiotherapist at Catalyst Kinetics Group and COAST Performance Rehab in Vancouver, Canada.

What led you to study at the University of Melbourne?

I have been asked this question numerous times since returning to Canada after graduating from the DPT program. In retrospect, I think what drew me to the University of Melbourne is a combination of academic and personal reasons. I had always had a keen interest in human anatomy and physiology, and involved with sports; this lead me to a Bachelor of Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia with the next step being physiotherapy. Being accepted into a physiotherapy school within Canada was a difficult task so I looked elsewhere to pursue a physiotherapy degree. As I did more research, I came to the conclusion the University of Melbourne would be a great fit for me - renowned worldwide institution, evidence-based and constantly changing curriculum, and one of the world leaders in physiotherapy research. Lastly, having grown up and completing all my education in Vancouver, I was ready to embark on a new challenge that would challenge me in all aspects of life and push my limitations.

What are your strongest memories of your time at the University of Melbourne?

Long hours spent in a small cubicle in almost every library imaginable on campus or coffee shop cramming for Foundations, Pharmacology, and finally submitting the last assignment of my academic career - a literature review on Healthcare and Leadership.

What goals did you set yourself when you finished University and have you stuck to that plan?

Upon graduating from the University of Melbourne, I always envisioned myself working in a private clinic due to my keen interest in musculoskeletal and sports physiotherapy. Fortunately, I am practicing at two clinics (Catalyst Kinetics Group and COAST Performance Rehabilitation) that house some of the best forward thinking clinicians in Vancouver who share similar clinical ideologies and philosophies with me. Being surrounded with like minded clinicians has fostered a great environment for me to learn and grow into the physiotherapist I have envisioned of becoming. I would like to one day have a place of my own that I am proud of and make a difference in a client's health and rehabilitation as well as make an impact on the field of physiotherapy.

What/who motivated you at University?

My family. From the day I was accepted to the DPT program, their support and belief in me never wavered. My parents afforded me the opportunity to chase my dream of becoming a physiotherapist. I would not be in the position that I am today if it were not for them.

What advice do you have for current students?

Passion. Find what truly excites you (professionally and personally), pursue it relentlessly, and always stay hungry. Growth. Every success and failure is an opportunity to grow. Do the best you can until you know better - when you know better, do better. Humility. Park your ego at the door. Reflect often. Recognise weaknesses, embrace them, and improve them. Critically think. No one has the answers to everything, once you acknowledge that, it will make you a better clinician. Always ask why, even of yourself.

What would you say is your greatest accomplishment since graduating?

I think becoming a full licensed physiotherapist in Canada was probably the most challenging thing I have had to overcome since graduating. To become a fully registered physiotherapist in Canada, every candidate must undergo the examination process, the Physiotherapy Competency Examination, which consists of a written exam as well as a practical exam. I finally passed the clinical exam on my third and final attempt.

What does being successful mean to you?

To me, being successful or succeeding is difficult to define; it's a constantly moving target and relative. I guess how I define success is being who I am meant to be, doing what I am meant to, going where I want to go, and, more importantly, it's being free of the expectations of others.