I trained to be a chiropractor and MSK is where my passion lies

Michael Parkin, Advanced MSK practitioner, Chiropractor at North West CATs (Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service) tells us about how moving from private practice to Connect Health has opened up amazing opportunities for training and advancement.

22 November 2022

I trained to be a chiropractor and MSK is where my passion lies.


I was a keen ice hockey player

I was born in South Africa and brought up in Scotland. Originally, I thought I would follow family members into a military career. However, I played a lot of ice hockey and have ended up in A&E a number of times. The back pain I suffered was quite demoralising. I was also doing trials for Scotland ice hockey team. When I was 15, the GP recommended a local chiropractor who just spoke with me and helped so much, which influenced greatly my career.


I attended the Welsh Institute of Chiropractic

Based at the University of South Wales in 2016 I commenced a four year undergraduate degree integrated with a Masters. I worked in private practice and also worked with sports teams. After a few years I wanted to advance my academic training and completed a post graduate qualification in functional MSK health. It was advanced professional practice plus qualification which I tried to integrate into modern practice.


I worked in private practice up to December 2021

Following the pandemic, I didn’t like the instability of private practice and the long hours are quite unsociable. I also wanted a life outside of work. I had my own limited company and had to deal with all the HR issues and business worries.

One day just by chance, I spotted a job role for Connect Health as a chiropractor. I thought this sounded interesting and I’ve got the qualifications, so applied. I joined in December 2021 as Advanced MSK practitioner, Chiropractor in the North West CATS service.


I’d never been in an MSK unit before and the variety was amazing

As a chiropractor, you have to cover a huge amount of MSK, neuro and orthopaedics cases in your degree, but in real life you don’t see a huge variety of patients. I had all this knowledge that I wasn’t doing a huge amount with. At Connect, I saw the huge variety of patients which was a massive draw for me.


Connect Health provides consistency and support

When I worked in private practice, if you were sick you didn’t get paid. If you had time off for a holiday, it would hit you twice because you’d miss the patients and they don’t have the follow up care.


There’s more opportunities for advancement and training than private practice

In private practice the opportunities were limited and they were not MSK related. I trained to be a chiropractor and MSK is where my passion lies. At Connect I can advance as part of my role and a big thing for me is I like the academic side of it.


I’m very lucky as I really enjoy what I do.


I’m a big fan of getting the right care to patients

When you’re in private practice, if you’re the lead chiropractor then it boils down to you. If you saw someone with a particular problem not in your remit, the only place you could send them is to the GP with a recommendation letter.

Whereas in Connect, you have specialists from all different backgrounds from rheumatology, orthopaedics to neuro surgery, without having to burden primary care.


Listening and good communication is key

As you sit and listen to the patient, you’re often the first person to explain their problem and help them understand what’s going on. We have a great team here and we help each other, discuss cases and if any problems do crop up, we have a good understanding of what to do.

The thing I’ve noticed in particular is just speaking to people effectively has such a massive impact on how to move forward with the patient.


Such a good support network

I can walk two offices down and I’ve got a sport and exercise medicine consultant and the clinical lead is an osteopath and they are all so approachable. The reception team is great.


There are a lot of opportunities to progress at Connect Health

I’ve just started finding my feet but already I can see there are a lot of opportunities to progress through the business as an advanced practitioner.


My advice is to keep pushing forward

Sometimes it can feel like there is a mountain to climb. But things come out of the blue and it can completely change the way you work. Know what you want and how you want to get there and just do it.

Keep an open mind and see what happens.


If you’d like to find out more about working at Connect Health, contact people@connecthealth.co.uk

Click here to download Michael Parkin’s Story