Stayner physiotherapist retires with 25 years at clinic
Catherine Fuller has retired after 35 years as a physiotherapist and 25 years at Stayner Physiotherapy Clinic.
“I feel so privileged to have been welcomed into the community as a physiotherapist,” said Fuller adding that she has had long standing professional relationships with many clients.
“It has been such a pleasure to get to know the people from the community and also the physicians and all the professionals in the area.”
Fuller said she is very confident leaving the practice in the capable hands of fellow physiotherapists Jennifer and Aaron Johnson. She said patients old and new will have a continuum of care at the clinic.
“Jenn and I have been working for so long together, she will know exactly what needs to be done or has been done according to my notes. Also, both Jenn and Aaron are amazing physiotherapists with lots of orthopaedic experience so I feel very comfortable transferring the care of my patients to their hands,” she said.
Fuller said physiotherapy has been a great career and she has felt privileged to put many people ahead on the road to recovery following surgery and injuries but having turned 60 this year, she wanted to retire while she was young enough to enjoy some time to travel and explore other interests.
She said as an athlete, competing in figure skating, she naturally became interested in the body and movement.
Fuller graduated from University of Toronto in 1986 and went to work at Toronto Western Hospital, where she was exposed to a wide range of serious illness in critical care, and formed a foundation for coping with the conditions she sees in the community. From there, Fuller worked in home-care until opening Stayner Physiotherapy Clinic in 1996.
Fuller has post-graduate training in manual therapy, sports injury, scoliosis, orthopaedics, plastics (hand therapy), acupuncture, myofascial, and neural mobility. She also trained in acupuncture completing a study program and teaching acupuncture to other health professionals. She is also certified to treat patients with osteoporosis.
She said she has had an interesting and varied career, from the early days of acute care and a chance to do a stint in the far north, to a more holistic approach when seeing patients in their own homes.
It was a shift in health care at the provincial level, that reorganized physiotherapists into the private sector that prompted Fuller to open the clinic in Stayner, and later opening a satellite clinic in Wasaga Beach.
When she started her career, most physiotherapists were based in hospitals but cutbacks in health care spending encouraged physiotherapists into the private sector. Fuller said the change allowed her to spend more time with the patient, because they were the paying customer. The downside is that access is somewhat restricted to people who have extended benefits or are able to pay otherwise. Fuller said this has resulted in long waiting lists and limited access to subsidized treatment.
“It has been so wonderful, so rewarding, and having a job where you feel you are able to help people and has value and to form close contacts and relationships with people – it has been a wonderful profession and I thank the community for being so great,” said Fuller.
That is why she has no qualms about recommending the career path to youth, and has been happy to mentor people interested in the underpopulated field of study.